Manly have dominated the Sydney Roosters to reach their first NRL preliminary final since 2013.
Fullback Tom Trbojevic scored two tries and set up another to lead the Sea Eagles to a comprehensive 42-6 victory in Mackay.
The Roosters could only manage one try and were kept scoreless in the second half.
Manly coach Des Hasler says it was a tough match, but his players performed well:
He said the win was down to “simple things, we just held onto the ball, completed well, we built pressure and we played with a good physicality.”
Roosters coach Trent Robinson says it’s a disappointing end to the season, but he’s proud of his team.
He could only reflect on the achievement of reaching the second week of finals in a year when so much has gone wrong for his team.
After a season of injuries, suspensions and farewells, Robinson knows the setbacks can only make his club a stronger outfit going forward.
Senior players Boyd Cordner, Brett Morris and Jake Friend all called time on their NRL careers mid-season.
The victory means Manly move on to face South Sydney next Friday in a grand final qualifier in Brisbane.
Two-time premiership-winning coach Hasler will be up against seven-time grand final victor Wayne Bennett.
Hasler says the Sea Eagles are going to have to maintain Friday night’s performance against “a good Souths side next week,” to have any chance of making the grand final.