The season began with these two sides facing off at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Round 1, and Friday night will signal the end for one as we take on the Sea Eagles in an elimination final in what promises to be an absolute blockbuster in Mackay.
Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
The Roosters and Sea Eagles meet for the 146th time since 1947 - the year Manly Warringah entered the competition - with the Roosters winning 53 contests with two drawn.
Friday night will mark the first finals match between the two clubs since the 2013 Grand Final, which saw the Sydney Roosters claim a 26-18 victory to capture the Club's 13th Premiership.
The match will also mark the first meeting between the Roosters and Sea Eagles since Round 1, where the Tricolours made history with their biggest opening-round win since 1908 in the 46-4 win.
Easts have won four of the last five contests, while the last ten matches have been split evenly with five wins apiece.
How They Line Up
Trent Robinson's line up will take a similar shape to the one that defeated the Gold Coast Titans in week one of the finals, with two notable changes.
Captain James Tedesco will once again lead the side at fullback, joined by 200-gamer Daniel Tupou, veteran Josh Morris, sharpshooting goal kicker Adam Keighran and try-scoring winger Matt Ikuvalu in the backline.
Drew Hutchison and Lachlan Lam continue their combination in the halves, while Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Isaac Liu line up in the front row.
Hooker Sam Verrills will serve a two-match suspension after unsuccessfully downgrading a Grade Two Careless High Tackle charge at the NRL Judiciary, with Ben Marschke taking his spot in the starting side.
The forward pack rounds off with Angus Crichton and Sitili Tupouniua in the second row, while Victor Radley locks up the scrum in the no.13 jersey.
Fullback for Sea Eagles is number 1 Tom TrbojevicFullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
Winger for Sea Eagles is number 2 Jason SaabWinger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
Centre for Sea Eagles is number 3 Brad ParkerCentre for Roosters is number 3 Josh Morris
Centre for Sea Eagles is number 4 Morgan HarperCentre for Roosters is number 4 Adam Keighran
Winger for Sea Eagles is number 5 Reuben GarrickWinger for Roosters is number 5 Matt Ikuvalu
Five-Eighth for Sea Eagles is number 6 Kieran ForanFive-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Lachlan Lam
Halfback for Sea Eagles is number 7 Daly Cherry-EvansHalfback for Roosters is number 7 Drew Hutchison
Prop for Sea Eagles is number 8 Josh AloiaiProp for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Hooker for Sea Eagles is number 9 Lachlan CrokerHooker for Roosters is number 20 Ben Marschke
Prop for Sea Eagles is number 16 Sean KeppieProp for Roosters is number 10 Isaac Liu
2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 11 Haumole Olakau'atu2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 12 Josh Schuster2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
Lock for Sea Eagles is number 13 Jake TrbojevicLock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 10 Martin TaupauInterchange for Roosters is number 14 Sam Walker
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 14 Dylan WalkerInterchange for Roosters is number 15 Nat Butcher
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 15 Karl LawtonInterchange for Roosters is number 16 Egan Butcher
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 17 Taniela PasekaInterchange for Roosters is number 17 Fletcher Baker
Reserve for Sea Eagles is number 19 Moses SuliReserve for Roosters is number 18 Dale Copley
- Referee: Gerard Sutton
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Todd Smith
- Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein
Sam Walker, the returning Nat Butcher, Egan Butcher and Fletcher Baker make up the interchange bench, while the extended bench comprises of Dale Copley and Naufahu Whyte 24 hours prior.
The Sea Eagles will welcome back hooker Lachlan Croker, who missed the Qualifying Final through injury,
Manly's noted danger men in Tom Trbojevic, Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran will have plenty of support across the field, with the likes of Martin Taupau, Jake Trbojevic, Jason Saab and Reuben Garrick playing pivotal roles through their season.
Key Match Up: James Tedesco vs Tom Trbojevic
Normally we like to keep things fresh and interesting when it comes to key match ups, but this one was all too good to pass up.
Two of the most dominant fullbacks in the last few seasons of the competition will clash this Friday night, which is the match up everybody will be looking at come kick-off.
Trbojevic has had a season to remember and leads a number of statistics in the competition, guiding the Sea Eagles to a top-four finish, while Tedesco's new captaincy role has propelled him to greater heights as a leader and talisman for the side.
Tedesco has played more matches and leads his opponent in tackle breaks and running metres, while Trbojevic has supplied more tries and slightly edges out in tackle efficiency.
The NSW Blues teammates combined to take the State of Origin shield home this year with record-breaking performances, and come Friday night they will be doing their best to send one another home in a sudden-death final.
What They Said
“We continue to talk about the 80-minute performance, and we’re still searching for a total game” - Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Everything will be on the line this Friday night, and you can guarantee that both sides will be throwing everything including the kitchen sink at one another in what is set to be an absolute blockbuster in Mackay as the Roosters look to continue their Premiership aspirations.
Tickets for the match have been sold out; those attending can get all the information they need here in the Game Plan, while those watching from home can do so on Channel Nine and Fox League (channel 502 on Foxtel), or streamed through Kayo.