NSW Cup Round 2 Match Report vs Sydney Roosters

by Ricky Newell

A valiant Manly Warringah Sea Eagles side succumbed to a 34-12 defeat to the Sydney Roosters in round two of the NSW Cup on Sunday afternoon at 4 Pines Park. 

In a game riddled with NRL-experienced players, the Roosters proved to be too strong, holding a 16-0 lead at the break as they went on to outscore the Sea Eagles six tries to two. 

The result sees them sit with one win and one loss after two rounds following their tight 24-20 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs last week. 

Roosters halfback Hugo Savala opened the scoring in the first minute after back-to-back errors from both sides following the kick-off. He converted his own try for an early six-point lead. 

A quick shift to the left edge freed up enough space for Cameron Brown to level the scores five minutes later. Unfortunately, the winger couldn’t hold onto the ball, turning over possession as the Sea Eagles pushed for their first points. 

Savala dived over for his second of the match in the 12th minute as the Roosters pushed their lead out to ten points. Alex Young and Michael Jennings combined on the left sideline, with the latter providing the final pass inside the ten-metre line to send Savala over. 

Sea Eagles winger Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega was sent to the sin-bin in the 24th minute after preventing a 60-metre try from the Roosters, with the referee ruling that he committed a professional foul in the lead-up to the play. 

Roosters five-eighth Zach Dockar-Clay scored on the cusp of half-time after a solid build-up freed up enough space to break through the line. Savala converted for a 16-point lead at the break. 

After countless chances, the Sea Eagles finally had their first points in the 46th minute through Brad Parker. The new-found second-rower took a short ball at the line from hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong and broke through the defence to reach out and score. Halfback Brandon Wakeham converted for a 16-6 scoreline. 

The Roosters continued to pile on the points as Dockar-Clay grabbed his second try of the afternoon in the 52nd minute after a good break in play from second-rower Angus Crichton. Savala converted to extend the lead to 22-6. 

Blacktown scored their second try of the match in the 64th minute with a stunning effort from Tuaimalo Vaega. Centre Clayton Faulalo dragged in the opposing defenders before flicking it out to Tuaimalo Vaega, who pushed past the defender and grounded the ball in the corner with a spectacular diving effort. Wakeham converted from the sideline to cut the deficit to ten points. 

The Roosters scored two tries in the final ten minutes through Callum Gromek and Savala to confirm their victory. Savala converted both from in front for a final scoreline of 34-12.  

The Sea Eagles head to Parramatta to take on the Eels in round three of the NSW Cup on Sunday March 24, 1.35pm at CommBank Stadium in the curtain raiser to the NRL. 

Roosters 34 (Tries: Savala 1’, 12’, Dockar-Clay 38’, 52’, Gromek 71’, Savala 75’. Goals: Savala 5/6) def. Sea Eagles 12 (Tries: Parker 46’, Tuaimalo Vaega 64’. Goal: Wakeham 2/2)