Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Manly Sea Eagles vs Sydney Roosters Round 20 Women in League Round clash.
It’s been a week of turmoil for the Sea Eagles off the field, with seven players boycotting the game after plans for the team to don a pride jersey were unveiled.
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The pride jersey has sparked significant backlash, with the club admitting they failed to properly consult their playing group. Manly will be the first ever NRL team to wear a pride jersey, and have committed to wearing the controversial jersey again in 2023.
As a result the Sea Eagles head into the clash with a severely understrength side, with Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula and Toafofoa Sipley all unavailable.
Alfred Smalley, James Roumanos, Pio Seci, Zac Fulton will all make their NRL debuts, while James Segeyaro will make his return to first grade after a three-year absence.
The Sea Eagles head into the clash as $6.50 outsiders, with Roosters $1.12 favourites to win the game.
SCROLL DOWN FOR OUR ROLLING COVERAGE — THIS ARTICLE WILL AUTOMATICALLY REFRESH EVERY FEW MINUTES WITH THE LATEST NEWS
MANLY SEA EAGLES v SYDNEY ROOSTERS LIVE COVERAGE
Thursday, 7.50pm, 4 Pines Park, Manly
8:29pm — ROOSTERS 18-6 SEA EAGLES (28TH MINUTE)
And the Roosters have struck back immediately, with the Sea Eagles failing coming up with possession off the kick-off. Joey Manu proved too hard to handle yet again, with the in form centre scoring his tenth try of the season.
8:26pm — ROOSTERS 12-6 SEA EAGLES (26TH MINUTE)
The Sea Eagles have hit back, with Daly Cherry-Evans putting backrower Andrew Davey through a massive hole to barge over James Tedesco and score. The Roosters will be without enforcer Lindasy Collins for the rest of the game, after a nasty head knock.
8:17pm — ROOSTERS 12-0 SEA EAGLES (20TH MINUTE)
The Roosters are starting to look like they could run away with a big score, with back-to-back tries, with Nat Butcher crossing the line on the back of a near-perfect kick from fullback James Tedesco. Fox League commentator Greg Alexander says James Tedesco is close to the form that saw him win the Dally M medal in 2019.
8:16pm — FANS SUPPORTING THE MANLY SEVEN
8:05pm — ROOSTERS 8-0 SEA EAGLES (8TH MINUTE)
The Roosters have opened the scoring with a taking the two points on offer after Manly debutant Alfred Smalley came up with a high shot on Sam Verrills to save a certian try. Commentators Andrew Voss and Greg Alexander were left stunned that Smalley was not sent to the sin-bin. Just minutes later minutes later, the Roosters scored the first try of the match through Daniel Tupou.
7:55pm — ROOSTERS FANS SUPPORT MANLY JERSEY
Rooster fan Emma Moroney and her friends who decorated the fence with the seven rainbow flags said they were making a statement.
“As a LGBTQI woman, I am here to say to those Manly players I think their behaviour was really disgusting, we want to show the players and the fan that been who you are is ok, we love you and you’re safe with us,” Moroney said.
“We wanted to make sure that this is something everybody in Australia could see, this has been such public issue, every LGBTQI person has seen this, they’ve been targeted, they’ve been discriminated, so we need to make an equally big statement that we are here for them.”
7:43pm – FANS SHOW OFF MANLY PRIDE
Groups of Rainbow Warriors have descended on Brookvale Oval in a strong show of support for both the LGBTQ community and Manly Sea Eagles ‘rainbow’ jersey.
Speaking prior to kick off, Sea Eagles fans Melanie Taylor and Carol Coleman – both of who have been members for 15 years — said they were disappointed in the seven players who had chosen to boycott the game.
“These so called seven, they’re picking and choosing,” Taylor said. “They can’t wear a jersey with a little rainbow but they can wear one with alcohol sponsors, gambling sponsors, they can play on Sundays …”.
Asked why they had chosen to go so public with their support, which included brandishing rainbow flags, Taylor continued: “I love Ian Roberts, he was the most amazing player.
“It took so much courage for him to come out when he did yet in all the years since nobody else has. And don’t tell me there aren’t other gay guys in the game.
“But they’re too scared to come out.
“Especially after this week.
“But people should be proud of who they are, proud of their team, proud of everyone.
“We need to be inclusive.”
7:36pm – ALL SMILES FROM MANLY DEBUTANTS
6:50pm — LATE MAIL IN
For the Sea Eagles Sean Keppie is out, with Martin Taupau moving to prop, Kurt De Luis moves to the bench and Zac Fulton joins the bench from the reserves, with Kaeo Weekes 18th man.
The Roosters will line-up 1-17 with no late changes, with Adam Keighran in as 18th man.
6:40pm — PRIDE JERSEYS SPOTTED
After initially selling out of the controversial pride jerseys, fans are queueing up at 4 Pines Park to get their hands on some!