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Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic.

A rare off night from Tom Trbojevic gave the scribes something to scribble about for the past week, but his and Manly's 64-point turnaround as the maroon and whites marched to a preliminary showdown with South Sydney.

Melbourne's equal parts dissection/demolition of Manly last week was on Friday turned upon the Roosters in a brutal 42-6 carve-up.

The Tricolours gallant season ends in unbefitting fashion.

The Sea Eagles' 36-point winning margin though, just seven days after a 28-point thrashing, has now made for the largest finals turnaround in rugby league history.

In March this Manly outfit was tipped for the wooden spoon as an 0-4 start piled pressure on players and Des Hasler alike.

They have now pinched the biggest finals turnaround record from Wayne Bennett as he looms in the opposite coach's box next week - surpassing the 60-point swing his Broncos engineered in 2006 en route to the title.

Trbojevic's U-turn on the rare Storm shutdown he found himself caught in proved equally stark.

So much so that after two tries, three line breaks, 10 tackle busts and 196 running metres, Hasler put him on ice for the final 15 minutes.

True to form, Trbojevic wasn't happy about it.

Happily for Hasler, captain Daly Cherry-Evans matched him for influence against the Roosters in Mackay, the pair thick as thieves as Manly rattled up an 18-0 advantage in as many minutes.

With a trio of errors and penalties each in that same period, the Roosters as much as their opposition ensured their downfall.

Turbo crashes over for his second from fast ball

Hasler's hair post-game looked like he had endured a much rougher night than the scoreboard suggests, his short and sharp press conference heavy on praise already for the Rabbitohs.

"We just did the simple things tonight," he said.

"I think we just held on to the ball. We completed well, built pressure and played with good physicality. We're going to need that against a good Souths side next week.

"They're a good side Souths, [they've] got lots of attack and I think their forwards have been very underrated so it'll be a tough go."

For all the pre-game hype and hoopla, the mano a mano stoush between Trbojevic and James Tedesco was decided by 32 others.

Even if Trbojevic did it seemingly all himself to start, needing just five minutes and half a step on Adam Keighran's outside to strike.

Another five minutes and a pair of popped passes by he and brother Jake sent Kieran Foran over, Cherry-Evans joining him with a simple stroll through a ragged defence soon after.

DCE continues the powerful start for Manly

A sorely needed Roosters hit back came via Matt Ikuvalu. Cherry-Evans ensured there would be no revival though, his sublime shortside run after half an hour sending Morgan Harper on his way.

A 24-6 halftime advantage was soon blown out again when Trbojevic barged over from short-range and went further still as Dylan Walker did the same from further out.

Brutal defence from the likes of Haumole Olakau'atu spoke to Manly's emphatic dominance.

Walker through the middle and sells Tedesco a dummy

Desperate try-saving efforts from Tedesco did likewise to his and the Roosters commitment, never wavering even after such an underwhelming finish to such an overreaching campaign.

With more than $6 million of their salary cap sidelined for much of the year the Roosters still kept swinging, and didn't deserve to go down like this.

Nor did retiring champion Josh Morris, who after 325 games walked off the paddock without a premiership, but to fitting acknowledgement from both teams as one of the game’s best over the past 15 years.

Manly meanwhile march on, a rare piece of finals history now theirs.

Given they count the likes of Trbojevic and Cherry-Evans in their keeping as well, the turnaround is by no means done yet.

Press Conference: Sea Eagles v Roosters - Finals Week 2, 2021

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