Round 25 of the Telstra NRL Premiership sees the Manly Sea Eagles travel north to Suncorp Stadium to take on a Brisbane Broncos side full of confidence.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Coming off the back of a fantastic, wholesome victory against the third placed Sydney Roosters, the Broncos will be looking to continue their winning streak and secure victory in the last game of the regular season. Depending on the results of the other matches, a comprehensive victory on Sunday afternoon could elevate the Broncos to as high as fourth place and put them in a great position for the finals series.
Manly Sea Eagles
After what has been an uncharacteristic and disappointing season for the boys from Manly, they will still be determined to utilise the talent within their roster to secure victory and end their 2018 campaign on a positive note. When considering that large victories from the Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys could see Manly drop to 16th on the NRL Ladder and claim their maiden wooden spoon, it is clear that Manly still has a lot to play for.
The Brisbane Broncos have made just one change to their line up for Sunday afternoon’s clash against the Manly Sea Eagles, with Jake Turpin named to start at hooker for Andrew McCullough (concussion).
Manly Sea Eagles
In a host of changes, coach Trent Barrett has elected to omit winger Jorge Taufua in favour of Matt Wright and recall Taniela Paseka to the interchange bench. Elevating Martin Taupau into the starting side has reverted Jack Gosiewski to the bench.
For the Broncos to secure victory over Manly, it is vital that they replicate the defensive effort that they displayed against the Sydney Roosters last week. When considering that every clash between these two sides is a tough, fiery battle, it is important that the Broncos have a high tackle efficiency to restrict Manly’s opportunity for offloads. From an attacking perspective, getting the ball to their monster forward pack early in the match will set the tone and give them the best opportunity to mount pressure and take advantage of Manly’s vulnerable edge defence. If forwards Tevita Pangai Junior and Joe Ofahengaue can replicate their 161m and 157m efforts from Round 24, captain Darius Boyd and his backline will be given the best opportunity to create havoc with their speed and agility.
Whilst Manly has not been as successful in 2018 as many had predicted, they have one last opportunity to end their season with a victory. Despite completing strongly (74%) in last week’s effort against the Wests Tigers, it was their error rate and handling that saw them come undone. For Manly to cause an upset against the Broncos, it is vital that every player in the 17 is willing to put their body on the line and successfully complete their tackles to ensure that they give the Broncos no attacking advantage. If their middle men, in Martin Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake, make it their intent to dominate the and charge down the middle of the ruck, superstar fullback Tom Trbojevic will be given a license to roam and replicate the superb 281m effort he displayed against the Tigers last week.
The Manly Sea Eagles won their last clash (round ten) convincingly, beating the boys from Brisbane 38-24.
Brisbane Broncos: 1 Darius Boyd, 2 Corey Oates, 3 James Roberts, 4 Jordan Kahu, 5 Jamayne Isaako, 6 Anthony Milford, 7 Kodi Nikorima, 8 Matthew Lodge, 9 Jake Turpin, 10 Sam Thaiday, 11 Alex Glenn, 12 Tevita Pangai Junior, 13 Josh McGuire. Interchange: 14 Patrick Mago, 15 Joe Ofahengaue, 16 Korbin Sims, 17 David Fifita. Reserves: 18 Sam Tagatese, 19 Todd Murphy, 20 Kotoni Staggs, 21 Jack Bird.
Manly Sea Eagles: 1 Tom Trbojevic, 2 Matthew Wright, 3 Moses Suli, 4 Brian Kelly, 5 Brad Parker, 6 Dylan Walker, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans, 8 Addin Fonua-Blake, 9 Manase Fainu, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Joel Thompson, 12 Shaun Lane, 13 Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14 Trent Hodkinson, 15 Kelepi Tanginoa, 16 Jack Gosiewski, 17 Taniela Paseka. Reserves: 18 Frank Winterstein, 19 Tevita Funa, 20 Tom Wright, 21 Lloyd Perrett.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Sunday, September 2 2018
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Kick-off: 4:10pm (AEST)
WHO WILL WIN?
Despite Manly’s motivation to avoid the wooden spoon, expect the Broncos to continue their dominance.
Broncos by 18