NRL ROOSTERS EAGLES
Daly Cherry-Evans reasserted his status as the NRL's coolest head under pressure as he booted Manly to a clutch 9-8 win over the Sydney Roosters at Leichhardt.
In a high-quality game played in front of around 25 people watching from neighbouring roofs and a nearby scaffold, Cherry-Evans won it on Saturday evening for the Sea Eagles with just four minutes left on the clock.
The result gave the Roosters the worst start to a season by a defending premier in 11 years, as they went 0-2 after also losing last week to Penrith.
The tri-colours had dominated the territorial battle all game, with Manly getting just eight tackles inside their 20-metre zone.
The Roosters also had their chance to win it, when a Luke Keary field-goal shot from right in front swung into the left-hand upright.
But the game swung late when Lachlan Croker crunched James Tedesco in a tackle, forcing an error from the Roosters' fullback.
Manly worked it down the middle from the ensuing set, before Cherry-Evans iced the match for their first win of the year.
It marked the 21st field goal of Cherry-Evans' career, the most of any current player in the competition.
"Those players, like Cherry, that's their moment and they execute it," coach Des Hasler said.
"We were able to hang in there. Those types of games are like that, going set for set.
"You're just waiting for a side to turn the ball over and we were able to capitalise on it."
Tom Trbojevic was also immense.
Menacing as always, he scored Manly's only try in the 14th minute when he ran onto an inside ball from Cherry-Evans close to the line.
It was again an impressive play from the Manly No.7, who took a ball on the short side from Danny Levi out of dummy-half and found Trbojevic at speed back inside him.
But Trbojevic's defence stood out more.
He helped Jorge Taufua in one try-saver on Tedesco, and ran a flying Brett Morris down on another occasion to put him into touch.
However, his best work came when he chased Keary and dislodged the ball from his hands just as he was about to give the Roosters the lead early in the second half.
It came after Keary had earlier laid on the Roosters' only try in the first half, when he provided a brilliant two-man cut-out ball for Daniel Tupou on the left wing.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Sio Suia Taukeiaho were also strong for the Roosters up front, while their last-tackle plays again proved an issue at times.
"We created enough opportunities in attack and couldn't execute one," coach Trent Robinson said.
"I'm really disappointed we couldn't get one of those in the second half.
"It definitely wasn't completely about game management tonight. It was more about execution."