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The Roosters Crow: SCG Showdown with the Sea Eagles

It's a Round 1 blockbuster against the Sea Eagles this Saturday arvo, and both sides will be determined to make their first match of 2021 a victory at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground.

Recent History: Roosters vs Sea Eagles

This Saturday will be the 146th meeting between the Tricolours and silvertails and the first since 1987 that the sides go head-to-head on the hallowed SCG turf.

While Manly got away with a close 9-8 victory in our only meeting during the turbulent 2020 season, the mighty Roosters have won the previous three encounters, including a 56-24 thumping in Round 19, 2018.

Our recent record at the SCG should fill Roosters Members and fans with confidence as the Red, White and Blue have come out victorious on 14 of the last 18 occasions. 

With a number of important changes made to both lineups for this Round 1 clash, recent history will have very little to do with the outcome on Saturday afternoon.

How They Line Up

The Roosters will boast a star-studded backline headed by James Tedesco, while the exciting new combination between Lachlan Lam and Luke Keary in the halves will be on show for the first time.

The most notable move comes as Queensland representative forward Lindsay Collins earns a starting berth, while Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Angus Crichton and Jake Friend compliment a strong forward pack. 

A versatile and powerful bench in Adam Keighran, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Nat Butcher and Daniel Suluka-Fifita rounds off a solid Roosters line up. 

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
    Fullback for Sea Eagles is number 1 Dylan Walker
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
    Winger for Sea Eagles is number 2 Jason Saab
  • Centre for Roosters is number 3 Josh Morris
    Centre for Sea Eagles is number 3 Brad Parker
  • Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
    Centre for Sea Eagles is number 4 Moses Suli
  • Winger for Roosters is number 5 Brett Morris
    Winger for Sea Eagles is number 5 Reuben Garrick
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Lachlan Lam
    Five-Eighth for Sea Eagles is number 6 Kieran Foran
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke Keary
    Halfback for Sea Eagles is number 7 Daly Cherry-Evans


  • Prop for Roosters is number 8 Lindsay Collins
    Prop for Sea Eagles is number 8 Josh Aloiai
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Jake Friend
    Hooker for Sea Eagles is number 9 Lachlan Croker
  • Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
    Prop for Sea Eagles is number 10 Martin Taupau
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
    2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 11 Jack Gosiewski
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
    2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 12 Curtis Sironen
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Isaac Liu
    Lock for Sea Eagles is number 13 Jake Trbojevic


  • Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Adam Keighran
    Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 14 Tevita Funa
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
    Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 15 Andrew Davey
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Nat Butcher
    Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 16 Morgan Boyle
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Daniel Suluka-Fifita
    Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 17 Taniela Paseka

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Matt Noyen
  • Touch Judge: Nick Beashel
  • Senior Review Official: Chris Butler

Last updated:

The biggest news for the Sea Eagles comes in the absence of fullback Tom Trbojevic, with Dylan Walker taking the mantle as custodian. 

Manly's young backline is compounded by experienced halves Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans, while their forward pack features representative players in Martin Taupau, Josh Aloiai and Jake Trbojevic. 

With plenty of big names on show, it's bound to be a competitive and entertaining 80 minutes to kick-start the season.

Key Matchup: Luke Keary vs Daly Cherry-Evans 

Despite there being are a number of enticing match-ups across the park, it's hard to go past the battle between Luke Keary and Daly Cherry-Evans. 

Keary moves to the no.7 jersey on a full-time basis next to Lachlan Lam at five-eighth, while Cherry-Evans will be reunited with his former partner in crime Kieran Foran. 

Individually, both had strong seasons in 2020, with Keary edging his rival in tries scored (10 to 6) and Forced Drop Outs (18 to 11), while DCE was a nose ahead in Try Assists (20 to 18) and Linebreak Assists (17 to 13). 

With a victory on the line, there will be plenty of eyes on the playmakers come 5:30pm on Saturday to see who comes on top. 

What Our Boys Said

Fronting the media for the first time in 2021, the likes of Josh Morris, James Tedesco and Angus Crichton had plenty of insight to share ahead of the clash.

Morris - who previously played under Manly coach Des Hasler at Canterbury - expected the Round 1 clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground to be a blockbuster between the two rivals. 

“You never know what you’re going to get with a Dessie coached football side,” he said.

“One thing about Dessie is that he loves being the underdog. They’ve got some quality players there – they’ve got DCE and Kieran (Foran) - and I think the whole side lifts when Tommy (Tom Trbojevic) is out as well.

Round 1 Media

“I don’t think their trial form is an indication of where they’ll be at. They’ve got some great players and I think it’ll be an interesting one."

Tedesco echoed his teammate's words, saying: “It’s a Round 1 battle, anything can happen, we haven’t really focused too much on them so far, it’s more about us and getting our best footy out on the weekend.

“We’ll be ready for a dog fight. It should be good and we’re excited.”

Wide-running backrower Crichton expressed his excitement for the clash, particularly with a new season dawning. 

“I’ve trained really hard this pre-season and off-season and all the boys are looking in shape. The coaches are in good stead and everyone’s got a really clear focus and we’re in for a big year," he said. 

“Manly are always a good side and playing at the SCG - it’s always iconic. You don’t have to look too far to see they’ve got some quality players in their side, so I’m looking forward to playing against them."

Your Verdict

The Red, White and Blue will be primed to start their 2021 campaign with a victory, while Manly are always a danger, even with injuries playing their part, it's up to you to decide how the match will finish in our poll below. 

Make sure you purchase your tickets and head on down to the SCG this Saturday to cheer on the mighty Roosters!