Sea Eagles v Roosters: Five key points
A scintillating 80 minutes of football from NRL Telstra Premiership favourites the Roosters has closed the door on Manly's 2015 finals hopes and consigned Manly coach Geoff Toovey and five-eighth Kieran Foran to an unhappy end to their last home game in Manly colours. Here are five talking points from the huge 46-10 win.
Robinson a hard marker
When your side has just won its 11th straight game with a 46-10 demolition of a very good side, at their home ground, with your historic club's biggest ever win at the venue, you'd think even the grumpiest of coaches would be satisfied. It is a mark of Roosters coach Trent Robinson's professionalism that he still found plenty to work on despite the runaway victory.
"There was some really nice stuff that we saw in the back end and some bits that we need to get better on in that first half that were a bit disappointing," Robinson said.
"In the first half we got opened up a couple of times there. Communication between players wasn't great in some of those defensive areas. There's a bit more cohesion in attack I want to see as well. It was good but I don't think it was our best footy."
Even impressive young half Jackson Hastings, who stepped up admirably in guiding the team around in the absence of Mitchell Pearce, received little better than a pass mark.
"I thought Jacko did well in directing the team around and there's things like the rest of us he needs to improve on in and around the other players. The same with Jimmy [Maloney]," Robinson said.
"Jimmy was outstanding but a little bit more support was needed from Jack and Jimmy of the forwards. The way they went forward we needed a few more people around them in the tougher periods of the game."
No superhuman effort from Manly
Last year they had Wolverine jerseys, on Friday night they had Wolverine in person but it didn't inspire the home side to superhuman feats against the Roosters.
One of the most famous rugby league fans on the planet, Wolverine actor and Sea Eagles enthusiast Hugh Jackman, turned out in Manly colours to support the boys in Geoff Toovey's last game at Brookvale.
To make matters worse, Jackman was enticed into the winners' sheds where he posed for photos with all the Roosters players.
He did of course make sure to commiserate with his beloved Sea Eagles first, including fan favourite Toovey.
Double hat-trick a rare feat
It's not often you see two hat tricks from the same team in the same game but the Roosters did it via three-try efforts to both flankers Brendan Elliott and Daniel Tupou. Fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was involved in laying on tries for both men, showing how far he has come as a ball-playing fullback.
"It was very pleasing to see Daniel and Brendan Elliott get hat-tricks, it's a big thing to have any hat-tricks during the course of your career. In Brendan's case it's his first full year of first grade and a big achievement," Roosters prop Sam Moa said.
It was Elliott's first NRL hat-trick in just his ninth game, while for Tupou it was his fourth. His leaping effort in the 59th minute revived memories of how he tormented the same club in the 2013 Grand Final.
Sorry send off for favourite sons
Manly legend and current coach Geoff Toovey was all class in his post-match press conference, as always, despite being bitterly disappointed that his tenure at the club is now destined to finish with a fizzle rather than a bang. The match was also the last ever home game for premiership-winning five-eighth Kieran Foran before his end of season departure to Parramatta.
An understated Toovey described the performance as "disappointing" given there was so much to play for.
"I thought the first half we started really well; we made a few too many errors mind you and let them in the match but I thought we threw enough at them to be confident in the second half.
"The score-line was 16-6 [at half time] and I was a true believer in the players that if we played some good football we'd be capable of victory but shortly after half-time we let another try in. We just left it in the sheds which is another disappointing fact."
Of the late avalanche of points that saw the final score blow out, Toovey added: "I think the air went out of our tires a bit there at the end seeing the season probably slipping away so it's probably difficult for the players out there to keep it up."
Robinson opts to rest players
With the result sealed, Robinson called Hastings from the field with just under 15 minutes remaining. Having already replaced captain Jake Friend with bench hooker Matt McIlwrick after 53 minutes the only option was to slot a forward into the halves, with the task falling to impressive back-rower Boyd Cordner, who would have been a candidate for man of the match if not for Tuivasa-Sheck's pyrotechnics.
The fullback actually shouldered some of the additional playmaking burden with Hastings and Friend off, throwing a beautiful no-look cut-out ball to seal Tupou's hat trick late in the piece.
Robinson said it had been overly cautious on his own part to bring Hastings off with the youngster having a slight cramp.
"He just got some cramps actually. After one of the tries he got stretched with a cramp in the right hamstring so I decided to get him off and we had the great Boyd Cordner at halfback there for a while," Robinson said.
"He wasn't sure why he was coming off but it was a little bit of caution from the coach's box."