Billed as the match of the round, it was one that lived up to the expectation, as the Manly Sea Eagles defeated the Sydney Roosters 24-16 in a finals-like encounter at Brookvale Oval.
In front of more than 17,000 fans, the Manly faithful went home with a win to cheer about, on the back of stellar performances from Brett Stewart and Jamie Lyon in particular.
The contest was even throughout and this was illustrated when the two sides went into the half-time break locked at 12-apiece, as both teams had their chances.
As the game wore on, Manly slowly gained the ascendancy and it was the telling factor, as their key players stood up when it mattered to guide them to the win.
As the Roosters attempted to get back into the game, they were their own worst enemy on numerous occasions. With chances to score and the line begging, errors and mistakes creeped into their game, thus costing them the match.
Defence was the order of the day, as Manly coach Geoff Toovey praised his side for their defensive efforts.
“They were camped in our end for probably 10 minutes or so and I thought it was really taxing on us to keep them at bay,” said Toovey.
“It was a very resilient effort from the forwards in particular to work hard and keep the Roosters at bay.”
Knowing that they had chances to score more points and make the most of their opportunities, the lack of execution is what disappointed Roosters coach Trent Robinson most.
“We created enough field position and then just poor execution on quite a lot of the sets we had on their line,” said Robinson.
“It lead to a lot of errors on our line, not getting to the end of our sets well enough.
“We were just a bit rushed. We thought a play would be enough but you’ve gotta work harder against Manly to get some tries.
3. Jamie Lyon
2. Brett Stewart
1. Brenton Lawrence