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Brown marched as Roosters down Manly to keep finals hopes alive


Martin Lenehan - NRL Senior Journalist

Brown was marched in the 63rd minute for a high shot on Ben Trbojevic but the Roosters scored a try in his absence to put the finishing touches on a win that keeps their slim finals hopes alive.

The Roosters launched an early raid in the seventh minute and Daniel Tupou looked set to cross for yet another try but some desperate defence from Haumole Olakau'atu forced him into touch.

Manly marched down field and opened the scoring in the 11th minute through a penalty goal to Reuben Garrick but it was the home side who bagged the opening try when Tupou soared high to bring down a Luke Keary bomb for the 141st four-pointer of his career.

The Roosters had a second try in the 23rd minute when centre Joey Manu exploded out of dummy half from close range and couldn't be stopped. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii's sideline conversion made it 12-2.

Manly hooker Lachlan Croker went close in the 26th minute but strong goal line defence by James Tedesco kept the Roosters' line intact.

A clever grubber by Keary earned the Roosters a repeat set late in the half but a dropped ball by Victor Radley let the Sea Eagles off the hook.

With time running down, the Roosters got another opportunity and made the most it with Billy Smith delivering a deft flick pass for Tupou to complete his 27th career double. Suaalii again converted from wide out to make it 18-2 at the break.

The Roosters went further ahead in the 52nd minute when Smith disposed of Tolu Koula with a powerful fend and plunged over to give the Tricolours a 20-point lead.

The Sea Eagles lost Toafofoa Sipley to the sin bin midway through the second half before Brown was given his marching orders by referee Ashley Klein in the 61st minute.

Just three minutes later Josh Schuster chipped and regathered to score the Sea Eagles' first try to make it 22-8.

With both teams down a man the Roosters went right and Suaalii slid in for the 20th try of his career. He missed the conversion and the score stayed at 26-8.

Sipley returned to the field with 11 minutes to play to give Manly a one-man advantage and Schuster produced another pinpoint kick for Brad Parker to score to pull it back to 26-12.

Manly continued to throw the ball around and Koula finished off a powerful run by Olakau'atu to give the Sea Eagles the final say but the night belonged to the Roosters, who move to 24 competition points with games against the Dolphins, Eels, Wests Tigers and Rabbitohs to come.

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