Full Time
7:35pm Sat March 23, 2019
Round 2 - Lottoland - Crowd: 9664

Match Overview

A first-half masterclass from Luke Keary has been enough to see the understrength Roosters hold out the fast-finishing Sea Eagles 26-18 at Brookvale Oval. 

With most of last weekend's games marred by wet weather, points were expected to be at a premium at Lottoland on Saturday night as the rain fell early in the first half. 

While true in the case of the home side, the Roosters ran in 22 points in the first half, with all four of their tries set up by five-eighth Luke Keary. 

Without Cooper Cronk and Jake Friend, the Tricolours were vastly improved from their underwhelming performance last week against South Sydney. 

The first try came off a Keary cross-field kick, with Brett Morris pouncing onto the loose ball after Brad Parker mistimed his jump.

Despite the conditions, Trent Robinson's men weren't showing any signs of slowing down, with a looping ball from Keary seeing Daniel Tupou dive over four minutes later.

Last year's Clive Churchill Medallist was back at it again off the following set, forcing a dropout to heap more pressure on Manly. 

They held on temporarily before Keary popped a lovely offload to send Cordner crashing over for the Roosters' third of the night.

They went over once more in the dying stages of the first half when Tupou steamed onto a cheeky chip kick from Keary, with the Tricolours taking a 22-point into the break.

The start to the second forty was plagued by injuries, with Lindsay Collins (concussion), Brett Morris (knee), Luke Keary (concussion) and Moses Suli (leg) all going off within the opening 10 minutes.

But in his debut Lachlan Lam made an immediate statement, putting in a well-weighted grubber for Cordner who claimed his second try of the night. 

It looked like the defending premiers would cruise to victory, but two tries in the space of three minutes saw Manly storm back into it.

The first saw Manase Fainu muscle his way over before Reuben Garrick found space on the right edge and linked with Jake Trbojevic in support as the Sea Eagles went back-to-back. 

Another right-side raid saw Daly Cherry-Evans break away before his kick back infield ricocheted up for Suli, who had recovered from his leg complaint.

It certainly wasn't the finish that coach Robinson would have been hoping for but it was enough as the depleted Roosters held on for their first win of the year.

They have another danger game next Saturday when they take on the potentially rejuvenated Eels while Manly search for their first win of the year in what shapes as an emotional contest at Christchurch against the Warriors.

3. Luke Keary

Four try-assists and a faultless kicking game. Absolutely superb without main man Cooper Cronk.

2. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

Topped the game for tackles and running metres with 43 and 232 respectively - enormous effort up front.

1. Daly Cherry-Evans

Over 200 metres and 36 tackles from Martin Taupau but it was DCE who sparked the late fight back along with Jake Trbojevic who misses out for a couple of errors early.