The Sydney Roosters have today beaten the Manly Sea Eagles by 46-16 in windy conditions in front of just under 10,000 people in a result that would hearten Roosters fans, especially with so many stars missing.
In a game which see-sawed for the first half, the Roosters fired back in the second stanza to take two competition points and appear to have also secured the minor premiership.
The Roosters opened the scoring in the 6th minute with a penalty goal by Michael Crocker. Shortly after he scored a swashbuckling try which saw the Roosters up 6-0. From there until half time, Manly and the Roosters went blow for blow with tries to Donald and Finch until the siren sounded ending at a 12-10 lead to the home side.
In the second half though, it was a much different story, and once the Roosters gained the upper hand they strolled away to eventually make the score line a little embarrassing to the Manly club. Looking ominous for rival semi-final clubs is the form of Ryan Cross and Chris Walker who both posted tries today and are playing well.
Also for the Roosters, Finch had a great game and looked to have step-up in the absence of captain Brad Fittler along with firebrand forward Michael Crocker. Manly was disappointing but Steve Menzies and Jason Ferris can hold their collective heads high. Manly should start looking to next year and hope that the players they?ve bought compliment the existing team and with a change of coach may do a little better.
Leagueunlimited.com Player of the Week Awards
3 ? B. Finch (Roosters) 2 ? M. Crocker (Roosters) 1 ? A. Minichello (Roosters)
Sunday 24 August 2003 3:00 PM Aussie Stadium Referee: Stephen Clark Video Referee: Chris Ward Scorers: ROOSTERS Tries: Crocker, Finch 3, Cross, Walker, Minichello, Webb Goals: Crocker 7/9 SEA EAGLES Tries: Donald, McGuinness Goals: Ferris 1/2
By the clock:
Roosters kick-off with a strong breeze at their backs. Very windy in Sydney town today.
6 min: Crocker kicks a penalty goal for the Roosters and they take a 2-nil lead.
7 min: TRY - Roosters. Crocker scores for the home side and extends the lead to 6-nil Roosters over the Sea Eagles.
8 min: Crocker fails to convert his own try. Score remains Roosters 6 Sea Eagles 0.
15 min: NEWS - Average crowd of about 8,000-9,000 gathered at Aussie Stadium. Strong wind but otherwise the conditions are good.
25 min: TRY - Manly. Donald scores his 19th for the year off a kick by MacDougall. Great work from Donald who's having a terrific season. Roosters 6 Sea Eagles 4.
26 min: Ferris converts for the Sea Eagles and locks up the scores at 6-all.
29 min: TRY - Roosters. Finch goes in and takes the lead to 10-6 for the Roosters.
30 min: Crocker converts and it's 12-6 Roosters over Manly.
37 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Keving McGuinness scores for the visitors and they're back in the game just before half time. Roosters 12 Sea Eagles 10.
38 min: Ferris misses a difficult attempt and the scores remain 12-10 in favour of the Roosters.
Manly punching above their weight somewhat, but the Roosters playing hard without Fittler and lack a bit of direction, although Finch playing well and trying to fill the void. Giant breeze behind the Roosters in the first half. Could be a boil-over here, with the Sea Eagles trying to take something away from a disappointing season.
43 min: TRY - Roosters. Brett Finch bags his second for the day as the Roosters look to extend their lead in the face of a gale. Roosters 16 Sea Eagles 10.
44 min: Crocker converts and the Roosters lead 18-10 early in the second half.
49 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Manly gain the ascendency with the wind. Donald goes in after a good 40-20 from Dorn. Roosters 18 Sea Eagles 14.
50 min: Ferris converts and scores are 18-16 in favour of the Roosters.
54 min: TRY - Roosters. Finch grabs a hat-trick and the Roosters push ahead again with the scores at 22-16.
55 min: Crocker stabs it over and it 24-16 in favour of the Sydney Roosters.
63 min: TRY - Roosters. Cross goes over and extends the lead to 28-16.
64 min: Crocker converts and the Roosters look in command now with a 30-16 lead over Manly.
68 min: TRY - Roosters. Walker grabs a meat pie showing some blinding pace. Roosters 34 Sea Eagles 16.
69 min: Crocker converts a beauty from the sideline. Roosters 36 Manly 16.
73 min: TRY - Roosters. Chooks are carving up with Minichello going in, with the ref going upstairs for confirmation. Roosters 40 Sea Eagles 16.
74 min: Crocker misses and scores remain 40-16 with the Roosters infront.
78 min: TRY - Roosters. Replacement player Stuart Webb scores to add insult to injury. Roosters 44 Sea Eagles 16.
78 min: Crocker converts and the score is 46-16 in favour of the Roosters.
Roosters ran away with it in the end and look set to take out the minor premiership. Crowd 9,866.