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Five Key Points: Round 18

The Sydney Roosters visited 4 Pines Park in Round 18 to take on the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.

Robinson & Tedesco: Round 18 Press Conference

Easts Strike First

The opening 20 minutes of the match presented an end-to-end, fast-paced contest which featured a would-be try to the visitors being disallowed by the bunker.

The Tricolours were then tasked with defending several sets in quick succession close to their line. They were able to turn the home side away with a series of courageous last-ditch efforts.

After 22 minutes of play, Trent Robinson’s men were able to break the deadlock through a slick play out the back on the second tackle, with Joseph Manu delivering a perfect flick pass to Junior Pauga who went over untouched.

Manu Flick Sets Up Pauga

Wong Becomes Rooster #1219

Siua Wong’s highly anticipated NRL debut came to fruition when he took the field after 30 minutes, becoming the first player to progress through the Sydney Roosters Academy and play first grade.

He was met with heavy contact from Manly enforcers Josh Aloiai and Haumole Olakau’atu on his first touch, but the debutant didn’t let it faze him.

In a strong 26-minute stint, Wong delivered 52 run metres from 5 runs, committing zero errors and making 17 tackles.

Defence Keeps Roosters in Contest

In a nail-bitingly close encounter, it was the men from Bondi’s defence that kept them fighting right until the end.

Manly began applying pressure to Easts’ defence 10 minutes into the game when they received a scrum and back-to-back six again calls inside the Roosters’ half.

Desperate Defence from the Roosters

The visitors produced two consecutive try saving efforts when the Captain Tedesco brought Josh Schuster down just short of the line, before he sprinted across to help Nat Butcher save yet another try on the next play by halting a barnstorming Olakau’atu.

Young speedster Tolutau Koula broke through the defensive line with his side trailing by four in the final 13 minutes, but veteran winger Daniel Tupou managed to bring him down with a diving tackle as Cherry-Evans loomed on Koula’s inside looking to find the winning try.

Milestone Man Manu

In his 150th NRL match, superstar centre Joseph Manu had yet another stellar performance, particularly in attack, where he proved to be a handful for defenders.

He had a direct involvement in two of his team’s tries with a four-pointer to himself and an assist for Pauga, as well as an impressive 13 tackle breaks and 129 run metres.

A Milestone Try for Manu

On the defensive end, he came up with a potentially try-saving play in the 18th minute by knocking down a pass from Kelma Tuilagi to Reuben Garrick, with Manly having an overlap on the outside.

Vehement Visitors Put on Strong Display

Despite suffering a narrow defeat in the end, the Red, White, and Blue pieced together a satisfactory effort from all 17 players.

Time and time again they showed up in defence, turning their opponents away when they had multiple sets on their line and playing hard through the middle of the park, keeping the home side to an average set distance of just 37 metres compared to their 50 metres.

The Tricolours’ attack was flowing smooth, hence they were able to take Manly all the way to the full-time siren, falling short by just two points despite only having a 43% share of possession.

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.