In one of the super-charged showdowns of Round 25, the Roosters have stolen the sixth spot on the ladder from the Sea Eagles after they came from behind to score a tidy 30 – 14 win over Manly on Sunday afternoon at the Sydney Football Stadium in front of a rowdy crowd of nearly 19,000.
Sydney put an end to their three match losing streak when they found a new burst of life in the second half of Sunday’s match, fighting back after trailing at the break to beat Manly and securing a top eight finish for the season.
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The Sea Eagles were pushed down into seventh on the ladder keeping their loss, win, loss, win, loss record of the past month going after giving away the lead to lose to the Chooks.
Fans that only saw the first half of this match would be shocked to see the final result as Manly looked to have outclassed and outmuscled the Roosters early on.
A physically intimidating Sea Eagles outfit were playing leagues above their rivals in the opening 40 minutes on Sunday, but a hat-trick by Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall and a sensational performance by star halves combo Todd Carney and Mitchell Pearce pushed Sydney into the winner’s circle.
Manly were first to score just five minutes in when Michael Robertson got over and Jamie Lyon successfully converted to give the visitors a six point lead.
Then in the 22nd minute powerhouse Steve Matai got the Sea Eagle’s second converted try extending their lead to 12 points.
In a hard-hitting match there were some fiery encounters and a number of incidents were put on report including in the 38th minute when Manly were awarded a penalty after a nasty high-shot on Brent Kite from Roosters replacement forward Daniel Conn.
Lyon kicked for the two points and with just a couple of minutes to go in the first half, it looked like the Chooks would be kept scoreless.
But in the final 60 seconds a nice kick and chase try from Kenny-Dowall put them on the board.
Carney then made a brilliant sideline conversion so the score was 14 – 6 in favour of Manly heading into the break.
In a freakish first five minutes of the second half, things quickly spun around in favour of the Roosters.
Down by eight, they were awarded a rare and controversial penalty-try in the 43rd minute. Kenny-Dowall went over for his second just minutes back from the break after intercepting the ball and running 85 metres down the field.
But then the ref found Manly co-captain Jamie Lyon had landed on the tryscorer’s head as he was touching the ball down, making it a penalty try. The controversy was over the fact that Steve Matai looked to have been held back by a Tricolour down the other end of the field and tackled without the ball, preventing him from chasing Kenny-Dowall.
The incident saw Lyon put on report and proved to be the turning point for the home side.
So, after Carney made another successful kick from the side he then took another right in front to bring the two teams to a 14 all deadlock.
Having found form, the Chooks were unstoppable from there.
Three minutes after booting the four points, Carney then crossed for a try of his own. Converting his own try, Carney pushed the score in favour of the gallant home side who were now in front 20 – 14.
In the 62nd minute winger Sam Perrett kept things going the Roosters way with their fourth try of the night before Shaun Kenny-Dowall iced the cake three minutes later completing his hat-trick of tries to earn himself the man of the match honours.
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