Whilst the blow-out wins are satisfying, they often say that it is the closer games that show the true character of a side, and for Manly, they held on and won, despite missing their Origin representatives.
“It was always going to be tough, and losing Kieran early in the match made it more difficult,” coach Geoff Toovey said.
“(I am) very proud and pleased that the players hung in there. It could have gone either way in the last 15 minutes.
“I’m pleased and the players should be pleased with themselves. It’s a great time for club spirit at the moment and we’ve just got to build on that.”
Manly captain Jason King, who was concussed early on in the game, but later returned – said that the win was extra special, given the club was missing their Origin representatives.
“Really special … The guys that stepped in front of our home crowd did an exceptional job,” he said.
“Everyone is stepping up to the mark and doing their job for the team and playing very selflessly.”
Despite the Manly win however, there was some degree of controversy in the game – with the Roosters disallowed a second try for halfback Daniel Mortimer, after Pat Reynolds, the video referee, deemed Mortimer’s effort a no-try, after picking up an infringement from second-rower Brad Takairangi in the lead-up.
“I’ve got to say that I’m very, very disappointed on what (Reynolds’) idea of a penalty,” Smith said.
“… I think the way things panned out Manly might have won the game anyway. It was that sort of battle.”