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Gutsy Manly too good for Roosters

Ian McCullough 20/03/2011 08:10:43 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith slammed his side's "diseased" performance against Manly, insisting there were no excuses for Sunday's error-strewn 27-16 NRL loss.

Despite the absence of key players Jason King, Jamie Lyon, Glenn Stewart and Steve Matai, the Sea Eagles sealed a deserved victory.

Smith readily admitted the Roosters were outmuscled and outsmarted by the better side on the day.

"It was very grim from our point of view, there's no excuses, we had good preparation and plenty of time to get ready for it," Smith said.

Manly worked tirelessly, with young playmaker Kieran Foran leading the way in attack and defence along with the outstanding Anthony Watmough.

Smith said he was not surprised by the Sea Eagles' muscular approach to which his side had no answer.

"That's their trademark, they come to work hard, they bend everybody, they bend themselves, they bend their backs and work hard," he said.

"They bend the rules, they bend the referees, they bent us, and they bent us right over today.

"They just play hard, they play any way they can to win, it is a good, hard professional attitude to have."

Smith was less than impressed with his side's handling and error count - they turned the ball over on several occasions, with Nate Myles the biggest culprit.

"There were lots of errors, lots of penalties ... but I thought we made a good effort today, but it is almost mandatory under these new rules if you are on the back foot and the other team are outmuscling you, you will give away penalties," he said.

"But we all had the measles today, it was a disease everywhere, there wasn't just one or two."

One bright spot for the Roosters was Todd Carney's return from injury following off-season groin surgery.

Carney missed the season-opening win over South Sydney last week, and although he was relatively quiet, the five-eighth did score one of the Roosters' three tries minutes after the restart.

Braith Anasta somewhat surprisingly resumed the kicking responsibilities, but Smith denied this was because there was still any lingering problems with the former Canberra star's groin.

"He has not had any kicking practice in the lead up to the game and we felt it was better to keep Braith," he said.

"Todd was well below his best, but I bags not playing five-eighth behind the team that played like we did.

"It's not a fair assessment of him today and he has to take his lumps like the rest of us.

"I think we will see better things of him in weeks to come."

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