Roosters Bid For Hat-trick

Picture: Mark Evans/dailytelegraph.com.au
Sonny Bill Williams carved Souths up last weekend. Picture: Mark Evans/dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 16, 2013 – Sydney Roosters 18 d Manly Sea Eagles 12 at Allianz Stadium
Round 9, 2013 – Sydney Roosters 16 d Manly Sea Eagles 4 at Brookvale Oval
Round 16, 2012 - Manly Sea Eagles 52 d Sydney Roosters 14 at Allianz Stadium
Round 11, 2012 - Manly Sea Eagles 18 d Sydney Roosters 10 at Brookvale Oval
Round 22, 2011 - Manly Sea Eagles 36 d Sydney Roosters 8 at Brookvale Oval

Current Form

  Rd 22    Rd 23    Rd 24    Rd 25    Rd 26 
Roosters

W

W

L

L

W

Sea Eagles

W

L

W

W

L


The Roosters  and Sea Eagles  meet in the NRL’s second qualifying final on Saturday night, with a week off and passage through to the preliminary finals at stakes for the victor. Trent Robinson’s side warmed up for the finals with a 24-12 victory over Souths to secure the minor premiership last weekend, while Manly limped into the post-season with a disappointing 38-26 defeat to the Panthers in which they were far from their best.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has been ruled out for the tri-colours after copping a one week ban for his elbow to the head of Chris McQueen last week, which saw him slapped with a dangerous contact charge. Luke O’Donnell is likely to come into the starting side in place of the Kiwi international, while Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Mitch Aubusson return to action after injury ruled them out last week. Aidan Guerra and Dylan Napa were in the run on side in round 26 but drop back onto a five-man bench.

Manly rested several of its stars players for the final round of the regular season and paid the price, going down 38-26 to Penrith. Brett Stewart, Anthony Watmough and Brenton Lawrence return this week after given last weekend off, while Jorge Taufua has been recalled on the left flank after serving a two-match ban handed down by the NRL for an off-field indiscretion.


1st Tryscorer

New South Wales centre Michael Jennings  is the Roosters leading tryscorer in 2013 with 17 in 23 matches and has enjoyed particular success against the Sea Eagles. He scored three tries from two outings against his week one finals opponents and will relish the chances to lock horns with the classy pairing of Steve Matai and Jamie Lyon again.

Jorge Taufua  may not have been a good boy off the field, but he has been very good when he has lined up for the Sea Eagles this season, with 18 tries from just 22 appearances for the club. He has scored nine tries from eight matches before spending two weeks on the sidelines and will be determined to get back to his best on his return to the NRL.


Prediction

Manly had won six of the past seven meetings between these sides going into 2013 but the Roosters have won both clashes during the current campaign, conceding just two tries in 160 minutes of football. Manly has been firing on all cylinders at the back end of the season however, averaging 33 points a match in a run that saw that win eight of now outings prior to last week’s defeat to Penrith, where you have to question their commitment. The Sea Eagles haven’t lost a final against the Roosters since 1975 and can keep that record intact. Manly Sea Eagles by 6

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