Manly back with thumping of Roosters - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly back with thumping of Roosters

By Todd Balym 15/08/2009 08:59:37 PM Comments (0)

Manly coach Des Hasler praised his side's back to basics attitude in their 44-12 NRL win over the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night, a defeat outgoing coach Brad Fittler slammed as "embarrassing".

Enigmatic winger David Williams and fullback Michael Robertson both scored doubles as the Sea Eagles put their title defence back on track with a seven tries to two win in front of 9,968 fans.

After successive losses, Manly needed to turn their performances around quickly and nobody represented that swing in fortune more than Williams.

The Test winger has been hot and cold since his horror State of Origin II debut for NSW, but he put his consistency issues to bed with a first class performance after being knocked senseless in the opening minute.

Still dusty from his heavy knock, Williams won a foot race for the ball in the 18th minute after he and Jamie Lyon both toed the ball ahead from a Roosters fumble 70m out.

His second try also came from blinding pace, pouncing on Matt Ballin's grubber just inches from the dead ball line in the 34th minute to give Manly a 20-6 halftime lead.

The second try was awarded benefit of the doubt by video referee Chris Ward, some long overdue luck for the Wolfman.

"A bit of luck went my way, I'm not complaining," said Williams.

"Obviously it's been well documented that I haven't had the best run lately and that is all my fault. It was just good to have a consistent game with no errors and get the win up.

"I was seeing stars for a while and probably into the second half I was a bit groggy. But I came good in the second half."

The Sea Eagles also hit stride in the second 40 minutes, turning their halftime advantage into a 38-point lead with tries to Robertson (56th and 75th minutes), Matt Orford (53rd) and Jason King (69th).

While the Sea Eagles carved up the Roosters with a handful of long range tries, it was their committed defence and composed ball control that proved they remain a considerable force for this year's premiership.

However, they've still got a tough task to even reach the finals with Melbourne (away), Cronulla (home) and Gold Coast (home) in the run home.

"We've got a fair idea with where we are at, we've just got to do it consistently," said Hasler.

"It's just the path that has been laid out, what we need to do is win. That is all we can control.

"We'll just keep it simple, we ground it out and got back to the kind of footy we play best.

"It is a stepping stone and gives us some momentum to head down to Melbourne next week."

Roosters winger Iwi Hauraki added a consolation try in the final minute to prevent Manly from a holding the home side to a scoreless second half.

Roosters winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall provided on of the few highlights for his team with a brilliant 65m solo try in the first half when he beat four defenders.

But Fittler was still furious at the limp performance as his men constantly coughed up possession trying to produce the money plays in their own half.

"They were just too good. I don't think they even looked that great but the (points) just kept ticking over," said Fittler.

"(Keeping morale high) is going to be hard after this game. It looked like we were building things and this just brought it all down.

"It was a pretty embarrassing night for the club really."

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