Rugby League

Sea Eagles overcome error-ridden Roosters

March 17, 2024 5:25 pm

[Source: NRL]

The Sea Eagles have won their opening two games of a season for the first time in over a decade, after getting the better of a sloppy Roosters side 21-14 on Sunday afternoon.

Following an opening-round win over the Rabbitohs in Las Vegas, Manly’s forward pack set a solid platform at a sold-out 4 Pines Park, from which Tom Trbojevic, Luke Brooks and Daly Cherry-Evans were able to feed their dynamic edges with success.

Powerhouse back-rower Haumole Olakau’atu was targeted 19 times in attack and on another day could have had a couple of tries, while off the bench Ethan Bullemor and 150-game man Nathan Brown both racked up over 100 metres in running.

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Their cause was helped by a Roosters side who shot themselves in the foot throughout the 80 minutes, in which they made 19 errors and subsequently had just 41 percent of the ball.

The sides traded four-pointers within the opening 10, as Lachlan Croker pounced on a James Tedesco drop close to the line and Danel Tupou crossed, with Reuben Garrick’s boot giving Manly a slender advantage.

Back-to-back errors in possession saw the Roosters hand the Sea Eagles field position in the lead up to Tolutau Koula scoring on 21 minutes, with the home side then assuming a chokehold on the contest for the remainder of the half.

After having try claims to Brooks and Olakau’atu ruled out, the Sea Eagles settled for a penalty on the siren to take a 12-10 lead into the sheds.

Tommy Talau finished a crisp left-side shift two minutes into the second period before Olakau’atu was in the thick of the action again, as he was tackled just short of the line, held up over the line and then denied by the NRL Bunker for a knock on all in the space of one set.

But for all their dominance Manly were struggling to convert it into points and were eventually made to pay when Dom Young tipped up a looping ball to a waiting James Tedesco, who took off and linked back up with his winger for a spectacular 90-metre try that saw the gap close to four.

The Roosters had their chances to go on with it in the final quarter but were guilty of repeatedly making poor decisions on attack, and with seven to play the Sea Eagles took their chance to put the game beyond reach with a Cherry-Evans field goal.