In a scrappy affair at Allianz Stadium, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles have defeated 2013 Premiers the Sydney Roosters, 8-0 in a Grand Final re-match.
The rule changes in 2014 have seen the tough, wrestle technique of the Roosters fail to see them control a match like they once did in the previous season. A lop-sided penalty count, 11-2, against the Roosters saw the Sea Eagles dominate possession.
Bad boy, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was placed on report by referee Ben Cummins for a high tackle on Sea Eagles' Glenn Stewart. The contact on Stewart saw him miss the reminder of the match, being assisted off the field in the 20th minute with concussion.
Cheyse Blair posted the only try of the contest as he finished off a great running play led by Steve Matai. The defensive lapse by the Roosters saw the only try conceded.
Despite failing to score points, credit to the ‘Bondi Wall' of the Roosters as their defence was brilliant as they continually defenced penalties on their goal line. Jake Friend the stand out defender with almost 50 tackles for the tri-colours.
It was hard fought win by the Sea Eagles as errors and penalties saw the Roosters fail to mount any pressure on the Manly side. Trent Robinson's game plan let to be effective under the new rules.
Next week the Roosters will look to hit back as host the Bulldogs in Round 5 action at Allianz Stadium. Meanwhile, the Sea Eagles will fly to Leichhardt Oval to face surprise packet of 2014, Wests Tigers on Sunday afternoon.