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A rampaging first half by the Sydney Roosters set up a 26-12 defeat of Manly at the SCG on Friday night.

With halves Sam Walker and Luke Keary combining brilliantly, the Roosters piled on four first half tries to lead 22-0 at the interval but the Sea Eagles never gave up to ensure a respectable fulltime scoreline.

It was the response Roosters coach Trent Robinson was seeking after last weekend's upset loss to Newcastle but Des Hasler would have been frustrated with a first half performance that mirrored last weekend's heavy defeat by Penrith. 

Siosiua Taukeiaho (217m), Victor Radley (145m) and Sitili Tupouniua (127m) led the way for the Roosters forwards, while second-rower Nat Butcher scored two tries.

However, Radley was placed on report for a high tackle, while utility Connor Watson was forced from the field with a shoulder injury that may leave the Roosters hooking stocks stretched again.

Match snapshot

  • Roosters halfback Sam Walker set the tone for the first half when he took on the defence, beating Haumole Olakau’atu, with a stepping run near the line before putting hooker Drew Hutchison over in just the third minute
  • Winger Daniel Tupou followed just seven minutes later for the Roosters after fullback James Tedesco chimed into the backline to create an overlap on the left edge. 

Tupou finishes off a lovely backline move

  • Nat Butcher extended the Roosters lead to 16-0 in the 22nd minute after Connor Watson ran from dummy half near the tryline and held up a pass for the forward.
  • When fellow second-rower Sitili Tupouniua scored in the 31st minute after ballplaying lock Victor Radley combined with five-eighth Luke Keary, the match seemed as good as over.

Tupouniua piles on more points

  • The Sea Eagles were more disciplined in the second half and mounted pressure that eventually led to interchange forward Karl Lawton scoring from dummy half in the 55th minute after Dylan Walker was tacked just short of the try line.
  • Daly Cherry-Evans forced a goal line drop out after Roosters winger Daniel Tupou just managed to knock the ball dead before Morgan Hooper could swoop on it.

DCE has it on a string

  • Roosters lock Victor Radley was placed on report for a 60th minute high shot on Kieran Foran
  • Butcher sealed the win with his second try in the 68th minute after Roosters halves Sam Walker and Luke Keary combined to send him racing for the tryline and he stood up Tom Trbojevic to score.   

Butcher gets his second

  • The Sea Eagles scored a consolation try when Cherry-Evans gained some reward for his efforts after winning the race for a perfectly placed Foran kick five minutes before fulltime.

A late try for DCE

Play of the game

Sam Walker signalled the Roosters' intentions after last weekend's loss to Newcastle when he took on the Sea Eagles defence with a stepping, jinking run to lay on a try for Drew Hutchison in just the third minute.   

Hutchison opens the scoring

What they said

"The things we talked about during the week they improved on straight away so that is a really pleasing six day turnaround. I thought defensive pressure improved, and combinations and communication between the spine improved, and we got the result there": Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson.

Sydney Roosters

"It was the same as last week, to be honest. We are just putting ourselves in some really difficult situations against some really good opposition. Until we start to rectify a few things it is going to keep happening. I know it is going to come and I thought there were moments in that second half where there were signs of life. Our destiny is in our hands again but we have just got to make sure we don't leave it to late": Sea Eagles captain Daly Cherry-Evans.

Sea Eagles

What's next 

The Roosters take on arch rivals South Sydney at Accor Stadium on Friday night, while the Sea Eagles host the Bulldogs at 4 Pines Park on Sunday night.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson may need to find another hooker after Connor Watson was forced from the field midway through the second half with a shoulder injury.

Drew Hutchison started at dummy half before Watson replaced him after 15 minutes and the move was successful. Hooker Sam Verrills is sidelined with a broken thumb. 

Joseph Suaalii may be available for selection for the Roosters after missing the first two rounds while recovering from the foot injury that ended his 2021 season. Egan Butcher (foot) is also closing in on a return.

Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler insisted star fullback Tom Trbojevic was fully fit but his team's attack was clunky because of fatigue from having to defend and repeatedly start sets with the ball near their own tryline.




Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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