The Roar
The Roar


'Embarrassing' Roosters display, Hat-trick for Garrick, tough night for Suaalii, Tigers let another star go

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17th February, 2023
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Remind me what problems there were in Brookvale again?

After screaming out to a 20-0 lead by halftime, the Sea Eagles got a second-half scare to hold on for a 28-16 win against the Roosters in Week 2 of the Pre-Season Challenge on Friday night, making us all forget about the dramas from 2022

Here’s what we learned:

Oh Tigers, you have done it again.

The Wests Tigers have a bad habit of losing a lot of talent – Mitch Moses, James Tedesco and Josh Addo-Carr to name a few. Many thought Luke Garner signing with the Panthers was the biggest loss for the Tigers heading into this season – and on Friday night Kelma Tuilagi told everyone to hold his beer.

The Sea Eagles backrower looked right at home in his new colours, and was one of the best on the field for his new club.

Finishing the game with a try assist, one of his own, he could turn out to be one of the buys of the year.


Schuster gets his go at five-eighth

Like Kalyn Ponga in the first game of the night, we also watched Josh Schuster run around in the number six jersey for the first time. After the departure of Keiran Foran to the Titans, the question of who would partner Daly Cherry-Evans began, with Schuster getting the nod to have first crack.

Unlike Ponga, Schuster was great. And seeing that he was not alongside DCE but instead Cooper Johns, he will only get better when with his long-term partner.

But Fox Commentator Gorden Tallis would still prefer to see him in the back row, where “he can still get the short pass away, without having to worry about the kicks.”

Gold from Garrick

Reuben Garrick had a blinder. Seemed to be everywhere, scored a hat trick, and showed why Manly were so desperate to keep him last year.

Heading into his fifth season, he will be a major part of the Sea Eagles success if he plays exactly like that all season.


Is Seibold a magician?

No, seriously.

From the Pride jersey saga, and a club that was apparently about to implode with players at each other, to what we have seen in the past two weeks are complete opposite ends of the spectrum.

They looked slick on Friday night, a really well-oiled machine. A far cry from what we saw at the end of last season.

Not only are the Sea Eagles playing great footy, but they look like they are enjoying it again. The disaster that was season 2022 looks to be well and truly in the rearview mirror.


Robbo needs to pray for no injuries

Like, really pray.

The Roosters were without their dynamic halves duo of Luke Keary and Sam Walker, and with how Drew Hutchison and Sandon Smith filled in for the missing pair – coach Trent Robinson will have his starting six and seven wrapped up in cotton wool this season.

The tricolours really missed the attacking prowess of their regulars, and unfortunately, Hutchison and Smith didn’t do anything to make Robbo feel ok if any injuries pop up during the season.

Suaalii at centre takes a hard knock

Roosters young gun Joseph Suaalii had a crack at centre, but unfortunately, we didn’t really get to see him fly. He copped a head knock trying making a tackle in the first half and then failed his HIA.

GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 17: Kelma Tuilagi of the Sea Eagles is tackled during the NRL Trial Match between the Sydney Roosters and the Manly Sea Eagles at Central Coast Stadium on February 17, 2023 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Kelma Tuilagi. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)


He will now be under the watchful eye of trainers and need to pass all of the required protocols before getting the green light to play in the Roosters season opener against the Dolphins.

No need to panic, Roosters fans

Ok, you were down 26-0 at one stage, and your captain James Tedesco called the first half “embarrassing.”

But don’t get out the brown paper bags to control your breathing just yet. You clawed your way back and had an explosive five minutes showing exactly what you guys can do, and you were missing a tonne of talent including Keary and Walker.

It’s ok. You still lost to Manly, but it’s ok.