Date: June 1, 2014
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Broncos: Ben Barba, Daniel Vidot, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges (c), Dale Copley, Josh Hoffman, Ben Hunt, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Corey Parker (c), Alex Glenn, Sam Thaiday, Matt Gillett. Interchange: Lachlan Maranta, Todd Lowrie, Corey Oates, Ben Hannant, Jarrod Wallace, David Hala, David Stagg, Frank Molo
Sea Eagles: Brett Stewart, Jorge Taufua, Jamie Lyon, Steve Matai, Peta Hiku, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Josh Starling, Matt Ballin, Brenton Lawrence, Anthony Watmough, Justin Horo, Jamie Buhrer. Interchange: Jesse Sene-Lefao, Dunamis Lui, Tom Symonds, Jason King, Jack Littlejohn
Visiting Brisbane holds no fear for this current crop of Manly players, they have won six of their last seven at Suncorp Stadium.
The two Sea Eagles State of Origin representatives, Anthony Watmough (biceps) and Daly Cherry-Evans (knee), both suffered injuries during the game. It’s unclear whether either will miss the game at this point, but with a short turnaround to the Friday night grudge match against the Bulldogs coming up in round 13 the Sea Eagles would be smart to rest their two Origin stars.
This game sees the return of captain Jamie Lyon and Kieran Foran who are hopefully fully fit and ready to lead the team through the Origin period of the season. Manly’s attack has been a little down the past few weeks and the return of two key play makers will help tremendously even if Cherry-Evans is forced to sit the game out.
Manly’s last game was a last second win against Newcastle, they played some of their worst football that day and were lucky to get away with it via a spectacular Cherry-Evans field goal. They come into the game fresh off the bye which is always a great help for a team of veterans nursing niggling injuries.
Sam Thaiday is set to return for the Broncos after a lengthy stint on the sideline with a calf injury. Brisbane have named all their State of Origin players and an extended bench indicating they may rest some or all of the Origin players.
Brisbane had a hard fought and close win against the Tigers last week, but the big news has been the club reporting themselves to the NRL for possible salary cap infringements during the week. How the players respond on the field will be interesting to watch.
Manly is rested, welcoming back some key players and Geoff Toovey will have them fired up to make up for the almost disastrous Newcastle outing, while Brisbane could be missing their best attacking weapon in Hodges and reeling from off field distractions. It’s hard to see the Sea Eagles losing to a Broncos team which is as uninspiring on the field as it is on paper.
Manly by 10.
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