The NRL showpiece game will see the Sydney Roosters pit their wits against Manly next week following their respective wins against the Newcastle Knights and the South Sydney Rabbitohs over the weekend.
Manly turned the form book guide upside down by defeating the much fancied South Sydney Rabbitohs 30-20 at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
The script was going according to plan for South Sydney who were looking to book a place in the Grand Final for the first time in 42 years. A handy 14-0 lead after only 11 minutes had the Redfern-based team looking as though it might have been a formality. But Manly refused to panic and slowly worked their way back into the game through some solid defence. A converted try by the Sea Eagles in the 20th minute brought the score to 14-6, and remained that way until half time.
The second half saw a very different Manly side take to the field. It took only 5 minutes for them to score another converted try, reducing the margin to only two points. Souths had their opportunities to get back into the lead but were not disciplined enough to take advantage of their good work.
Another try in the 58th minute was the sucker punch that knocked the wind out of Souths’ confidence. Manly’s attacking dominance continued to exploit South Sydney’s defence, leading to tries in the 63rd and then again in the 74th minute. With the score out to 30-14 it was virtually game over. A late Rabbitohs try on full-time made the final score 30-20, booking Manly a fourth Grand Final appearance in seven years.
Sydney Roosters and Newcastle Knights match
The Sydney Roosters will be the team to face Manly in this year’s Grand Final after handing the Newcastle Knights a 40-14 shellacking at a packed Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
The game started as energetically as you’d expect, the Sydney Roosters being the more dominant of the two sides. Newcastle for their part were tenacious in defence but were lacking the same killer instinct when they were in possession of the ball.
It was a tight game for most of the first half as only one Roosters try seperated the two sides with the score at 6-2. But a sickening clash that saw Newcastle captain Danny Buderus knocked out changed the course of what was shaping up to be a classic encounter. A forward pass that was missed by the officials not long after resulted in another try for the Roosters, giving them an 8 point lead at the half-time break.
The second half started with solid efforts from both teams in attack and in defence. After 7 minutes, a potential Knights attack saw the ball bounce up nicely for a length of the field reversal that resulted in a try for the Sydney Roosters. This opened the floodgates for a try-scoring frenzy as the score blew out to 34-4 following three consecutive tries in 15 minutes for the Roosters.
The end result did not flatter the overall performance by the Knights who managed to score a couple of late tries that brought the final score to 40-14. The Tri-colours from Bondi will now meet Manly in the decider next week on a day where the loyalties of many Sydneysiders will be tested in choosing which team to back in the clash of Sydney’s two glamour clubs.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 30 South Sydney Rabbitohs 20
Sydney Roosters 40 Newcastle Knights 14
NRL Grand Final
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles v Sydney Roosters