The Manly Sea Eagles are taking their home game to Christchurch to go face to face with the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday night.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
The Warriors last played in round 12 where they had a crushing defeat at the hands of the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Auckland 30-10. The Warriors were dominated by the Rabbitohs who controlled the game and showcased the large amount of talent they have to offer in their squad. The Warriors have been on a downward slide in their last few matches as they seem to have lost the stamina and passion they showed at the beginning of the season. They only managed to cross the Rabbitohs line twice – once in the opening of the match and the second in the 75th minute. The rest of the game they were trying to put a halt to the bunnies non-stop point scoring.
MANLY SEA EAGLES
The Manly Sea Eagles also had a disappointing result last week as they lost 12-26 to the North Queensland Cowboys. Manly started off steady as back-to-back penalties got them in position for penalty goal to earn them an early two-point lead. It didn’t last long as Johnathan Thurston answered back with two penalty goals of his own. As the Cowboys picked up momentum, Manly crumbled under the pressure. It seemed as though Manly didn’t put up too much of a fight in round 13 which may mean they got the wake up call they needed to come out firing on Saturday night.
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Shaun Johnson will be making his long-awaited return from an ankle injury. Tuivasa-Sheck has been ruled out due to an ankle injury from two weeks ago against the Bunnies. Peta Hiku has trained at fullback all week and will slot into the No 1 role, while fellow Kiwi international Gerard Beale comes off the bench to start at right centre.
MANLY SEA EAGLES
Manly have named Tom and Jake Trbojevic to back up from Origin. Matt Wright drops to the bench and Shaun Lane shifts from lock to second row with Jack Gosiewski is out with a broken arm. Taniela Paseka joins the bench with Brad Parker and Lloyd Perrett dropping to the reserves.
Out of 31 clashes between the two sides, the Warriors have only won 8 of them. Last season Manly won both of their games against the Warriors in round 17 and 25.
Both teams will be desperately wanting to take home the win on Saturday night as they both suffered embarrassing losses which could cost them their finals-footy chances.
Manly will need to have the right attitude and make sure their star player Trent Hodkinson has more to offer the team than just goal-kicking. The Warriors have Shaun Johnson returning which means their attacking game should be stronger and an intimidating factor for the Sea Eagles.
Both teams play with a similar style which means the game should come down to who can gain momentum first.
Manly have won their last 7 encounters with the Warriors.
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS: 1 Peta Hiku (c) 2 David Fusitu’a, 3 Gerard Beale, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Blake Green, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 James Gavet, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Agnatius Paasi, 11 Isaiah Papali’i, 12 Tohu Harris, 13 Adam Blair interchange: 14 Karl Lawton, 15 Chris Satae, 16 Bunty Afoa, 17 Simon Mannering Reserves: 20 Mason Lino, 21 Sam Lisone, 22 Liligiigo Sao.
MANLY SEA EAGLES: 1 Tom Trbojevic, 2 Jorge Taufua, 3 Moses Suli, 4 Brian Kelly, 5 Akuila Uate, 6 Trent Hodkinson, 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 Matthew Wright, 14 Toafofoa Sipley, 16 Frank Winterstein, 17 Taniela Paseka Reserves: 18 Thomas Wright, 19 Bradley Parker, 20 Lewis Brown, 21 Lloyd Perrett.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Saturday June 9, 2018
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 5pm (local)
WHO WILL WIN?
The Warriors will be wanting to prove they haven’t lost the spark they had in the beginning and will get a boost from the home crowd in Christchurch.
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