Sea Eagles bounce back
After conceding 92 points in their last two games, the Sea Eagles needed a big response to get their season back on track and they did just that. A commanding 36-18 win over a Top 2 side is a big confidence booster for Manly and could be the catalyst they need to start a strong charge towards the finals.
They had to do it the hard way as well, fighting back from an 18-4 deficit during the first half, to post 32 unanswered points. Daly Cherry-Evans and Marty Taupau were standouts as DCE controlled the game well for Manly and Taupau was back to his rampaging best, running for over 200m.
Things can change quickly in Rugby League
After copping a 40-6 hiding from the Storm and a 52-22 loss to the Dragons the week before that, the Sea Eagles were suddenly in 7th spot and potentially a chance of missing the 8 if their run of bad form continued. Now they’re suddenly back in contention for a Top 4 finish. In a testament to how topsy turvy the current Top 8 logjam is, 6 of the current teams there are fighting for 3 available spots with nobody looking likely to dethrone the Storm.
The Sea Eagles have a fairly easy run home on paper. They face two teams in the Bottom 4 including the woeful Bulldogs and their other opponents are a Warriors side lacking Shaun Johnson and the Penrith Panthers who seem to be their bogey team. Barring any monumental collapses, the Sea Eagles should win most of those games and get one step closer to a second chance in the finals.
Roosters injury strife
In a standout game that included a try and 4 line breaks, the Roosters now will find themselves without Daniel Tupou for around six weeks with a groin injury. The injury is another in a list of stars that include Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend and Michael Gordon. The former two are expected to make their return this week but the timing of these injuries have come at an awful time for the Chooks as they approach the business end of the season.
Next week determines pretenders from contenders
The Roosters face the Melbourne Storm next week and if they’re to prove they are genuine title contenders, they will need to take it to them. Even with the injuries they currently have, the Roosters have a strong roster but have often been caught out not playing their best for the full 80 minutes.
It cost them in the 2nd half against the Sea Eagles as they leaked 4 tries and scored none in return. If they clock off at any stage against the Storm, they will surely be punished for it. The heat will be on for the boys from Bondi, particularly for Connor Watson. The return of Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend will be a massive boost to the side but as their fill-in fullback, Watson will face the sternest test of his first grade career to date against the Storm.
In The Sheds
Sio Siua Taukeiaho suffered a fractured finger and played limited minutes but has been given the all-clear for this week.
Daniel Tupou suffered a groin injury which will rule him out for around six weeks in a tackle that also saw Matt Wright go down with an injury
Manly Sea Eagles- 36
Tries: Matthew Wright (8m), Tom Trbojevic (38m, 47m), Lewis Brown (54m), Brad Parker (69m), Daly Cherry-Evans (80m)
Goals: Matthew Wright 4/5
Daly Cherry-Evans 2/2
Sydney Roosters- 18
Tries: Daniel Tupou (18m), Latrell Mitchell (21m), Luke Keary (30m)
Latrell Mitchell 3/3