With the Roosters staring down the prospect of 4 straight losses to start the season they’ll be hoping something, somewhere clicks into gear as they face a Manly side hot off the back of a win over the Sharks on Monday night.

Last Time Out

The Roosters were giving an absolute hiding by the Cowboys 40-0. There was a brief half hour period in which the Roosters were able to match it with the Cowboys but after a well intended, ultimately ill fated 40/20 kick from Jake Friend on the stroke of halftime that went out on the full the Cowboys scored a try and it was all one way traffic in the second half from there. They also lost centre Dale Copley and utility Ian Henderson to long term injuries.

Manly flourished with the return of Brett Stewart and notched their first win of the season against the Sharks. After a slow start to the game, their newly promoted starting Hooker Matt Parcell pounced on an error and crossed under the posts minute from half time gaining the Sea Eagles all the momentum in the 2nd half with tries to the Trbojevic brothers and the Prince of Brookvale helping them to a 22-12 victory. The inclusions of Tom Symonds and Feleti Mateo also made a sizeable contribution to the Sea Eagles go forward in attack.

Key Battle

The Roosters forward pack up against Manly’s. Surprisingly some of the poorer performances from the Roosters in the last few weeks have come from their more experienced players in the forwards with missed tackles, poor defensive reads and an inability to gain momentum for their team leaving nothing for their inexperienced halves pairing to work with. Their ability to stand up and lead from the front and win the battle for field position against a pack led by young gun Jake Trbojevic who has had an impressive start to the season, will play a vital factor in how the game turns out.

Prediction

With Brett Stewart back for the Sea Eagles they look like a much more composed and dangerous team. There is hope the Roosters can turn things around and make it a contest but it’s a long way up from the bottom and Sea Eagles look like they might be on the way to turning things around. Only a massive defensive effort on their behalf could give them a chance of an upset.

Manly will be without the services of two of their best forwards in Martin Taupau and Brenton Lawrence which provides an opportunity for the Roosters to capitalize on but there’s still too many points in Manly’s outside backs for it to trouble them too much. Sea Eagles by 10+

SQUADS
Sydney Roosters
1 Latrell Mitchell
2 Daniel Tupou
3 Brendan Elliott
4 Blake Ferguson
5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall
6 Jayden Nikorima
7 Jackson Hastings
8 Sam Moa
9 Jake Friend (c)
10 Dylan Napa
11 Aidan Guerra
12 Mitchell Aubusson
13 Sio Siua Taukeiaho
Interchange
14 Isaac Liu
15 Kane Evans
16 Mitchell Frei
17 Eloni Vunakece
24 Abraham Papalii

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
1 Brett Stewart
2 Jorge Taufua
3 Jamie Lyon (c)
4 Steve Matai
5 Tom Trbojevic
6 Dylan Walker
7 Daly Cherry-Evans
8 Josh Starling
9 Matt Parcell
10 Nate Myles
11 Tom Symonds
12 Martin Taupau*
13 Jake Trbojevic
Interchange
14 Lewis Brown
15 Feleti Mateo
16 Brenton Lawrence*
17 Siosaia Vave
18 Jamie Buhrer

*Both Taupau and Lawrence will miss a week through suspension.