Two years ago, if somebody said that the Sea Eagles would be one of the worst teams in the NRL, anybody would have laughed. The Brookvale club, which has been consistently great throughout the NRL era, is currently in the middle of a seven game losing streak. They will try their hardest to defeat the Dragons, a team which has consistently done enough to remain in the middle of the pack this year.
Last Time Out
Despite their rough form, the Sea Eagles actually put together a valiant performance against the Cowboys. They kept up with the Cowboys for most of the game and only lost by four points in the end. The return of DCE and Jamie Lyon gave them a big boost and their young forwards stood up against one of the toughest packs in the game. If they can play with the same vigour against the Dragons, they will have a solid chance to win.
The Dragons easily defeated the Knights but that isn’t exactly considered a great achievement given the Knights’ record this year. If anything, only winning by 12 points could be considered a negative for the red and white. The huge positive for the Dragons in the last few weeks has been the performance of Marshall and Widdop in attack. Their ability to score tries was one of their biggest issues earlier in the season, so their form is a welcome sight for the team.
DCE vs. Benji Marshall
DCE is the ten million dollar man but is yet to show his worth in 2016 while Marshall is trying to prove that he is even worth an NRL contract past 2016. Both halves were stand-outs for their teams last week and will be looking to continue that form. These two unpredictable players have been considered elite players at their peak and have the potential to regain that status if they can emulate recent form for the remainder of the year.
Based on last week’s performance, I would have both of these teams matched evenly. The Dragons could welcome Mike Cooper back into the team which would be a good boost while the Sea Eagles could lose Brett Stewart. If Stewart did return it would most likely push Trbojevic to fullback which is possibly even a benefit for the team. Manly’s current roster is possibly the best they have had all year and they should take a lot of confidence from their performance against the Cowboys.
Manly by 8.
1 Brett Stewart 2 Jorge Taufua 3 Tom Trbojevic 4 Dylan Walker 5 Brayden Wiliame 6 Jamie Lyon 7 Daly Cherry-Evans 8 Darcy Lussick 9 Apisai Koroisau 10 Martin Taupau 11 Nathan Green 12 Jamie Buhrer 13 Jake Trbojevic 14 Lewis Brown 15 Joshua Starling 16 Addin Fonua-Blake 17 Siosia Vave 18 Matthew Wright
1 Josh Dugan 2 Kalifa Faifai Loa 3 Euan Aitken 4 Timoteo Lafai 5 Jason Nightingale 6 Gareth Widdop 7 Benji Marshall 8 Leeson Ah Mau 9 Mitch Rein 10 Russell Packer 11 Tyson Frizell 12 Joel Thompson 13 Jack De Belin 14 Tariq Sims 15 Jacob Host 16 Dunamis Lui 17 Jacob Marketo 18 Will Matthews