Manly Sea Eagles just fall short in a brutal clash in Sydney.
The Sydney Roosters held out Manly to win a titanic battle 4-0 to close in on a National Rugby League grand final berth on Saturday.
The Roosters will get next weekend off after their spirited defensive effort to deny the Sea Eagles in a draining qualifying final.
The epic encounter was settled by an eighth-minute try from Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
It was the sixth time this season the Roosters have held a team scoreless and they made 37 tackles inside their own quarter to secure a third win over the Sea Eagles this year.
Manly will now face Cronulla next Friday in a sudden-death playoff after the Sharks beat North Queensland 20-18 in a controversial opening game of Saturday’s double-header.
For the second straight year North Queensland’s season ended on a refereeing blunder.
Winger Beau Ryan scored a try on the seventh tackle and the referee error was later confirmed by the NRL. The game is played on sets of six-tackles for the attacking team.
Sosaia Feki clinched the win for the Sharks with a try seven minutes from full-time.
Canterbury Bulldogs and the Newcastle Knights meet in an elimination playoff on Sunday to complete the opening weekend of the finals playoffs.