It was just three weeks ago when these two sides capped the NRL’s finals double-header with an old-fashioned bash-a-thon at ANZ Stadium which resulted in the Roosters prevailing 4-0.
The lone try came 10 minutes in when Mitchell Pearce grubber-kicked through for a flying Roger Tuivasa-Sheck who just managed to ground the ball before the dead-ball line. At that stage there was no indication these would be the only points of the game and Manly certainly threw plenty at them. Both wingers – David Williams and Jorge Taufua – made breaks that could easily have resulted in tries but for wayward passes back inside, Kieran Foran came within inches of crossing and even the last play of the game saw them throw the ball around in the attacking zone only to consistently find Roosters jerseys coming across in numbers.
Manly actually edged the possession with 53 per cent and completed three more sets than the Roosters. They also ran for a whopping 1759 metres to just 1145 by the minor premiers and produced 207 hit-ups to 160 yet couldn’t cross the stripe.
SBW was impressive for the Roosters with 116 metres and 41 tackles but was there any better player on the field than Peta Hiku? Brett Stewart’s ready-made replacement ran for a massive 297 metres while Anthony Watmough was also superb with 165 metres and 40 tackles.