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Feathers flying: The greatest Sea Eagles v Roosters clashes

The Sea Eagles and Roosters have 75 years of rich club history between them with some memorable clashes.

From the 1972 grand final to the 2013 decider, from Des Hasler and Arthur Beetson to Jamie Lyon and Anthony Minichiello. 

There have been several stars who have played for both clubs, including Immortal Bob Fulton, Kevin Junee, Johnny Mayes, Paul "Fatty" Vautin, Mike Eden, Kerry Boustead, Ian Schubert, Noel Cleal, Ron Gibbs and Jack Elsegood.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary had stints at each club while current Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves started his NRL career at Manly.

NRL.com takes a look back at some of the best matches between the two clubs in the countdown to Friday night's semi-final in Mackay.

Returning Radley revamps Roosters

Top 10 clashes - Sea Eagles v Roosters

Round 18, 1952 – Roosters end Manly's dominant win-streak early

The head-to-head battle between the Manly and Eastern Suburbs appeared all one way between 1949-1952 with the Sea Eagles enjoyed a seven-game winning streak - the equal longest in club history. 

Only once more, between 1969-1971, have Manly enjoyed a three-year dominance against their rivals the same way.

The Roosters didn't make the finals in 1952 but came up with a 20-19 upset win late in the season with tries to Billy Reinhold and Ken Sawyer leading to the result.

Reg Beath kicked seven goals, many of which were in the first half, to set up a 16-7 lead at the break.

A strong second half from Manly almost got them out of trouble but the Tricolours did enough late to secure their final win of the year.

The 1972 Manly side that claimed the club's maiden grand final with a 19-14 win over Eastern Suburbs.
The 1972 Manly side that claimed the club's maiden grand final with a 19-14 win over Eastern Suburbs.

Grand final, 1972 – Manly's first premiership win

The Sea Eagles and Roosters finished first and second on the ladder respectively in 1972 but leading into the finals both sides shared one win each in the regular season. 

The clubs met in the first week of September in a major semi-final where the Sea Eagles thumped the Roosters 32-8. 

A fortnight later they backed up their performance to beat the Roosters in the grand final to win their first premiership. 

Ray Branighan scored a try and kicked six goals in the 19-14 in front of over 50,000 spectators at Sydney Cricket Ground.

Preliminary final, 1975 - Roosters fend off Manly to reach grand final 

Eastern Suburbs and Manly were the two best teams in the competition in 1975 but were both on the end of upset losses to St George in their first finals clashes to set up a preliminary final clash.

Roosters Immortal Arthur Beetson takes on Manly in 1975 as Terry Randall and Max Krilich look on.
Roosters Immortal Arthur Beetson takes on Manly in 1975 as Terry Randall and Max Krilich look on. ©Sydney Morning Herald

The Roosters, who had their 19-game winning streak end, responded in fashion to thump Manly 28-13 and advance to the grand final.

They made amends for their loss to St George a fortnight early to go on and win the premiership 38-0. 

Major semi-final, 1987 - 'They were sore for days afterwards'

Labelled one of the toughest matches between both clubs, the Sea Eagles went into the 1987 major semi-final as minor premiers but were heavily challenged by an Eastern Suburbs outfit.

The 1987 Sea Eagles who beat the Roosters in the playoffs before toppling Canberra in the grand final.
The 1987 Sea Eagles who beat the Roosters in the playoffs before toppling Canberra in the grand final.

Tries to David Ronson and David French set up the grandstand finish before a couple of penalty goals to Michael O'Connor proved the difference for the Sea Eagles at 10-6.

Players reportedly felt the brutal match for days afterwards. The Roosters never recovered the following week, beaten by Canberra, while the Sea Eagles took out their first title in nine years after they were boosted by a week's break.

Round 16, 1995 - Roosters end big winning streak

Manly were on a dominant 15-game winning run and expected to beat an 11th-placed Roosters side looking to save its season at Brookvale Oval.

A double to Peter Jorgensen got the Roosters home in a boilover but it wasn't without its controversy with Phil Gould threatening to take his team from the field as he sensed the Sea Eagles were mounting a comeback.

Phil Gould during his stint as Roosters coach in the late 1990s with chairman Nick Politis.
Phil Gould during his stint as Roosters coach in the late 1990s with chairman Nick Politis. ©NRL Photos

The Roosters' captain that day, Sean Garlick, couldn't believe what he was hearing as Gould beckoned for the team to walk from the field.

He later recalled in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald in 2002 that he would have perhaps followed the coach's instructions if they weren't in front on the scoreboard.

"The call came out for me to lead the players off. We were in front! That was the amazing thing, we were in front and there was something like five minutes to go," he said.

Preliminary final, 1997 – Craig Field boots Sea Eagles into decider

Most rugby league diehards can recall the 1997 grand final but a week earlier the Sea Eagles had their own success when Craig Field landed a 77th-minute field goal against the Roosters to break a 16-16 deadlock.

Coached by Gould, the Tricolours took a 6-4 lead into the break through a Jack Elsegood try before Manly hit the front via Steve Menzies and Craig Innes.

Craig Field's boot got Manly home against the Roosters in 1997.
Craig Field's boot got Manly home against the Roosters in 1997. ©NRL Photos

A second to Elsegood bridged the gap before Ivan Cleary tied up the game by converting a Scott Gourley four-pointer.

It wasn't enough though as Field's attempt from 20 metres out got the Sea Eagles into the decider.

Round 13, 2005 - Manly rediscover their identity

The Roosters were coming off back-to-back premiership defeats and faced a Manly outfit searching for their identity again after two seasons at the bottom of the table following the split from their failed merger with North Sydney in 2002.

Manly trailed 14-6 at the break but clicked in the second half to take a four-point advantage into the final stages of the game.

Sam Harris tries to get a pass away from Amos Roberts.
Sam Harris tries to get a pass away from Amos Roberts. ©NRL Photos

Roosters centre Ryan Cross appeared to have scored a try with two minutes left before former referee Tim Mander ruled the final pass from Amos Roberts forward.

The result proved crucial in the end with the Sea Eagles reaching the finals in eighth, two competition points ahead of the Roosters, who missed the finals for the first time in a decade.

2013 – Finals week 1 - 4-0 scoreline – Roosters through to prelim

The Tricolours edged South Sydney to win the minor premiership and set up a date with the fourth-placed Sea Eagles at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is congratulated by Sonny Bill Williams after scoring what turned out to be the only points of the qualifying final against Manly.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is congratulated by Sonny Bill Williams after scoring what turned out to be the only points of the qualifying final against Manly. ©NRL Photos

No one would've predicted a try to Roger Tuivasa-Scheck in the ninth minute would be the only points scored for the game in the 2013 qualifying final with both sides putting on an 80-minute thriller.

The Bondi brick wall stood tall to deny the Sea Eagles three tries throughout the contest as the Roosters held on to advance to the preliminary final.

Extended Highlights: Roosters v Sea Eagles

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Grand Final, 2013 - Roosters come from behind to claim title

After meeting three weeks earlier in the qualifying final, both sides returned to the big stage with the Roosters looking for their first title in a decade and the Sea Eagles aiming for three from three since 2008.

Two tries after half-time set up an 18-8 lead for the Sea Eagles before an Aidan Guerra try was quickly backed up with Shaun Kenny-Dowall crossing to swing the momentum the Roosters' way.

The comeback was complete when Michael Jennings touched down within centimetres of the dead-ball line to help give Trent Robinson a premiership in his first season in charge.

Dylan Walker scoots away to score.
Dylan Walker scoots away to score. ©Paul Barkley/NRL Photos

Round 2, 2017 – Walker runs away to break deadlock

After a disastrous 2016 campaign, the Roosters started the 2017 season with four wins to set up a round-five clash against a Sea Eagles outfit which had turned a corner under Trent Barrett in his second season in charge.

New recruit Dylan Walker crossed for a double – including the 78th-minute match-winner – to break a 12-12 deadlock for the Sea Eagles after both sides missed field goal opportunities in the final moments.