By Ray Chesterton Origin absentees leave fans cheated June 08, 2008 http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,23831997-5001023,00.html THE 42-0 scoreboard separated the teams yesterday - but it was harder to separate the coaches. Roosters Brad Fittler, while not exactly carefree after his team's hiding, could at least raise a smile. "I am not going to cut my wrists," he laughed. "We've been beaten by 40 points before and come out and won the next game." Manly's Des Hasler perpetually has the worried countenance of a man who has been told of a tax audit on his assets. He went as far as beginning a smile yesterday - but managed to close it down before it fully blossomed. "We'll just take the two points and move on," he said. "I thought we were clinical but we played some entertaining football." Manly were unarguably entertaining. They were also purposeful, deliberate and forceful. But for following the Roosters' bad handling habits in the first half the final score could have been closer to 60-0. "I thought it was our best performance of the year," said Manly's centre Jamie Lyon, who scored one try and had a hand in four others. On a surface better suited to Torvill and Dean, Manly took the sensible approach against a Roosters side missing four of their major mechanisms in their pack - the defensive authority of Craig Fitzgibbon and Willie Mason along with Nathan Myles and Anthony Tupou. In their absence Manly's attack was running at shadows. Manly were also missing four players but none to match the quality of the Roosters' absentees. Ahead 14-0 at halftime, Manly's second-half points came in a torrent to match the heavy rain and late-match gloom even with the lights. Manly were slick and consistent with Lyon and halfback Matt Orford cutting loose. Hasler even took the opportunity to bring a couple of set moves out of his vault in a dress rehearsal for bigger games ahead. One 50-metre effort in the 54th minute was brilliantly executed in the conditions. Orford and Lyon opened up play before fullback Michael Robertson joined in to position Menzies, who put Watmough over. "It will build our confidence," Lyon said. Hasler appreciated the eight tries and 42-point scoreline but took special pleasure at keeping the Roosters pointless - as they often were on the day. The Roosters shot themselves in the foot so often in possession that half the team should be on crutches. "We looked second-rate today. We kept dropping the ball," Fittler said. From Manly's point of view the match was a kaleidoscope of multi-coloured options in attack, which mostly worked brilliantly. The Roosters will see it as a performance to be overlooked. It is the inconclusiveness that invariably occurs when Origin selection debases club matches. Fittler said in a perfect world Origin would have its own stand-alone weekend. "But what do we do - cancel the other eight games?"