Match Preview: MAN v SYD

The new-look Sydney Roosters will face the biggest challenge of their season so far when they travel to Brookvale Oval on Monday night to face fellow top four side, Manly in the final match of Round 9.


With both sides sitting on six wins each after the opening eight games of the year, the boys from Bondi will be out to show that they truly are contenders for the 2013 title up against one of the NRLs benchmark sides.


With mouth-watering battles across the park, including that of two of the most exciting halves pairings in rugby league going head-to-head for the first time, this is a match not to be missed.


Roosters playmakers James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce have been in scintillating form so far this year, however the ultimate test comes when they face arguably the most consistent pairing in the game in the form of Kiwi five-eighth Kieran Foran and Maroon-in-waiting Daly Cherry-Evans.


The Sea Eagles duo possess the skills to break the line anywhere on the park, through their equal ability to make the right decision at almost every chance they get playing in behind of the most physical forward packs in the competition.


However this new-look Chooks outfit, under the guidance of debut coach Trent Robinson, have showed that their defence is up to almost any challenge thrown at them and the great wall of Bondi is something not as easily broken as in recent years.


Its not just their defence shining though, with Maloney leading the league in points scored and his partner in crime Pearce sitting in second position for try assists after eight rounds showing that when the chances come their way they dont shy away from converting them into points.


Brookvale Oval however posts somewhat of a different challenge to what theyve had to deal with so far this season and theres no hiding from the fact that the 18th man the crowd is something that needs to be overcome before kickoff.


The Roosters have won just 11 of their 45 matches played at the Northern Beaches venue and havent beaten the Sea Eagles since 2010, at Allianz Stadium, in the same year they last appeared in a grand final.


Not that either side will need much to be up for this match, the Sea Eagles will undoubtedly be out to help their new recruit Tom Symonds overcome his former side when the former Rooster faces the club he left in the off-season for the first time.


The Roosters will have their own motive in wanting to cement third position on the ladder, which they currently share with the Sea Eagles, but will also be out to quiet the critics suggesting they havent proven anything just yet this season after only beating one side of the six they have so far who sit with them in the Top 8.


The halves battle may be the one that decides the outcome of this match, however the individual battles across the paddock is like no other match yet this season.


Sonny Bill Williams v Anthony Watmough, Michael Jennings v Jamie Lyon, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves v Brent Kite, Boyd Cordner v Glenn Stewart and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck v Jorge Taufua, to name but a few, this as we said above is a match that any fan would be crazy to miss...


MATCH INFO:

NYC Kick Off - 4.45pm

NRL Kick Off - 7.00pm

Venue - Brookvale Oval


Follow the game LIVE on Twitter via @sydneyroosters and join the conversation on all things Roosters through #represent1908 and/or have your say through the match-hashtag #NRLMANSYD