The Sea Eagles produced a “blistering” performance to beat the Roosters 28-16 thanks to five unanswered tries in the opening 50 minutes on Friday night.
Manly stunned a Roosters side with plenty of stars playing as they raced out to a 26-0 and despite a late comeback, Tricolours skipper James Tedesco called their first half “pretty embarrassing”.
MATCH CENTRE: Sydney Roosters v Manly Sea Eagles, teams, stats, video
Anthony Seibold’s men continued to build in the second half on what Yvonne Sampson described as “absolute domination” in the first half.
There were injuries to Sea Eagles’ centre Morgan Harper (knee) and Roosters young gun Joseph Suaalii (failed HIA).
Manly opened the scoring when Brad Parker rose highest for a bomb and batted it back for Wests Tigers recruit Kelma Tuilagi to cross in the fifth minute.
“After a couple of years at the Wests Tigers, there’s a lot to like about Kelma Tuilagi,” Dan Ginnane responded.
Wingers from both sides bombed tries in the opening 15 minutes but Sea Eagles flyer Reuben Garrick wouldn’t be denied twice and he crossed and converted for a 10-0 lead.
Manly centre Brad Parker spent 10 minutes off the field in the first half after a brutal knock saw blood race from his nose.
“He looks like he’s in an 80s horror film,” Ginnane said.
Manly went over for their third try after running on the last from 40 metres out and putting it through the hands for Tolutau Koula to score in the 25th minute.
“Pushing into open space on the last… that’s a great Manly try,” Greg Alexander said.
“A blistering first-half performance,” Ginnne responded.
Roosters young gun Suaalii copped a head knock trying to make a tackle in the first half and failed his HIA.
He’ll now need to overcome protocols to play in Round 1.
Garrick crossed for his double when he barged over James Tedesco to score JUST two minutes from halftime.
“That ends an outstanding first half and these Sea Eagles are showing they’ll be a team to contend with in 2023,” Ginnane said.
The Sea Eagles crossed for their fifth unanswered try when young gun fullback Kaeo Weekes made a break down the middle before putting Garrick over for his hat-trick in the 46th minute.
“This is beautiful Kaeo Weekes, links up with Garrick who’s got a hat-trick, give them a bonus point, give them a second bonus point and you can just about give them the $100,000,” Ginnane said.
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The Roosters finally crossed in the 65th minute when they put it through the hands and Nat Butcher was able to slam it over from close range.
“That was as good as they’ve looked all night,” Ginnane said.
They then made it two tries in three minutes when Storm recruit Brandon Smith threw a nice ball out of dummyhalf for Lindsay Collins to crash over under the posts.
The Roosters then scored off the very next set thanks to a break down the left wing for Tuipulotu Katoa to score and close the gap to 26-16.
“Hold the phone it ain’t over, who needs Tedesco and the stars, the kids are pulling them back into the contest,” Ginnane said
Roosters team: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Joseph Suaalii 4. Corey Allan 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Drew Hutchison 7. Sam Walker 8. Lindsay Collins 9. Brandon Smith 10. Matthew Lodge 11. Egan Butcher 12. Egan Butcher 13. Victor Radley 14. Terrell May 15. Naufahu Whyte 16. Jake Turpin 17. Siua Wong 18. Thomas Deakin 19. Junior Pauga 20. Sandon Smith 21. Ethan King 22. Tuipulotu Katoa 23. Ben Thomas 24. Tyler Moriarty
Sea Eagles team: 1. Kaeo Weekes 2. Christian Tuipulotu 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Josh Schuster 7. Cooper Johns 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Gordon Chan Kum Tong 10. Ben Trbojevic 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Sean Keppie 14. Jake Toby 15. Ethan Bullemor 16. Viliami Fifita 17. Toafofoa Sipley 18. Ben Trbojevic 19. Ben Condon 20. Ray Tuaimalo-Vaega 21. Josh Aloiai 22. Morgan Harper 23. Samuela Fainu 24. Zac Fulton
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