2021 Preview: Gold Coast Titans
16 hours ago | Rick Edgerton
The Sydney Roosters continued to struggle creating points and just managed to defeat Manly 22-20 at Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Manly Sea Eagles put forth a spirited effort in front of 10,129 people to nearly upset the Roosters, but errors in crunch time brought their downfall.
For the Roosters, they are yet to show try scoring ability through the key combinations of Luke Keary, Cooper Cronk, James Tedesco and Latrell Mitchell.
The theme of extreme unpredictability in this NRL season continued when Manly raced to a 10-0 lead after 11 minutes. A try to Addin Fonua-Blake (4th minute) was no more complicated than a hit-up with one pass from dummy half, only Tedesco was close enough to attempt a stop under the posts.
Daly Cherry-Evans missed the conversion of this kick and he'll be wanting that miss back considering only two points split these sides at full-time.
Akuila Uate (10th minute) carried Cronk and Jake Friend over the tryline with a simple scoot from dummy half.
It appeared the lack of pressure from the Roosters' forwards was going to be a major problem.
An error from Addin Fonua-Blake from the first set after points gifted the Roosters field position. Tedesco took advantage after the scrum, by Tedesco's speed around his defender created an overlap for Mitchell Aubusson to put Blake Ferguson away in the corner for a 10-6 score after 16 minutes.
From there forwards started to take over the match which featured Martin Taupau. He gained 130 metres in the first half (43 meters more than any other player in the period) and finished with 290 metres and 26 tackles.
Isaac Liu made a statement when he scored a try in the 23rd minute by carrying three players on a hard run near the posts to set up a 12-10 lead. Both teams then traded penalty goals to set up the 14-14 halftime score.
The second half turned into a school yard match as both teams went on long streaks without completing a set and were penalised frequently.
Out of the break the Roosters landed the first points after two minutes with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves scoring a typical front-rower's try.
With the score 20-14 Roosters with 20 minutes to go, Manly were camped in Sydney's red zone when Victor Radley rattled Taupau with a high shot that was penalised, but lifted his teammates and the crowd. Two minutes later Radley made a try saving tackle on Dylan Walker and in that moment became a home crowd favourite.
Latrell Mitchell converted a penalty goal in the 63rd minute to take an eight point lead. Uate scored a try by hitting and spinning on Ferguson in the corner that provided what would be the final score with three minutes to play.
Tom Trbojevic played his worst match of the season as he had significant issues diffusing kicks and failed to produce enough in attack.
The Roosters lead the league in errors, handling errors and ineffective tackles which continued to plague their performance. They accumulated 11 errors, 41 missed tackles and 12 penalties conceded.
Manly's restructured spine featuring Walker didn't make much of an impact and will need improvement to win.
Ferguson had only defeated Manly once in his career in ten outings prior to today.
The Roosters play the hot New Zealand Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium next Saturday. The Sea Eagles take their home game to Suncorp Stadium on Saturday for a clash with the Brisbane Broncos.
Sydney Roosters 22 - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 20
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Halftime Score: Sydney Roosters 14 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 14
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Martin Taupau
2 points - Victor Radley
1 points - Akuila Uate
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (22)
Tries: Blake Ferguson, Isaac Liu, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Conversions: Latrell Mitchell (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Latrell Mitchell (2/2)
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (20)
Tries: Addin Fonua-blake, Akuila Uate (2)
Conversions: Daly Cherry-Evans (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Daly Cherry-Evans (2/2)