Switching off at halftime has again cost the Sydney Roosters with Manly-Warringah scoring 26 unanswered second half points to win 36-18 over the Tricolours at Brookvale this afternoon.
The victorious hosts were actually first on the board when Matt Wright scored out wide in the 9th minute but the Roosters were able to turn the tables a further nine minutes later and assumed control of the remainder of the first half. Daniel Tupou opened the Tricolours' account and soon after Latrell Mitchell pushed them further ahead, Trent Robinson's men leading 12-4 by the 25 minute mark.
Luke Keary joined in the fun just short of the half-hour mark, dominating the Manly defence down the Roosters' left edge. Suddenly things were looking dire for the home team, trailing 18-4.
In his 50th NRL game it would be Tom Trbojevic who made the scoreboard look a little more generous for the Sea Eagles ahead of the halftime break, crossing near the posts and with Wright's conversion, reducing the margin to eight.
It was a different Roosters side that seemed to take the field in the second half, very much under the pump with Manly increasing the grit and determination as the second half rolled on. Trbojevic had a double by the 47th minute to narrow the margin to two, before utility Lewis Brown put the hosts in front at the 54-minute mark.
The margin at four points, an arm wrestle ensured, with both sides trying in vain to gain a leg-up. It wasn't til ten minutes to go that the Eagles found another gear, with Brad Parker scoring, a Cherry-Evans penalty goal and a late try to the same man in the final moments that saw the scoreline blow out.
For the Roosters it makes their task of chasing down probably minor premiers Melbourne much more difficult - but importantly they are at AAMI Park next weekend to test that theory on Saturday night. Manly will be at Leichhardt on Sunday afternoon where they'll be hoping to comfortably account for the lowly-placed Wests Tigers.