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Inspired by a couple of acts of brilliance from centre Joey Manu, the Roosters got off to a winning start in 2024 by getting past the Broncos 20-10 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday. 

In front of a boisterous crowd of 40,746 – in the second act of the NRL's historic double-header – the Roosters claimed their first Round 1 win since 2021 on the back of some huge plays from their star centre, who only arrived in the US days before kick-off due to the birth of his first child in Australia. 

After picking off Ezra Mam's wayward pass to score the opening try, Manu set another up early in the second half with an incredible flick pass and by full-time had 10 tackle breaks and 158 metres to his name. 

Joseph Manu Try

Captain James Tedesco was inspirational as well, averaging over 10 metres across 19 carries of the ball, while Victor Radley and Lindsay Collins had a commanding presence in the middle. 

The Broncos were hurt badly by the early loss of back-rower Brendan Piakura to a failed HIA, which meant Patrick Carrigan had to move to the edge as cover, and struggled to break down a well organised Tricolours defence.  

In contrast to the earlier game which saw end-to-end action, the first half was a tense affair with limited opportunities outside of Mam gifting the Roosters first points with his mistake. 

A Sam Walker penalty stretched the lead to eight, but after weathering the storm for much of the first half the Broncos got their reward right on the break when Deine Mariner won the race to a Reece Walsh grubber. 

Deine Mariner Try

Walker kicked a field goal to add a point just before the half-time siren, but a shrewd captain's challenge from the Broncos saw it overturned and the scoreboard remain 8-4. 

Twelve minutes into the second stanza it was Manu's time to shine again, as he came up with his mesmerising no-look flick pass to put Junior Pauga over.

That made it a 10-point game, but for a matter of only minutes, before Walsh started a left-side shift that ended in him popping up in support to score and cut the gap to four once again. 

But Victor Radley's try eight minutes from time killed off any thought of a dramatic comeback, with the Roosters holding on for a memorable victory. 

Match Snapshot 

  • The Roosters made four line breaks to the Broncos' one and broke through 43 tackles in the win. 
  • Roosters skipper James Tedesco contributed 204 run metres from 19 carries. 

Tedesco happy to build on tough win

  • Broncos back-rower Brendan Piakura's game lasted only four minutes before he left the field for a HIA which he failed. 
  • The Tricolours have now won six of their past eight games against the Broncos.
  • Spencer Leniu was placed on report late in the second half of his club debut for the Roosters.

Play of the Game

With a whole new audience tuning in to watch either at Allegiant Stadium or on TV, Joey Manu came up with a play that will belong on his career highlight reel. A stunning piece of individual skill, seemingly achieved without actually looking at his winger while he did it. 

Junior Pauga Try

What They Said

"It was tough, we were clunky all night. Our defence was good I thought but in attack we just didn't execute what we came here to do which is disappointing. To the Roosters credit they were better than us tonight and they got the result they deserve. Before I left home they said it's always hard to win in Vegas and they're not wrong." – Broncos coach Kevin Walters

Broncos: Round 1

"I thought we defended really well. I thought we continued to move and tackle well and we carried the ball well and chanced our arm at different things. Some of it didn't come off but enough of it did for us to get our points. Joey Manu was here to play tonight and I think we all love that we could put that skill on show, and Joey's one of that top percent guys that can pull it off and it was a nice play to do it." – Roosters coach Trent Robinson

Roosters v Broncos - Round 1, 2024

What's Next

The Roosters now have a full fortnight until they are in action again as the second to last game in Round 2, when they are away to the Roosters. That should be enough time for both Billy Smith (hamstring) and Dom Young (neck) to return to the selection frame. The Broncos meanwhile open Round 2 against the Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium off an 11-day turnaround, which could mean Piakura (head knock) is available pending further tests. 

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.