Manly Warringah Sea Eagles lost 28-26 to the Sydney Roosters in the annual Community Cup at Central Coast Stadium tonight.
The final hit out of the pre-season against the much fancied premiership heavyweights Sydney Roosters was an entertaining contest with both clubs fielding their strongest sides as possible.
For Manly, the match marked the first appearance this season of Tom Trbojevic, Akuila Uate, Jorge Taufua, Lachlan Croker, Daly Cherry-Evans, Api Koroisau, Martin Taupau, Curtis Sironen, Joel Thompson and Jake Trbojevic.
The Sea Eagles started the game strongly with winger Akuila Uate crossing for the first try in the third minute after the ball was spread nicely through the backline. Half-back and captain Daly Cherry-Evans failed to convert the try from the sideline for a 4-0 lead.
A great short pass from lock Jake Trbojevic put second-rower Curtis Sironen over for a try next to the posts. Cherry-Evans converted for a 10-0 lead after seven minutes.
Two minutes later, Tom Trbojevic broke the line to put a grubber kick through for centre Matthew Wright to score out wide. Cherry-Evans converted for a 16-0 lead.
Cherry-Evans then swooped on a grubber kick before racing 70 metres downfield to offload to Uate who dropped the ball in getting tackled. Two plays later, Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell races 60 metres to score. Siosiua Taukeiaho converted the try for a 16-6 scoreline after 15 minutes.
The Roosters then capitalised on a spilt kick from Uate for hooker Jake Friend to score. Taukeiaho converted to leave his side trailing 16-12 after 22 minutes.
Tom Trbojevic then took the line on and used his strength to score out wide. Cherry-Evans converted for a 22-12 lead after 36 minutes.
Mitchell grabbed his second try when he pushed off the defence to score in the corner for a 22-16 lead to Manly at half-time.
A grubber kick from Friend on the last tackle saw new Roosters full-back James Tedesco dive on the ball to score. Mitchell converted to make it 22-all after 52 minutes.
Tedesco grabbed his second try three minutes later he chipped and regathered to score on the last tackle. Mitchell converted for a 28-22 lead after 57 minutes.
With 10 minutes remaining, Barrett took Cherry-Evans and the Trbojevic brothers off for the rest of the game to protect them for round one.
A nice ball from centre Brian Kelly saw Uate cross for his second try with six minutes remaining. Hooker Api Koroisau narrowly missed the conversion attempt to leave the Sea Eagles trailing 28-26.
The Roosters held on in the final minutes to take home the Community Cup won by the Sea Eagles last year.