Manly Warringah Sea Eagles lost 24-12 to the Sydney Roosters today in the opening round of the Jersey Flegg Cup at HE Laybutt Field, Blacktown.
Both teams struggled to hold onto the ball with the rain bringing a high number of errors. Manly showed promising signs throughout but were unable to really bring themselves into the contest as the Roosters proved too dominant.
Roosters’ halfback Ronald Volkman bumped off a defender and opened the scoring three minutes in, coming off the back of a deflected kick and another set of six at Manly’s line. Winger Corey Fenning converted for a 6-0 scoreline.
The Roosters turned over the ball after a forward pass call 35 metres out from their own line, giving the Sea Eagles their first real chance of the game. They were unable to take this chance, with the wet conditions leading to another error.
Another Roosters’ error 30 metres out gave Manly another chance at the line. The pressure finally amounted to a try, with winger Max Lehmann scoring in the corner in the 14th minute after a nice cut-out pass. Five-eighth Zane Harris converted to level the scores.
The Roosters nearly bounced back and retook the lead five minutes later after a nice offload play at the line, but forward Cooper Page-Wilson was unable to hold onto the ball, dropping it over the line.
Roosters’ lock Harrison Edwards linked up with five-eighth Max Batty for another good offload, with Batty crossing for a try just to the left side of the posts in the 21st minute. Fenning converted for a 12-6 lead to the Roosters.
With four minutes to go before half-time, Roosters winger Jack Mossman nearly took an intercept pass on his own line for a raceaway try but dropped the ball. Errors from both sides in the Roosters’ territory gave Manly one more chance before the break but they were unable to capitalise.
A double knock-on three minutes into the second half allowed for the Roosters to score the first points, with forward Hugo Patterson crashing past three defenders to score. Fenning converted for an 18-6 lead.
Manly had a chance to get back into the game in the 44th minute with a good grubber kick through by Harris, gaining a repeat set in the process. Another error at the line ended that opportunity.
Roosters’ halfback Ronald Volkman- then raced 60 metres downfield after gathering a dropped Jude Gibbs’ pass and nearly added to the scoreboard if it wasn’t for some last-ditch defence.
The Roosters nearly scored another try after a good break downfield, with halfback Volkman being dragged down just short of the line in the 55th minute.
Just shy of the hour mark, Manly finally capitalised on their chances, with centre Daniel Ala scoring in the corner thanks to some good holdup passes from Harris and fullback Flynn Angles-Corke. Harris converted for an 18-12 scoreline.
Roosters’ second-rower Riley Meyn broke through the line at the 62nd minute with a strong run before handing it off to lock Harrison Edwards 10 metres out, who dived under the posts to score. Fenning converted to further extend their lead to 24-12.
Both sides had chances in the remaining eight minutes, with possession continuing to switch back and forth. An error-filled end to the game, as neither side added anymore points with the score finishing 24-12 in favour of the Roosters.
The Sea Eagles now meet the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Lottoland on Sunday, March 21, at 2pm.