Date: Sunday 6th April
Venue: Leichhardt Oval
1 James Tedesco 2 David Nofoaluma 3 Keith Lulia 4 Chris Lawrence 5 Pat Richards 6 Braith Anasta 7 Luke Brooks 8 Aaron Woods 9 Robbie Farah (c) 10 Keith Galloway 11 Liam Fulton 12 Bodene Thompson 13 Adam Blair Interchange 14 Martin Taupau 15 Ava Seumanufagai 16 James Gavet 17 Tim Simona 18 Sitaleki Akauola
1 Peta Hiku 2 Cheyse Blair 3 Jamie Lyon (c) 4 Steve Matai 5 David Williams 6 Kieran Foran 7 Daly Cherry-Evans 8 Josh Starling 9 Matt Ballin 10 Brenton Lawrence 11 Anthony Watmough 12 Justin Horo 13 Glenn Stewart Interchange 14 James Hasson 15 Dunamis Lui 16 Jamie Buhrer 17 Jason King 18 Jesse Sene-Lefao
Manly Sea Eagles will be favourites after winning the repeat of last year’s NRL Grand Final in a tough 0-8 victory over reigning Premiers Sydney Roosters. The game only featured one try in the whole 80 minutes in stark contrast to the Wests Tigers heavy defeat 42-18 at the hands of the Warriors in round four.
Wests failed to build on their shock win over one of the competition favourites Rabbitohs as they were plagued with injuries during the game which resulted in them being without a fully fit interchange for most of the second half.
If the Tigers are to pull off another shock win here they will need exciting youngsters James Tedesco and Luke Brooks to perform as they did against the Rabbitohs with the flair and unpredictability they possess. Robbie Farah’s control of the game from nine could be crucial in the outcome of this one.
Manly have one of the in-form players in the competition in Daly Cherry-Evans and if he can continue to perform then it could be another crushing defeat for the Tigers. Anthony Watmough was brilliant last week and will be looking to lead the way in defence and attack once again this weekend.
The Eagles should have too much for the Tigers. My prediction is a Manly Sea Eagles win by 18 points.