Manly Warringah Sea Eagles moved into the Telstra Premiership Preliminary Final tonight following a convincing 42-6 win over the Sydney Roosters in Mackay.
The Sea Eagles will take plenty of confidence into the clash with the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium next Friday night after a dominant first half against the Roosters.
It will be Manly's first preliminary final since 2013 with Coach Des Hasler's men just one win away from the Grand Final.
The Sea Eagles welcomed back hooker Lachlan Croker for the Roosters match after missing last week's finals loss to the Melbourne Storm.
The clash with the Roosters saw prop Martin Taupau play his 200th NRL game and Dylan Walker his 100th match for the Sea Eagles.
The Sea Eagles opened the scoring through full-back Tom Trbojevic off a well-timed pass from halfback Daly Cherry-Evans. Winger Reuben Garrick converted from the sideline to bring the score to 6-0 in the 7th minute.
The try saw Trbojevic pass Rhys Wesser's tally for the most tries scored in a season in 2003 by a fullback with 26.
Four minutes later, Manly were in again with a stunning play to send five-eighth Kieran Foran over for a try.
The Trbojevic brothers linked up as they ran towards the line, with Jake popping the ball up for Tom to slip out of a James Tedesco tackle to send Foran over next to the posts. Garrick converted for a 12-0 lead.
Cherry-Evans grabbed Manly's third try after cutting back inside the defence to score from a scrum play. Garrick converted for an 18-0 lead.
The Roosters scored their first try through winger Matt Ikuvalu as he juggled the ball before managing to ground it. Adam Keighran missed the conversion for an 18-4 scoreline.
Manly crossed for their fourth try in the 31st minute with yet another perfectly executed play involving Cherry-Evans and Jason Saab to send centre Morgan Harper over. Garrick converted for a 24-4 lead.
The Roosters made a captain’s challenge on the stroke of half-time after a late tackle and after being successful, converted a penalty goal through Keighran to leave Manly with a 24-6 lead at half-time.
Five minutes into the second half, ‘Turbo’ scored a barnstorming try as he took a flat pass metres out from the line before crashing over the defenders.
Trbojevic’s try saw him equal Phil Blake's record of 27 tries in 1983 for most tries scored by a Manly player. Garrick converted to bring the score to 30-6.
Two minutes later, Walker got himself on the scoresheet thanks to an amazing dummy to race past Tedesco to score next to the posts. Garrick converted for a 36-6 lead.
Tom Trbojevic was taken off with 15 minutes remaining, seeing Walker fill in at fullback.
The Sea Eagles hit 40 points in the 68th minute as Saab bolted away for a 75-metre try, his 26th for the season. Garrick kicked the conversion from in front of the posts to make the score 42-6.
Manly prop Josh Aloiai was held up over the line with five minutes remaining with the Sea Eagles going on to record a 36 point victory.