Roosters (8th) vs Sea Eagles (13th) 4:10 PM Sunday at Allianz Stadium
This is nothing short of a must win clash for both sides as the struggling clubs have both failed to deliver on expectations thus far in season 2018.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Roosters were given an ANZAC day lesson by the Dragons, as they were soundly beaten 24-8 in front of a packed Allianz Stadium. The boys from Bondi struggled to create scoring chances and their big recruits James Tedesco and Cooper Cronk are yet to form a solid partnership yet.
Manly were beaten by the resurgent Newcastle Knights in a game that could have major implications on their season with five-eight Lachlan Croker succumbing to an ACL tear that will sideline for the rest of the season. Manly were poor in front of their home faithful at Lottoland and many question if ‘fortress Brookie’ is still a thing.
The Roosters have named an unchanged line up following their loss against the Dragons last week.
The Sea Eagles have named Jackson Hastings after weeks of controversy where there were talks he may never wear a Manly jersey again, he is named in the initial 21 man squad, however it is Dylan Walker who is named in the number 6 to replace Lachlan Croker. Manly have named recruit Moses Suli to make his debut for the club in the centres and Shaun Lane comes into the starting side to replace Jack Gosiewski who is ruled out with a hand injury.
For the Roosters to win: They need to get their struggling attack on track, they are only averaging 17.3 points a game on offence which is not nearly enough considering their star-studded roster.
Sydney are 11th this season in the points scoring department, however they currently boast the league’s fourth best defence and only concede on average 15 points a game. If they can hold Manly out and convert their chances they should go a long way in quest for a much-needed win.
For Manly to win: It’s quite simple for Manly, they just need to defend a lot better than they have previously been doing, they hold the second worst defence in the league and look an utter shambles when defending on their goal line.
The Sea Eagles are starring down the barrel of four straight losses and without a proper five-eight, but if there’s a stat to go by to give Manly fans a glimmer of hope, it’s that they defeated the Roosters twice in 2017 and they haven’t lost to the Roosters at Allianz in the last five years.
Roosters: 1 James Tedesco, 2 Joseph Manu, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 4 Mitchell Aubusson, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Zane Tetevano, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Dylan Napa, 11 Boyd Cordner (c), 12 Ryan Matterson, 13 Isaac Liu
Interchange: 14 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 15 Siosiua Taukeiaho, 16 Nat Butcher, 17 Victor Radley
Reserves: 18 Sitili Tupouniua, 19 Kurt Baptiste, 20 Reece Robinson, 21 Frank-Paul Nuuausala
Sea Eagles: 1 Tom Trbojevic, 2 Matthew Wright, 3 Moses Suli, 4 Brian Kelly, 5 Akuila Uate, 6 Dylan Walker, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8 Addin Fonua-Blake, 9 Apisai Koroisau, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Joel Thompson, 12 Shaun Lane, 13 Jake Trbojevic
Interchange: 14 Lewis Brown, 15 Frank Winterstein, 16 Lloyd Perrett, 17 Taniela Paseka
Reserves: 18 Tom Wright, 19 Jackson Hastings, 20 Tevita Funa, 21 Toafofoa Sipley
The Important details
Date: Sunday May 6, 2018
Venue: Allianz Stadium
This clash is a must win for both sides but for different reasons.
For the Roosters it’s to consolidate their place inside the top 8 as they look for a bit of consistency to kick-start their stuttering season.
For Manly it’s all about slipping further away from the chasing pack, they currently sit in 13th place with two wins and six losses and really need to start winning some games if they are to follow-up on last season’s top 8 finish.
It’s hard to see the Roosters losing this one and hard to see Manly winning, so expect that James Tedesco and Cooper Cronk will fire their way into form with a convincing victory.
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