The Sydney Roosters fought bravely but went down 24-16 in a typically tough game against Manly at Brookvale Oval.
After falling behind early the Tricolours did well to gain control of the match and eventually take the lead but a host of errors in attack eventually cost the visitors.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Frank-Paul Nuuausala were the standouts in a match that could have gone either way up until the death.
Late call up, Heath L'Estrange was solid for the visitors making his return to the club after an extended leave via Manly and England.
It was Manly who got off to a flying start, registering two tries in quick succession, both identical fast paced back line movements on either side of the field.
The Tricolours looked to have hit back through Tupou only for the winger ruled to have put a foot in touch in the act of scoring.
As the half progressed the defending premiers started to dominate and eventually took the lead after two great solo efforts.
First it was Kenny-Dowall who easily stepped past former New Zealand teammate Matai to register the visitors first before a familiar combination laid on the second.
Mitchell Pearce found a returning Boyd Cordner, the test back rower running his now customary brilliant line to hand the Tricolours the lead.
A late forty twenty which was terribly misread by the visitors gifted Manly field possession and a late penalty to level the scores at the break.
It was all the Roosters at the start of the second but they couldn't turn that dominance in to points, something Manly did.
A sneaky inside pass to a flying Brett Stewart out the home side in front by six.
The Tricolours were then back in the game with ten minutes to play.
Nuuausala who had been brilliant all night, burst through the line with another aggressive run to set up Pearce who out sprinted Stewart at the back to put the Roosters within two.
The Tricolours pushed for the winner but leaked a try late in the match when a tired edge defence allowed Hiku to burst through and win the game.