The Sydney Roosters will get a well-deserved week off after holding out Manly 4-0 to win a brutally absorbing NRL qualifying final at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

In a scoreline that was a throwback to the 1980s, both sides played their part in a magnificent encounter that was settled by an eighth-minute unconverted try from Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

It was the sixth time this season the Roosters have held a team scoreless and the crowd of 32,747 witnessed one of the great defensive performances from the hosts - who repelled everything the Sea Eagles could throw at them - in what was the lowest scoring finals game since St George beat Illawarra by the same margin in 1992.

Trent Robinson's side made an astonishing 37 tackles inside their own 20-metre line to secure a third win over the Sea Eagles this year - with both sets of players out on their feet at the final siren.

Manly Coach Geoff Toovey must pick up his side to face Cronulla next Friday after the Sharks beat North Queensland 20-18 in a controversial opening game of Saturday's double-header.

In a bruising affair, dominated by the forwards from both sides, Sam Moa limped off just two minutes into the game after dislocating his kneecap.

The Roosters' prop was able to return to action later in the game, but Manly's Richie Fa'aoso wasn't so fortunate after knocking himself out attempting to tackle Dylan Napa and departed the field on a medicab with his neck in a brace.

Fortunately, the former Melbourne prop was able to watch the game from the sidelines but his presence was missed as the Sea Eagles had to play most of the match with 16 players.

The second half was dominated by the visitors, who tried everything to breach the Roosters' line, but several efforts were held up with David Williams and Glenn Stewart both going close.

Just before halftime, Daly Cherry-Evans butchered a certain try when he grassed an inside pass from Williams - and that moment summed up the Sea Eagles' frustrations.

Robinson hailed the character of his players but admitted he was biting his nails in the dying seconds when Manly were awarded a penalty 30 metres out.

"It was courageous from both teams, it was a bit of an old school battle out there we haven't seen that in the modern game for a while," he said.

"But our defence was outstanding and full credit to them they are talented players, but talent doesn't help in 'D'.

"It's not how good your team is, it's how hard they work."

Toovey said his team were made to pay for their lack of execution but said he would have no problems getting the players re-focused for Cronulla next Friday.

"There were two quality sides and it was great defence from them, but they scored off a kick and we missed our opportunities," Toovey said.

"The effort is there but the execution is off - you can't get away with that in these big games."

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