The Sydney Roosters made a statement on Sunday afternoon, beating the Sea Eagles 56-24 at Lottoland.
The Roosters scored six tries in the first half and finished with 10 tries and eight different try scorers. Manly were never really in the game but showed some signs of life in the second half, however it was all about the Roosters, as they showed us what we’ve been waiting to see all year.
ROOSTERS RESTING PLAYERS LAST WEEK WAS THE RIGHT CALL
Last week Trent Robinson rested Origin players James Tedesco, Latrell Mitchell and Boyd Cordner after an intense series, as well as Cooper Cronk sitting out (waiting on the birth of his child), Mitch Aubusson out injured and Victor Radley suspended. They still got the win over the Titans, with three debutants scoring on debut. The Roosters have looked clunky at times but the rest for their key players may be just what they needed.
ROOSTERS SPINE CLICKING INTO GEAR
Luke Keary was instrumental. He put a nice pass on for Cordner to score his first try, he put Daniel Tupou into open space and it led to a try on the next play after a try-saving tackle from Tom Trbojevic. He threw the cut out pass for Joseph Manu to put Blake Ferguson over in the corner. He went down the short side and threw a nice offload in the second half for Mitchell to bust up the sideline and put Tedesco under the posts, then late in the game he threw a beautiful inside ball to Taukeiaho to score his first try of the season. Jake Friend had his best game of the season with 46 tackles, two try assists, two line break assists and three tackle busts in 72 minutes.
Cronk put in one of his trademark flat cross-field kicks for Tupou, who batted it back for Mitchell to score his first try. His stat sheet often doesn’t show the impact he has on a game, but his game control is up there with the best in the world after spending so long in the Melbourne system. At the start of the season it seemed like the new spine combination was having some teething problems, but that looks over and the Roosters should well and truly be up there as premiership favourites.
Tedesco was back to his blistering best with 273 metres, two line breaks, three tackle busts, a try assist, a line break assist and a try after an offload from Keary to Mitchell. He came very close to getting a double right at the end of the game, but on video review it was denied due to him just dropping the ball over the line.
MANLY’S SLOW START
The teams headed into halftime with the Roosters up 34-6 despite Manly having 52% possession. The Roosters were up nine line breaks to one and gave away seven penalties to Manly’s four, but it was Manly’s missed tackles that was the most telling stat. In the first half they missed 18 tackles compared to seven from the Roosters. Both first half completion rates were around 88% but the missed tackles and lack of communication killed Manly in the first half.
They showed a bit of life in the second half, with a lot of good things coming off the back of Tom Trbojevic, with three line breaks, 168 metres, six tackle busts, a try assist, a great try-saving tackle and a try of his own. His brother Jake had another big game, playing the full 80 minutes while young hooker Manase Fainu had another great effort filling in for the injured Apasai Koroisau.
LATRELL MITCHELL SHINES
How good is this kid? He’s shown us plenty of promise, but this is definitely his breakout season. His footwork, ball-playing ability, goal kicking and strength makes a good argument for him being the best centre in the world. He had a blinder tonight, with two tries, eight goals (24 points), three line breaks, three tackle busts, a try assist and a line break assist.
Sydney Roosters 56
Tries: Blake Ferguson 2, Latrell Mitchell 2, Victor Radley, Boyd Cordner, Joseph Manu, Lindsay Collins, James Tedesco, Siosiua Taukeiaho
Goals: Latrell Mitchell 8/10
Manly Sea Eagles 24
Tries: Frank Winterstein, Shaun Lane, Tom Trbojevic, Daly Cherry-Evans
Goals: Trent Hodkinson 4/4
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
1. Tom Trbojevic, 2. Matthew Wright, 3. Moses Suli, 4. Brian Kelly, 5. Brad Parker, 6. Tom Wright, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 9. Manase Fainu, 10. Marty Taupau, 11. Joel Thompson, 16. Frank Winterstein, 13. Jake Trbojevic.
Interchange: 12. Shaun Lane, 15. Trent Hodkinson, 17. Taniela Paseka, 21. Toafofoa Sipley
1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Latrell Mitchell, 4. Joseph Manu, 5. Blake Ferguson, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Jake Friend, 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11. Boyd Cordner, 14. Ryan Matterson, 12. Victor Radley.
Interchange: 15. Zane Tetevano, 17. Kurt Baptiste, 18. Nat Butcher, 19. Lindsay Collins