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The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles have cemented their position on top of the NRL competition after 16 Rounds with a hard-fought, 24-16 victory over the Sydney Roosters at Brookvale Oval in front of just over 17,000 fans.
A string of penalties saw the Sea Eagles grab the lead approaching the mid-point of the first half with back-to-back tries. Peta Hiku (14th minute) and Jorge Taufau (17th minute) raided their respective sides of the Roosters defensive line to take a 10 point lead.
In the shadows of half time, Jamie Lyon slot a penalty goal to lock the game at 12-all after 40 minutes of football.
Man of the Match, Brett Stewart crafted an incredible four-pointer early in the second half as he cut back on the angle to sail between markers off a Kieran Foran pass. The Sea Eagles reclaimed the lead, 18-12 after 52 minutes.
The Roosters looked to lock up the game again as Mitchell Pearce finished off a blistering 50 metre run from Frank Paul Nuuausala, however it wasn't to be as James Maloney's conversion was wide of the posts. 10 minutes remained in the match and the Roosters trailed by 2 points, 18-16.
Daly Cherry-Evans must not have seen Maloney's unsuccessful conversion attempt because just a minute later he stuck a field goal attempt - The shocker strike saw the ball bullet away from the posts.
The only concern out of his contest was for the Sea Eagles as James Hasson failed to return to the field following a heavy tackle in the 34th minute. He will be monitored across the weekend for concussion.
Next week the Sea Eagles head south across the bridge to ANZ Stadium as the pay visit to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Friday Night. Meanwhile the Sydney Roosters return to Allianz Stadium to face the Cronulla Sharks on Super Saturday.
LATE MAIL: Manly Sea Eagles - No changes for the hosts, lining up 1-17
Welcome to LeagueUnlimited's LIVE coverage from the Northern Beaches as we bring you action at Brookvale Oval between hosts, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and visitors, the Sydney Roosters. Tonight the competition leaders, Manly, look to cement their position at the top of the ladder as they open up the fortress to battle the 4th placed Roosters.
2: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Shaun Kenny-Dowall makes an unforced error.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall unable to take the floating cross field kick from Mitchell Pearce and it's knocked dead by the Roosters. 20 metre tap for the Sea Eagles
2: Penalty to the Sea Eagles from the tap restart at the 20 metre line for the Roosters defensive line caught offside. A massive kick sees the Manly side attack just 20 metres out
4: Jamie Buhrer was flying through off a Daly Cherry-Evans grubber kick and the video referee has a look and his boot met the dead ball line before he could knock it back in field. A line drop out becomes a 20m tap with the Roosters
6: Penalty to the Sea Eagles against Jake Friend, holding down in the ruck after the held call. DCE finds the sideline 30 metres out from the Roosters try line
7: The touch judges flag has been raised as the Sea Eagles shifted across to the right of the field through Jamie Lyon and Peta Hiku. However the pass is ruled forward, scrum packs for the Roosters 10 metres off their try line.
7: Penalty to the Roosters from the scrum for a strip as Roger Tuivasa-Sheck charged forward. Lyon concedes another 10 metres as he was marched for asking the referee about the penalty.
8: Brett Stewart dives on the ball at the try line as the Roosters grubbered for the in goal area.
9: Jake Friend concedes another penalty for slow ruck release, it's the 5th penalty of the game. DCE kicks for touch and the Sea Eagles have possession 10 metres short of half way
10: Daniel Tupou comes up with a brilliant catch off the boot of Foran and the Roosters have possession 20 metres off their try line.
12: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves gives away a penalty for holding down in the ruck... again. Roosters happily conceding penalties in defence.
13: TRY MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Scored by Peta Hiku. Kick to come.
Peta Hiku finishes off a beautiful right side raid from the Sea Eagles as Jamie Lyon took the pass and provided the platform for his winger.
16: Penalty again for the Sea Eagles, Frank Paul Nuuausala with an elbow and a hold down in the ruck. Manly attack over the half way line from the touch finder.
17: TRY MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Scored by Jorge Taufua. Kick to come.
Jorge Taufau takes a brilliant short pass from Steve Matai and he lept over Mitchell Pearce in the western corner to post the second four-pointer
18: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon unsuccessful.
Jamie Lyon from the western sideline fails to convert the goal to extend the lead to 12 points as the run of penalties aids their cause tonight.
19: Cherry-Evans completes the set for the Sea Eagles without the Roosters conceding another penalty, from inside his 40 metre line manages to gain 60 metres with the kick.
21: We are off to the Colonel for the first time tonight. We have a TRY for the Roosters as Mitchell Pearce put in a cross field kick, it was deflected off the hands backwards of Aubusson. Daniel Tupou is claiming
22: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Shaun Kenny-Dowall. Kick to come.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall muscles through the Sea Eagles defence on the try line and took a short pass to reach over the line for the Roosters first try
28: Accidental offside is ruled as SKD tapped down a kick to Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Manly come up with possession 20 metres off their try line.
30: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Brett Stewart makes an unforced error.
Brett Stewart made a meal of the catch of the bomb and the ball is dropped, zero tackle called for the Roosters as they clean up and attack 20 metres out.
31: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Boyd Cordner. Kick to come.
Boyd Cordner takes a beautiful short pass and with a wrap around play strolls between the poor Manly defensive line as Pearce provided the pass
33: James Hasson has got his head in a bad spot in a tackle and has been taken off with possible concussion.
35: Brett Stewart has gone for a gallop and it's followed by a penalty. Manly attack 15 metres out from the Roosters try line.
36: Sonny Bill Williams has forced the line drop out as he cleaned up the little toe through kick from Foran as Horo was chasing through.
37: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Brett Stewart makes an unforced error.
Brett Stewart has unable to get a clean tap on and it's ruled a knock on as the Sea Eagles shifted again to the right side towards Lyon and Hiku. Change over for the Sea Eagles 10 metres off the Roosters try line.
40: Penalty on the try line is conceded by the Roosters and Jamie Lyon will take the shot at goal
40: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Penalty goal attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Jamie Lyon from out wide on the eastern side of Brookvale Oval splits the uprights to draw the scores level at half time.
40: It's HALF TIME here at Brookvale Oval and we are locked up at 12-all. A run of penalties aided the Sea Eagles changes as the count jumped to 5-2 against the Roosters after 14 minutes. The latter part of the opening half saw the penalties subside which saw a more flowing attack
41: Second half is UNDERWAY at Brookvale as the Roosters kick off to get us going again
41: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Brenton Lawrence makes an unforced error.
Brenton Lawrence fumbles possession in the ruck and the Roosters pack a scrum down 35 metres out from the Manly try line
42: Steve Matai comes up with an intercept as the Roosters through SBW shift on the right side of the Manly defence.
44: Cherry-Evans kick is too long as Minichiello watches it roll dead, Roosters come up with the 20 metre tap
46: Jamie Lyon comes up with a brilliant catch under pressure on his goal line. Manly with possession deep in his own half
48: It's been end to end footy in the last few minutes, Roosters defence trapping the Sea Eagles deep in their own half.
49: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck with some fancy footwork almost came up with a short side right play as the Roosters look to sneak down the eastern sideline, a messy end sees the Sea Eagles take possession just off their try line.
50: Shocker from Mitchell Pearce, out on the full is the last tackle play and the Sea Eagles will pack a scrum 30 on half way
52: TRY MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Scored by Brett Stewart. Kick to come.
Brett Stewart has cut back on the angle with surging run between the markers taking a pin-point short pass from Foran to give the Sea Eagles the lead again
55: Penalty to the Roosters, Foran the guilty party... the kick for touch gives the Roosters possession on half way
57: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is caught with possession after the Roosters offloaded three times before JWH was trapped. Manly lucky to control that last tackle, their possession starts 10 metres off their try line.
58: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has strolled through the defence of Manly and took a gallop 60 metres downfield before being taken by Stewart.
58: The Roosters attack falls apart as James Maloney throws the ball into row 3... scrum for the Sea Eagles 10 metres off their own try line.
61: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Sonny Bill Williams makes an unforced error.
Sonny Bill Williams ruled to have got a touch on the ball trying to knock it over the sideline. The play started 50 metres downfield as Anthony Minichiello failed to take a short pass from RTS, Matai cleaned up and bolted to the half way line before he lost it over his head and knocked down by SBW
62: ZERO TACKLE for the Sea Eagles as the Roosters jump up and push the pass down. Manly attack 10 metres out
64: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Peta Hiku makes an unforced error.
Peta Hiku on the end of a right side raid from the Sea Eagles, he was unable to take the short pass from Jamie Lyon as the defence jammed up to shut down the play. Scrum for the Roosters packs 10 metres out.
65: Jake Friend with a slight brain explosion as he toed ahead on the 3rd tackle with no chasers, 20m tap for the Sea Eagles.
66: Anthony Minichiello has done very well to take the bomb on last tackle and fall to ground inside the touch line just metres out from the try line.
68: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Mitchell Pearce. Kick to come.
Mitchell Pearce sails away off a line break from Frank Paul Nuuausala to score for the Roosters. A shocking play of the ball from SBW sees the quick play catch the Sea Eagles off their feet
70: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Conversion attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.
James Maloney fails to lock the game up again with a successful conversion attempt... the gap remains 2 points
71: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Boyd Cordner makes an unforced error.
Boyd Cordner comes up with a mistake in the ruck and the Sea Eagles get the zero tackle 25 metres out from the Roosters try line.
71: UNSUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Field goal attempt by Daly Cherry-Evans unsuccessful.
Cherry-Evans has a shocker of an attempt of the one point from 20 metres out and it's stabbed into the ground.
73: Daniel Tupou comes with a great catch just shy of the try line to defuse the Sea Eagles attack, Roosters with possession 10 metres off their own try line.
75: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Shaun Kenny-Dowall makes an unforced error.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall looked to sail down the sideline but the pass is dropped. Sea Eagles just shy of the half way line on zero tackle