Rain, hail or shine, the Sydney Roosters came out tonight with the motivation to improve on last weekend’s performance, and that they did with their victory over Manly Sea Eagles 26 – 12 last night.

The weather put on a show over the Sydney Cricket Ground, but the Roosters were not going to be outdone by Mother Nature or Manly, running in 4 tries in the first half.

The late changes to the Roosters lineup paid off, with Drew Hutchison starting and Connor Watson on the bench, with Hutchison scoring in the 2nd minute off a smooth pass from Sam Walker, who went on to add the extras.

Manly tried to equal the Roosters, but a kick from Daly Cherry-Evans didn’t pay off with Luke Keary scooping it up.

Roosters giant Daniel Tupou found himself crossing for his 11th try in 9 games against Manly to make it 10 – 0 in less than 10 minutes.

After 14 minutes, the Roosters were running the show with 68% possession and 2 potential tries had there not been knock-ons.

Manly needed to score and it needed to happen soon, but then Connor Watson came on at the 20-minute mark and his impact was evident straight away, forcing a 6 again moments after running onto the field.

Sam Walker tried to weave some magic with the boot after what was a multi-handed pass fest to keep Manly on their toes, but Sitili Tupouniua was denied a try due to lack of ball control, but that wasn’t going to stop the boys from Bondi testing the Manly defence.

It was only a minute later that Nat Butcher found himself over the line, with Jake Trbojevic watching Connor Watson which left the inviting gap for Butcher to cross.

By the 25th minute, the Roosters were said to be averaging around 800 meters while Manly were lagging with less than 300 meters.

It was clear that the Roosters were not about to let Manly back into the game.

Sitili Tupouniua ran wild up and down the field making the Manly defence work hard to try and stop him until he went over the line in the 31st minute off a Victor Radley/Luke Keary pass combination.

The stats were lopsided going into half time, with the Roosters completing 21 of 23 sets to Manly’s 9 out of 11 and Manly having 4 dropouts to the Roosters zero.

Going into halftime and leading 22 – 0, the Roosters’ well-known “Bondi Wall” was still strong and showing no cracks.

While both teams took a break, Mother Nature let her presence be known, making for a slippery second half full of falls and fumbles from both sides.

Almost immediately straight after kick-off, Taniela Paseka was the first wet weather casualty, dropping the ball in the wet conditions.

The Roosters weren’t safe from a fumble, with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves also dropping the ball not long after.

DCE put a kick up, and we were about to see one of the most exciting contests with Daniel Tupou and Jason Saab both leaping into the air for the ball, Tupou being successful only for Paul Momirovski to lose control of the ball on the ground moments later.

Manly were passing the ball constantly, but not gaining much ground.

They needed points and they needed them soon if they were to get back into the game.

Sitili Tupouniua was sent for an HIA under instruction from the doctor in the bunker and that was his night done, failing to pass the necessary tests to return to the field. 

Manly kept trying to edge closer to the line, desperate to not be left on zero, with multiple kicks put up by DCE that either didn’t go to plan or the Roosters made it hard for them.

At the 52nd minute, the tables had turned and Manly were leading the possession with 62% and while Dylan Walker was within inches of scoring, it was in the next play that Manly got on the board through Karl Lawton in the 54th minute, followed by a clean conversion by Reuben Garrick.

3 minutes later, we saw a battle between Daniel Tupou, Jason Saab, and Morgan Harper to see who could get to the ball first.

The bunker ruled that Harper had not made contact with the ball only to review and double-check their decision with a bit of a communication breakdown between the bunker and the referee.

Roosters enforcer Victor “The Inflictor” Radley was put on report for a hit on Manly half Kieran Foran in the 58th minute, he may or may not sleep tonight given his history with the judiciary.

After a tackle on the quiet Tom Trbojevic, utility Connor Watson was seen clutching his right shoulder and was taken from the field for an assessment.

The update later in the game was that the club is not too concerned about any serious damage, he was strapped up and back on the sideline to be called upon if needed, but was seen at the end of the game with ice wrapped around it.

In the 65th minute, Joey Manu had the Roosters’ supporters holding their breath after he was tackled awkwardly by Kieran Foran and was seen grabbing his leg, but he seemed to recover and there was a sigh of relief through the chook pen.

While Manly had tightened up their defence during the second half, the Roosters found another opportunity to score with Nat Butcher scoring his 2nd try of the night with an effortless side step of Tom Trbojevic, taking their lead to 26 – 6.

After Manly lost Dylan Walker to a failed HIA courtesy of a stray Victor Radley elbow, they managed to grab a few more points with DCE scoring in the 74th minute through some clever kicking and the Roosters’ defence starting to look tired.

Reuben Garrick packed his kicking boots for the occasion, converting both Manly tries in what is their 2nd defeat for 2022.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson was pleased with the way his side managed to turn things around after last week’s loss.

“The things we talked about during the week they improved on straight away so that is a really pleasing six-day turnaround,” Robinson said.

“I thought defensive pressure improved, and combinations and communication between the spine improved, and we got the result there.”

Manly coach Des Hasler admitted that his side has to do better and knows they cannot put themselves in poor situations.

“It was the same as last week, to be honest,” Hasler said.

“We are just putting ourselves in some really difficult situations against some really good opposition.

Until we start to rectify a few things it is going to keep happening.

“I know it is going to come and I thought there were moments in that second half where there were signs of life.”

SYDNEY ROOSTERS: 26 (Tries: D. Hutchison, D. Tupou, N. Butcher 2, S. Tupouniua Goals: S. Walker 3/5

MANLY SEA EAGLES: 12 (Tries: K. Lawton, D. Cherry-Evans Goals: R. Garrick 2/2)

Injuries: S. Tupouniua (Failed HIA), C. Watson (Right Shoulder), D. Walker (Failed HIA)

Loz’s Stand Out Players: S. Tupouniua (SYD), D. Tupou (SYD), S. Taukeiaho, J. Saab (MAN), H. Olakau’atu (MAN)

Sydney Roosters winger Daniel Tupou

By Loz

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