NRL match preview: Manly Sea Eagles vs North Queensland Cowboys

Date: Friday April 18
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Kick-off: 7:40pm


Sea Eagles

1 Brett Stewart 2 Jorge Taufua 3 Jamie Lyon (c) 4 Steve Matai 5 Peta Hiku 6 Kieran Foran 7 Daly Cherry-Evans 8 Josh Starling 9 Matt Ballin 10 Brenton Lawrence 11 Anthony Watmough 12 Justin Horo 13 Glenn Stewart Interchange 14 James Hasson 15 Dunamis Lui 16 Jamie Buhrer 17 Jason King 18 Jesse Sene-Lefao


1 Michael Morgan 2 Matthew Wright 3 Brent Tate 4 Kane Linnett 5 Curtis Rona 6 Johnathan Thurston (c) 7 Robert Lui 8 Matt Scott (c)  9 Rory Kostjasyn 10 James Tamou 11 Gavin Cooper 12 Jason Taumalolo 13 Tariq Sims Interchange 14 Ray Thompson 15 Joel Riethmuller 16 Ashton Sims 17 Scott Bolton 18 Glenn Hall


Manly have been dealt a blow with Daly Cherry-Evans being ruled out of tonight’s clash with North Queensland in Gosford.

Cherry-Evans hasn’t been able to overcome an ankle injury in time and it’s expected that Jamie Lyon will play at six and Kieran Foran at halfback.  This could see Jesse Sene-Lefao start at centre.  Manly shouldn’t be too disrupted with Cherry-Evans absence.  Geoff Toovey has named the same seventeen that crushed Cronulla 24-4 at Brookvale last Sunday.  Expect Manly to get out to a good start and continue to work on their second half which has let them down on a few occasions.  Jorge Taufua will be better for the run last weekend and Brenton Lawrence has been one of the form forwards so far this season as he looks for rep honours.

North Queensland sit in twelfth place and are desperate to keep in touch with the top eight, having only recorded two wins this season.  They are coming off a disappointing effort against Wests Tigers where they went down 16-4 at Campbelltown last Saturday night. Paul Green named Curtis Rona to make his debut with Antionio Winterstein injured.  Glenn Hall was included as eighteenth man for the trip to Sydney.  The Cowboys best hope is in the hands of Johnathan Thurston, but even his form has been down on last year.  Great forward pack on paper, but they’re not delivering.  Tariq Sims’ future at the club is in doubt as South Sydney chase the talented back rower.


Manly have won their past five clashes against the Cowboys and I think this one will go the same way.  Manly will run away with this game as the Cowboys struggle to score points.

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