The Sydney Roosters have been defeated by the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 42-6 in a tough contest at BB Print Stadium in Mackay, with the 2021 season now complete following a courageous effort.
Trent Robinson's men fought hard through the humid conditions, which heavily contributed to a high error rate between the two sides, but were unable to gain any momentum in a frustrating contest.
The match marked the final match of the career of Josh Morris, who played 37 of his 325 matches for the Club, while Premiership winner Isaac Liu was farewelled after 202 games in the Red, White and Blue since debuting in 2013.
Behind a raucous crowd in Mackay, the Roosters received the ball from the kick-off, punching through the middle of the field, however, the eagerness from the side resulted in a high tackle giving their opponents early territory.
A pair of set restarts saw the Tricolours with an early challenge on the line - and despite a powerful hit from Ben Marschke forcing an error from front rower Josh Aloiai right before the posts, a dubious call for a late shot earned Manly a penalty, who later scored to take a 6-nil lead.
Ill-discipline continued to cripple the side as the ensuing kick-off landed out on the full, giving the Sea Eagles a start 25 metres from the try line, but the defensive pressure held on and forced an error from their opponents.
Match: Sea Eagles v Roosters
Finals Week 2 -
Venue: BB Print Stadium, Mackay
Looking to swing back momentum, Easts gained ascendency through the middle of the field as the likes of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Angus Crichton and Victor Radley made inroads, but another error soon after led to a try to Kieran Foran, extending the deficit to 12.
The humid conditions continued to trouble the Red, White and Blue with more dropped ball as their opponents capitalised with another try in a tough opening quarter of the match.
Not to be deterred by the scoreline, the James Tedesco-led Roosters continued to challenge their opponents in defence and surge through in attack, and their resilience was rewarded as a right-side shift resulted in Matt Ikuvalu somersaulting over the line.
A well-executed tackle from Waerea-Hargreaves stopped a charging Tom Trbojevic, and a similar effort saw Tedesco dive over the tryline to get back into the field of play after a kick threatened a line drop out - but unfortunately, Manly would cross through yet another error.
The final five minutes of the first half gave hope for the Red, White and Blue faithful with the injection of Sam Walker onto the field, and as the half-time hooter sounded in the background, a successful Captain's Challenge saw Adam Keighran close the deficit to 6-24 at the break.
Tedesco the Creator for Ikuvalu
With their season on the line and with 40 minutes left to progress further into the finals series, the Roosters threatened the defensive line with expansive play in the early stages of the second half, but the bounce of the ball led to the Sea Eagles crossing twice in quick succession off the back of another error.
Despite the scoreline, Easts continued to display effort upon effort firstly by sending winger Reuben Garrick into touch with a team effort, before the Bondi Wall held off Jake Trbojevic and Aloiai inches from the line.
Just as they have done all season, the Roosters fought for one another until the final whistle with their season concluding in defeat.
The Sydney Roosters would like to thank our loyal Members and supporters for cheering on the Red, White and Blue each week through a turbulent season both on and off the field, and look forward to representing you in 2022.
Sydney Roosters 6 (Matt Ikuvalu tries; Adam Keighran penalty goal) def by Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 42 (Tom Trbojevic 2, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Morgan Harper, Dylan Walker, Jason Saab tries; Reuben Garrick 7 goals)
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