Sea Eagles grind out victory over Roosters
The Sea Eagles have made it two from two against their modern foes this season, grinding their way to a 24-16 victory over the Roosters on Friday night.
In front of a packed house in Brookvale, the home side left it until the 79th minute to secure the win as they moved into outright first on the NRL ladder.
The Sea Eagles hadn’t lost at home since round one, and that wasn’t about to change as they produced one of their better performances of the season to clinch an eight point victory.
Their last meeting saw just eight points scored in a match heavily dominated by defence. However, it took just 18 minutes for Manly alone to surpass that score, taking an early 10-0 lead courtesy of their wingers.
Off the back of a favoured 5-2 penalty count, the Sea Eagles capitalised on early field position as Peta Hiku polished off a classic Manly sweeping move.
The Sea Eagles then chanced their arm down the left edge to send Jorge Taufua over in similar fashion.
But the Roosters showed just why they were reigning premiers, clawing their way back to hit the lead eight minutes from half time.
Centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall crashed over to open his side’s account, before Mitchell Pearce combined with Boyd Cordner to send the second-rower over in trademark style.
A Jamie Lyon penalty goal right on half time sent the two sides into half time locked up at 12-12.
The Sea Eagles were under the pump early in the second half as the Roosters dominated field position, but a mistake from Pearce, who kicked the ball out on the field, provided Manly with a golden opportunity as they went on the attack.
From the following set, Foran linked up with Stewart to put Manly in front by six as the fullback muscled his way over the line.
The Roosters hit back with a try of their own 12 minutes from full time as Sam Moa sliced through a whole to put Pearce over. But James Maloney would to rue a routine conversion as the Rooster trailed by two with 10 minutes to play.
The Tri-colours threw everything at their opposition but a resilient Manly outfit denied the Roosters as they ensured victory couresty of Hiku's second with two minutes remaining.