Roosters climb as Sea Eagles slide - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters climb as Sea Eagles slide

By Steve Jancetic and Ben Horne 29/08/2010 07:10:15 PM Comments (0)

Half an hour into Sunday's contest Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith felt his finals dream slipping away.

By the end it was his Manly opposite Des Hasler with the banana skins under his feet after a dramatic penultimate round of the NRL.

Heading into their clash at the Sydney Football Stadium level on points in the middle of the top eight, this game was always going to be pivotal in deciding the finals fate of both sides.

Down 14-0 second out from halftime it appeared the Roosters were on track for a fourth straight loss and top eight oblivion, but somehow the magic of the month which preceded their dry spell was rediscovered as they blew the Sea Eagles off the park with a 30-14 win.

"It's hard not to feel like it was slipping away, I think that's why (they deserve) so much credit," Smith said of his troops.

Smith praised five-eighth Todd Carney for the turnaround, saying "he was the spark for us - he got us going when we needed something," but the man himself admitted the pressure of the losing streak was playing on his mind after the Roosters had been touted as genuine premiership contenders.

"I felt (the pressure) going into the game too, it's probably the most nervous I've felt," Carney said.

"I was talking to Friendy (hooker Jake Friend) this morning saying 'let's win today, we've got to win or we're looking like not making the eight.'

"From the headlines four weeks ago to the headlines during the week - it's pretty shattering when a few weeks ago we were touted that we were going to be a force, it's a big weight off our shoulders."

That weight has now shifted to the Sea Eagles, who need to beat Canterbury on Sunday at Brookvale Oval to guarantee a finals berth, a predicament which may not be helped with Jamie Lyon and Glenn Stewart both put on report and four others - Jason King, Anthony Watmough (both ankle), Steve Matai (shoulder) and Brent Kite (concussion) suffering injuries.

But even that may only be good enough to secure seventh spot if the Warriors and Roosters also win, which would leave them playing sudden death footy throughout the finals.

"You certainly don't want to be in that position, but that's one we need to win," Hasler said.

"We'll turn up for next Sunday and get the job done, put this one behind us."

The other big loser from the weekend were Gold Coast, who suffered a shock 30-16 loss to struggling Cronulla on Saturday night.

From a position where they could have been playing off against Wests Tigers at Skilled Park for a top two spot, the Titans could now slip as sixth should they lose to the Tigers and other results go against them.

Much depends on what Penrith do, starting with their game against Canterbury on Monday night, but the Tigers are now in pole position to take the spot just below minor premiers St George Illawarra.

Coach Tim Sheens vowed not to abandon the expansive game that helped them secure a 26-14 win over Melbourne at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.

"I've been trying for eight years to change it and I haven't been able to," Sheens said.

"But at the end of the day we are who we are and we are where we are because we do play a bit of football.

"And there's risk taking but to be quite honest you never achieve anything unless you take a risk."

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