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Sydney Roosters 16 vs Manly Sea Eagles 33
at Aussie Stadium
Referee: Paul Simpkins
Half back Matt Orford has made a stunning return to form in leading the Manly Sea Eagles to a comprehensive 33-16 victory over the Sydney Roosters at Aussie Stadium today.
In ending their three match losing streak, the Sea Eagles have all but ended the Roosters slim hopes of making the finals, the home side crashing to their 11th loss of the year and are now six points adrift of the top eight.
The match had plenty of fire with two fights breaking out in the opening minutes, Roosters front rower Adrian Morley finding himself in the middle of the first encounter before play settled down.
Manly were first to score when forward Brent Kite busted through after 11 minutes. The visitors went to 12-0 ahead in the 19th minute when centre Chris Hicks began, and finished, a dashing 90 metre movement to score under the posts. A penalty goal from Orford gave the Sea Eagles a 14-0 lead at half time.
Orford went up a gear in the second half, stepping through to run some 60 metres to score a brilliant solo try. With 30 minutes to go, the Manly side were in front by 20-0.
The Roosters struck back in the 53rd minute through Mickey Paea, and again five minutes later through Iosia Soliola, the big centre scoring out wide to make it 20-10.
But Orford injected himself into the play once again, setting up full back Brett Stewart with a kick in the 62nd minute. Orford's sideline conversion put Manly up by 26-10.
Manly's George Rose then made his mark on the match, the big prop stepping and weaving, and then standing up an embarrassed fullback in Amos Roberts to score under the posts.
With a minute to go, Roosters forward Ashley Harrison scored a consolation try with the conversion bringing up the full time score.
Sydney Roosters: 16
Tries: Mickey Paea, Iosia Soliola, Ashley Harrison
Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon 1/2, Josh Lewis 1/1
Manly Sea Eagles: 33
Tries: Chris Hicks, Brent Kite, Brett Stewart, Matt Orford, George Rose
Goals: Matt Orford 6/6
Field Goals: Matt Orford
By the Clock:
A small crowd at the SFS on what is a chilly late afternoon.
A couple of changes with Amos Roberts moving to full back for the Roosters, Shaun Foley is out. But the most significant change is the omission of Steve Menzies from the Sea Eagles who has a broken hand. His replacement is Luke Williamson. Both sides have had a reshuffle on their respective benches.
Manly kick off and the match is underway!
4 min: FIGHT Adrian Morley (Roosters), while in possession, lands a few on Manly's Jason King and King responds in kind. Looks like Morley had the initial brain explosion. Manly get the penalty.
6 min: NEWS Morley gets the ball back for Easts with some bone crushing defence. His first target was King. Then Manly lose the ball in the next ruck as the ball carrier, Steve Matai, sees Morley coming again.
8 min: FIGHT This time Steve Matai (Manly) and Ryan Cross (Roosters) having a dust up, Matai taking exception to a facial.
11 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Brent Kite busts through from 20m out, brushes Roberts aside to score 7m in from touch. Conversion from Matt Orford is right on the money.
Sea Eagles 6-0
19 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Chris Hicks scores a brilliant try. Hicks made the intial bust and ran 50m before finding Brett Stewart in support. Stewart is collared from behind by Roberts but delivers a tremendous flick pass inside to Hicks who scores a near 90m try. Orford converts from right in front.
Sea Eagles 12-0
32 min: Possible TRY to Roosters as video ref looks at Craig Wing's effort in the corner.
VERDICT: NO TRY. Wing forced into touch by the defence. Scrum.
36 min: PENALTY GOAL Manly Sea Eagles
Orford slots a penalty goal from almost in front. Follows an intercept from Matai from 40m out, Roosters on the back foot and are found offside by the ref.
Sea Eagles 14-0
Half time: Sea Eagles 14-0
Plenty of niggle early in this match before the players settled down to play some football. Manly have had the better run of play.
Easts appear to be just hanging on at times, but had a good opportunity early in the half when Braith Anasta made a break. However, play broke down when Roberts was tackled without the ball. Roosters got the penalty but that was as close as they got.
Manly are finding plenty of yards up the middle and just wide of the ruck. Roosters are not out of it and at times are playing well, but at this stage they appeared to be outclassed.
Possession about evens, slightly favouring the Sea Eagles.
Roosters kicking off. Second half underway...
47 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Half back Matt Orford scores a sensational 60m solo try. He dummies first and then steps and weaves his way through the defence before standing up the full back. Orford converts his own try from right in front.
Sea Eagles 20-0
53 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Mickey Paea crashes over after the Roosters get repeat sets at the line. Fitzgibbon converts from almost in front.
Sea Eagles 20-6
58 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Iosia Soliola scores out wide to put the home side back in the match. Follows another repeat set after a towering bomb from Roosters half back Josh Lewis is fumbled by Stewart. An overlap develops soon after. Conversion unsuccessful.
Sea Eagles 20-10
Possible TRY to Manly. Video ref looking at possible knock on.
62 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Stewart gets the nod and scores out wide. Follows a kick from Orford and Stewart picks up the crumbs. Orford conversion from the sideline is a ripper.
Sea Eagles 26-10
65 min: FIELD GOAL Manly Sea Eagles
Orford slots a field goal. Follows a clean break from deep in own half, Orford carving them up with a 60m run before potting the field goal two rucks later.
Sea Eagles 27-10
76 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Prop forward George Rose steps his way through to score. Some woeful defence but a great run and taking nothing away from the big fella. Converted by Orford from right in front.
Sea Eagles 33-10
79 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Ashley Harrison scores a consolation try for the Roosters. Conversion from almost in front by Josh Lewis.
Sea Eagles 33-16
Full time: Sea Eagles 33-16
Manly just too good in outplaying the Roosters across the park for the majority of the match. Some big hits from the Roosters forwards to try and stamp their authority, and Roosters fans had something to cheer about with Adrian Morley being amonsgt their best. But the Sea Eagles pack handled it well while finding plenty of gaps around the ruck.
Man of the match Matt Orford really carved them up in the second half and seemed to have a hand in everything. Full back Brett Stewart and centre Steve Matai were also standouts, taking full advantage of the hard yakka from the forwards, in particular Ben Kennedy and Brent Kite.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Matt Orford (Sea Eagles)
2 - Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles)
1 - Steve Matai (Sea Eagles)