A full strength Roosters repelled a physical challenge from an undermanned Manly side to come away with a 20-10 win at 4 Pines Park on Thursday night.
The Roosters' flyers were at their best with Joey Manu chalking up a try and 188 run metres on his return from injury and Daniel Tupou also crossing the line and carrying the ball for 203 metres.
An early dangerous tackle by Alfred Smalley on debut proved costly for the hosts as the Roosters opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a penalty goal.
Four minutes later the Roosters extended their lead when winger Daniel Tupou finished off some slick hands from Victor Radley, Luke Keary and Sam Walker to extend the lead to 8-0.
Tupou opens them up
Roosters skipper James Tedesco put his stamp on the match in the 20th minute when he manufactured an astute kick which was finished off by Nat Butcher for a 12-0 lead.
The Roosters then suffered a blow with prop Lindsay Collins' end finishing early after another head knock in his return match from his concussion in Origin Three.
Manly gave their home crowd something to cheer about in the 26th minute when Cherry-Evans delivered a superb pass to second-rower Andrew Davey to score his third NRL try.
But it was short lived success for Manly when the visitors hit back two minutes later with a Roosters right side raid finished off by Manu.
Manu hits back in style
The Sea Eagles came out with plenty of intent in the second half but a penalty against Kurt de Luis for a strip gave Walker a shot from right in front and he converted for 20-6.
Manly continued to pressure the Roosters and a Cherry-Evans solo performance in the goal line gave the home fans hope but replays showed he failed to ground the ball and denied hopes of a miracle comeback.
Smalley crossed in the 77th minute to ensure his debut would be one to remember but that was as close as a brave Manly side would get, the Roosters chalking up their third consecutive win.
- In his first game back from concussion, Roosters prop Lindsay Collins left the field in the 26th minute for a HIA which he failed.
- Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was placed on report in the 62nd minute for dangerous contact on debutant Zac Fulton.
- Roosters forward Egan Butcher was also placed on report in the last minute of the game for a high tackle on James Segeyaro.
- Roosters hooker Sam Verrills got through a mountain of work in defence for the Roosters with 46 tackles.
- The Roosters have won six of their past eight games against the Sea Eagles.
- Jake Trbojevic stood up in an inexperienced Manly side, topping the charts in both tackles (36) and run metres (147).
- Roosters winger Daniel Tupou has scored seven tries in his past five games at Brookvale.
Play of the Game
The magic of Roosters skipper James Tedesco was on show in the 20th minute when he produced an unorthodox left foot stab which sliced through Manly's defence to bounce up perfectly for second-rower Nat Butcher. The superb kick-chase pushed the Roosters lead out 12-0 and silenced the 4 pines crowd for the first half.
Butcher slices through
What They Said
"I felt like we were threatening to open it up at lots of stages but we lost complete directions of ourselves. We just didn't collectively do it play after play, set after set to break them open. You could see there were opportunities for the guys to play. End of sets they were a lot better than we were. We cared about the play, not the next five minutes. There's lessons in every game [but] you celebrate your wins and take your lessons for next week." - Roosters coach Trent Robinson
Roosters: Round 20
"It was full of effort and I thought they stepped up and really had a real dig. Given the lead in and change up with side, four debutants and people coming back from COVID it was a pretty brave effort. We could've done a few things better but with a short turnaround we'll fix it up. We've got a bit of work to do [as a club] but as long as we're all sympathetic we'll get through it. It's been an emotional week in all different aspects." - Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler
Sea Eagles: Round 20
The Roosters host the Broncos at Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday and Manly are set to host the Eels on Friday. Both matches will have a big bearing on the final race for the top-eight.