Rugby league: James Tedesco, Sydney Roosters send ominous NRL warning with thrashing of Manly Sea Eagles

A ruthless Sydney Roosters have made an early statement of intent in the NRL, disposing of Manly Sea Eagles, 46-4 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Fullback James Tedesco and winger Brett Morris bagged a pair of hat-tricks as one of the competition favourites heaped misery on a Manly side welcoming back former Kiwis captain Kieran Foran.

On his first outing for the club in six years, Foran was tormented by Tedesco and Morris, who ran rampant down the New Zealander's defensive left edge.

The Tricolours led after Tedesco's first try just two minutes in when he outleaped Sea Eagles winger Ruben Garrick, and aside from a brief period in the following 10 minutes, completely dominated a listless Manly side. 

The 42-point thumping was the heaviest for Manly in a round one clash since 1947.

It was a day to forget for Kieran Foran
It was a day to forget for Kieran Foran Photo credit: Getty

Tedesco starred, bagging his 11th NRL hat-trick, combining superbly with No.7 Luke Keary who looked back to his best after a horror end to 2020 when the Roosters lost five-straight games to be bundled out in the playoffs.

Coach Trent Robinson lauded the performance of his star fullback while he is also predicting a big season for Keary.

"It was a really good start from him [Tedesco] in lots of different ways," coach Trent Robinson said.

"He's trained very hard, he's highly intelligent, and he loves the tough stuff and he has good eyes while he is doing the tough stuff."

"As for Luke, he's a really intelligent guy, he thinks for himself.

"And he continues to develop. So it's natural for him to develop on the field. The No.7 looked comfortable on his back."

It was Keary's first venture into the halfback role after the departure of Kyle Flannagan to the Canterbury Bulldogs. 

The feeling was very different for Foran who copped a battering all afternoon. The Manly left-edge defenders were constantly under assault, with Foran's lack of pace on show in several of the Roosters' tries.

While Foran was found out for the visitors in defence Daly Cherry-Evans also had an afternoon to forget off the boot, giving away three seven-tackle sets with kicks that ran long.

Ominously for the Sea Eagles, they face another competition favourite next week in the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

In Penrith, the Panthers thrashed Todd Payten's North Queensland Cowboys 24-0 for a 10th consecutive home victory.

The 2020 Grand Final final losers running in four tries to none, with playmaker Nathan Cleary the standout.

The co-captain kicked four goals and added two try assists as the Panthers put to bed the nightmare of the Grand Final loss to Melbourne in October.