Round 20 concludes on Monday night between two teams with different outlooks.  One finding form and making a late charge for the finals and the other just wanting to end a horrible losing streak.

LAST TIME OUT

South Sydney hosted Brisbane at ANZ Stadium in round 19.  The Broncos having won only two of their previous eight and the home side without a win in the previous five.  With Greg Inglis suspended and Adam Reynolds injured during the warm up, South Sydney faced an uphill battle.  Despite Luke Keary after eleven minutes to level scores at 6-all, South Sydney were their worse enemies.  Handling errors and missed tackles climbed in the hour following the Keary try as the Broncos looked untouchable in leading 30-6 with eighteen minutes to play.  Some Cody Walker brilliance gave South Sydney a consolation try, lighting up what was another gloomy night for The Burrow faithful.

Manly Sea Eagles took their match with New Zealand Warriors to Perth.  The Warriors had a hoodoo to break having never won in Perth.  In heavy conditions Manly struck twice in the first fifteen minutes off the back of Warriors errors with Tom Trbojevic and Jorge Taufua crossing to make it 14-0.  Bunty Afoa stormed onto the NRL stage crossing for a double in breaking the Sea Eagles wide open and at the break the Warriors trailed by two. A hard fought second half only yielded two points from Isaac Luke’s boot five minutes from time.  With the game in golden point Daly Cherry Evans’ field goal in the 5th minute gave Manly victory and kept their slim finals chances alive.

KEY BATTLES

It’s a mouthwatering battle of the number ones with Tom Trbojevic and Cody Walker both exciting to watch in open play.  Walker has some neat, fancy footwork which could work on the fringes where Manly tend to struggle.  Tom is a couple of months away from turning twenty and is strong, tall and fast with the ability to break the line.

The two number sevens in Daly Cherry-Evans and Adam Reynolds are both quality representative players.  Reynolds despite kicking off the season is spectacular fashion against the Roosters has struggled through injury most of the year.  Similarly Daly Cherry-Evans has struggled with his fitness but has started to find some form which has resulted in a jump up the ladder.  Their leadership could determine how this game goes.

PREDICTION

Manly have found their groove.  With Daly Cherry-Evans and Jamie Lyon back and injury free, another long night for South Sydney fans looks likely.

Sea Eagles by 14.

SQUADS

Rabbitohs: 1. Cody Walker 2. Alex Johnston 3. Bryson Goodwin 4. Aaron Gray 5. Joe Burgess 6. Luke Keary 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Cameron McInnes 10. David Tyrrell 11. John Sutton 12. Kyle Turner 13. Sam Burgess. Interchange: 14. Jason Clark 15. Nathan Brown 16. Angus Crichton 17. George Burgess 18. Damien Cook.

Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Lewis Brown 4. Brayden Wiliame 5. Matthew Wright 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. Interchange: 14. Blake Leary 15. Josh Starling 16. Nate Myles 17. Siosaia Vave 22. Addin Fonua-Blake

Date: Monday July 25, 2016
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Kick-off: 7pm AEST