Lachy MacCorquodale reviews the anticipated Friday night clash between the Sydney Roosters and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Sydney Roosters 26
Tries: Nat Butcher 2 (22, 67), Drew Hutchinson (2), Daniel Tupou (8), Sitili Tupounia (31)
Goals: Sam Walker 3 (2, 22, 31)
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 12
Tries: Karl Lawton (53), Daly Cherry-Evans (74)
Goals: Reuben Garrick 2 (54, 75)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
It was an excellent start at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the Sydney Roosters, taking only two minutes to score after a piece of brilliance from 19-year-old Sam Walker as he stepped off his left foot to beat Haumole Olakau’atu before passing inside for Drew Hutchinson to score. The home side kept the heat on, easily making their way into the Sea Eagles own 10 metres before shifting the ball left through the hands, with Daniel Tupou finishing in fine fashion in the corner.
The Roosters weren’t holding back as they continued to find a way through the Sea Eagles defence with Nat Butcher scoring the Roosters third in the 22nd minute. It came from some class out of dummy-half by Connor Watson, who moved laterally, engaging the Manly defence before passing to Butcher who crashed over for his first of the season. If Manly thought the first-half nightmare was over, they were wrong. The Roosters once again found their way in Manly’s 20 and with a left side shift, similar to their second try, Luke Keary held the ball up for the perfect amount of time before passing to a charging Sitili Tupouniua. Sam Walker added the two to take it to 22 points to nil. The score would remain that same as the game entered the half, a much-improved Roosters with Manly facing a similar fate to Round 1.
HALF-TIME: Sydney Roosters 22 Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 0Embed from Getty Images
The second half had half the excitement of the first as the Roosters dominance weakened over the Sea Eagles and they finally saw some opportunities to score. Karl Lawton was the beneficiary out of dummy-half as he capitalised off a quick Dylan Walker play the ball, catching the Roosters off guard and diving straight over for Manly’s first try. Manly were still hoping for a comeback, but all hope was lost with 12 minutes to go with Nat Butcher crossing for his second try of the night, his first career double.
The try started with Sam Walker digging into the line before shifting it left to Keary who did what he does best, drifting, before putting Butcher threw a gaping hole. Butcher did have one task left before scoring, getting past Tom Trbojevic, which he did so successfully. The Sea Eagles were able to leave the Sydney Cricket Ground with the last try and in fact it was quite a brilliant one. It started with a Manly shift to the left side before Kieran Foran put a grubber in behind the Roosters defence, intended for Reuben Garrick, who collected the football and put another kick into the in goal which was grounded by a sprinting Daly Cherry-Evans. A bittersweet end to a disappointing night for the Manly Sea Eagles, whereas Trent Robinson and his Roosters will be relieved to get their first win of the season.
FULL-TIME: Sydney Roosters 26 Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 12
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Siosiua Taukeiaho (Sydney Roosters), 2 pts – Sam Walker (Sydney Roosters), 1 pt – James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)
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