Roosters blitz Manly in the NYC
The Roosters have bounced back from a difficult fortnight to thrash the Sea Eagles 66-14 at Allianz Stadium on Friday afternoon.
Back-to-back losses had left their premiership defence looking shaky, but the Tricolours responded in style in what was easily their best performance of the season.
Both teams dropped selection bombshells with Taniela Paseka making his Sea Eagles debut after being granted a release by the Wests Tigers earlier in the week, while the Roosters included inspirational lock forward Nat Butcher in his first game back from a shoulder injury.
It didn't take long for the Sea Eagles to get on the board with late-inclusion Tom Wright burning the opposition with sheer speed to cross in the left corner.
The Roosters' right-edge defence was caught out again from the very next set when back-rower Josh Martin raced into a hole from his own side of halfway before finding Brad Parker in support to give his side an 8-0 lead after 10 minutes.
They might have been struggling in defence but the Roosters' right-side showed no such problems with ball in hand as Butcher played short to send skipper Reuben Porter over for a much-needed try.
What happened next is why coaches lose their hair before the average person as Sea Eagles fullback Tom Wright collected a ball in-goal and inexplicably grubbered it into a teammate on the zero tackle allowing Luke Chalker to score the strangest try you will ever see.
The Roosters' slow start was quickly forgotten as Lachlan Lam danced his way over from close range before Jesse Marschke found Porter with a strange but effective kick to send Jarred Anderson over untouched.
Interchange forward Ben Thomas then barged over from a metre out to make it 26-8 for the hosts but Sea Eagles five-eighth Cade Cust pegged one back with a cleverly taken quick tap to make it a 12-point margin at the break.
Manly needed to be the first team to score if they wanted to get back into the contest but it was the Roosters who struck first after the break as Butcher backed up an offload from close range to celebrate his return to footy with a try.
However, the joy was short-lived with Butcher helped from the field after appearing to aggravate his shoulder injury in the tackle.
The Roosters showed they are more than just a one man team with Victor Radley racing onto a Jesse Marschke deft grubber to make it 38-14 after 55 minutes.
Manly's day went from bad to worse when Keith Titmuss was sent to the sin for a professional foul for failing to release Lam who had broken into the backfield before Radley strolled over for his second shortly after.
The best was yet to come for the home side as some lightning quick hands down the left edge sent Kiah Cooper in for the Roosters' ninth try of the afternoon before Porter scooped up a dropped bomb to bring up the half-century.
The scoring was far from done as winger Kenneth Koro crossed off a lovely ball from Adam Pompey before Anderson crashed through for his second of the day to get the defending premiers' season back on track.
Roosters 66 (Victor Radley 2, Reuben Porter 2, Jarred Anderson 2, Luke Chalker, Lachlan Lam, Ben Thomas, Nat Butcher, Kiah Cooper, Kenneth Koro tries; Jesse Marschke 9 goals) def. Sea Eagles 14 (Tom Wright, Brad Parker, Cade Cust tries; Jade Anderson 1 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: 26-14