A disappointing Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 26-12 loss to the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Cricket Ground tonight in round two of the Telstra Premiership.
The match marked the return to the NRL of hard working forward Andrew Davey from a season ending ACL injury suffered in round two last season.
Dylan Walker also returned to the side after picking up an ankle injury in the final trial match against Canberra.
The Roosters opened the scoring in the third minute hrought hooker Drew Hutchison after a break from five-eighth Sam Walker. Walker converted the try to take the score to 6-0.
Manly went close to replying three minutes later and nearly cracked the defence after a strong run down the middle from hooker Lachlan Croker. A grubber kick from captain Daly Cherry-Evans was defused by the Roosters just in front of their line.
The home side had their second try in the ninth minute thanks to a diving effort from winger Daniel Tupou, with his opposing winger Jason Saab unfortunate not to take him out with his defensive efforts. Walker failed to convert from the sideline for a 10-0 scoreline.
Despite another chance deep inside the Roosters territory thanks to a strong tackle from prop Sean Keppie and Croker, the Sea Eagles were again unable to capitalise as fullback Tom Trbojevic was chopped down five metres out from the tryline.
Roosters forward Nat Butcher scored his side's third try after being on the back-end of a nice pass at the line from hooker Connor Watson on the last tackle. Walker converted to extend their lead to 16-0 with 22 minutes played.
Match Highlights: Roosters v Sea Eagles
The Sea Eagles were unlucky once again in their attempt to get their first points on the board, as Tom Trbojevic was unable to get control of the ball under the posts after a inch-perfect cross-field grubber kick from Cherry-Evans metres from the sideline.
As lightning began to gather around the ground, the Roosters continued their attack as second-rower Sitili Tupouniua ran over untouched in the 31st minute for their fourth try. Walker made the conversion to take the score to 22-0.
The Sea Eagles attempted an early kick on the stroke of half-time in an attempt to score their first points, but had no luck as the siren eventually sounded with the Roosters still holding a substantial lead.
Sea Eagles back-rower Karl Lawton forced his way over a handful of defenders to score the side's first try in the 53rd minute. Winger Reuben Garrick was successful from in front for a 22-6 scoreline.
Manly forced an error inside the Roosters half and began to build momentum, with another drop-out forced from a Cherry-Evans grubber kick. The half-back put an unexpected grubber kick through which was chased down by centre Morgan Harper and batted away by Tupou in the end. The Sea Eagles had a handful of sets inside the home side''s 20 metre line but weren’t able to complete the attack as they turned the ball over.
Round 2: Post Match Press Conference
Nat Butcher scored his second of the night as the Roosters extended their lead with twelve minutes left to play. Walker missed the conversion, leaving the score at 26-6.
Off the back of some strong attacking runs, Manly had another chance. Lawton almost burrowed underneath the defence in the 72nd minute, in similar fashion to his first try, but was unfortunately held up by three Roosters defenders in the process.
The Sea Eagles grabbed a consolation try through Cherry-Evans with five minutes remaining after a sizzling display that saw multiple kicks.
Five-eighth Kieran Foran placed a light grubber kick through to the wing for Garrick, who immediately chipped the ball over the top for his half-back who raced away to score next to the left post. Garrick made the conversion to take the score to 26-12.
The Sea Eagles now play Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in their first home game of the season at 4 Pines Park on Sunday, March 27. Kick-off is 6.15pm