Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
14 hours ago
With both clubs in great form following commanding wins during round 12, Aussie Stadium is the only place to be to witness two teams desperate to stamp their claims on the 2005 premiership trophy.
The Roosters and Manly have a long history stemming back over three decades to 1972, when the Sea Eagles denied the Roosters their first title in 27 years with a 19-14 win.
However, everyone north of the Harbour Bridge was incensed with the Roosters after they poached Rugby League Week immortal Bob Fulton only a week after the former Australian star had led Manly to the premiership in 1976.
In more recent times, nobody at the Roosters has forgotten Craig Field?s field goal in the 79th minute of the 1997 preliminary final - which shattered the Roosters? hopes of a first title in 22 years.
And with both teams in dominant form at the halfway mark of 2005, Aussie Stadium is set to be rocked to its foundations this Friday night as two of rugby league?s proudest clubs go head-to-head in what shapes as a brutal encounter.
?Our confidence is building with each win,? skipper Luke Ricketson said following the Roosters? most clinical display of the year on Saturday night against Canberra.
?Our defence has really picked up, we?ve been working hard on it over the past few weeks.?
Intimidating forward Adrian Morley revealed the Roosters are three-quarters of the way through a short-term goal to win four games straight during the midst of the 2005 Origin series.
?We set a goal to win four games with the two byes in there ? we?re just one game away from that now,? Morley said.
?We?ve got the bye in round 14 and are coming off three wins where our defence has been first class.
?With that in mind, I?m sure nobody will be leaving anything on the park this Friday against Manly.?
Most notably, workhorse Craig Fitzgibbon.
The 27-year-old became the Roosters? all-time leading point scorer against Canberra on Saturday night with his 906 points surpassing that of club legend Allan McKean (903).
But most impressively, the tireless back-rower once again put his body on the line in pulling off 31 tackles ? a remarkable effort just 72 hours after making a staggering 59 tackles in a beaten NSW side.
?He?s a freak,? fellow Origin star Mick Crocker laughed.
Fans will have the opportunity to see the Roosters? in-form Premier League outfit tackle Manly in the curtain raiser, commencing at 5.30pm.
And with both clubs out to stamp their premiership credentials and continue their impressive form, Aussie Stadium is the only place to be come 7.30pm on Friday night.
Anthony Minichiello Joel Monaghan Iosia Soliola Ryan Cross Amos Roberts Craig Wing Brett Finch Jason Cayless Stuart Webb Adrian Morley Adam Schubert Craig Fitzgibbon Chris Flannery Michael Crocker Jamie Soward Richard Fa'Aoso Anthony Tupou