Andrew Pelechaty previews Sunday afternoon’s Manly Sea Eagles vs Canberra Raiders game at Lottoland.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Manly Sea Eagles
Manly were horribly unlucky not to beat St. George-Illawarra on Easter Saturday night, with a controversial escort penalty denying them a shot at a game-tying penalty goal. To make it worse, the referees admitted they’d made a mistake. Despite the loss, Manly stayed in the top eight with a 3-3 record.
Canberra are purring along, 5-1 and equal first after beating Brisbane 26-20 on Easter Sunday, their fourth straight win. The Raiders are showing increased maturity (and shedding the dreaded ‘Faiders’ tag), rebounding with two quick tries after Brisbane turned a 14-4 halftime deficit into a 16-14 second half lead.
Manly Sea Eagles
Manly have stuck with the same 17 that narrowly lost to St. George-Illawarra.
Manly Sea Eagles squad: 1. Brendan Elliott 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Moses Suli 4. Brad Parker 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Kane Elgey 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Toafofoa Sipley 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Manase Fainu 15. Jack Gosiewski 16. Corey Waddell 17. Morgan Boyle 18. Kelepi Tangino 19. Sam Smith 20. Lachlan Croker 21. Taniela Paseka.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is named despite injuring his knee against Brisbane last Sunday. Emre Guler and Jack Murchie join the bench in place of JJ Collins and Hudson Young.
Canberra Raiders squad: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joseph Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Sam Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Dunamis Lui 11. John Bateman 12. Elliot Whitehead 13. Ryan Sutton 14. Siliva Havili 15. Emre Guler 16. Iosia Soliola 17. Jack Murchie 18. Aidan Sezer 19. Bailey Simonsson 20. JJ Collins 21. Hudson Young.
HEAD TO HEAD
Canberra and Manly-Warringah split the points in 2018: Manly belted Canberra 32-16 at Brooky on Easter Saturday night while Canberra won the round 12 return game 21-20 with an Aidan Sezer field goal on full time. Manly-Warringah hold a 16-13 advantage since 1998.
The battle between Daly Cherry-Evans and Sam Williams could decide this one. The at times maligned Manly captain has led by example, with three tries, 19 goals, three try assists, 119 tackles and almost 500 total running metres.
Williams has made the most of his third stint at Bruce Stadium, flourishing while Aidan Sezer’s been injured. Crucially, his 100-plus games of experience has helped ease Jack Wighton into his new five-eighth role. Wighton can be erratic at times, but Williams has kept a cool head with one try, 58 tackles, and over 200 average kicking metres.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Sunday April 28.
WHO WILL WIN?
With four straight wins, Canberra are high on confidence. Manly will give it their all at home, but expect the Raiders to leave Brookvale as comfortable winners on the back of their improved defence, blistering attack and pure momentum.