Game three of Magic Round brings us a hot Manly vs a struggling Brisbane.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Manly Sea Eagles
Many of us (myself included) wrote Manly off for this season after seeing their roster, however they have are firmly in the top eight a third of the way through the season with five wins from eight with wins over heavyweights Souths and Canberra. They are down on key troops but still stringing wins together and coming off a good home victory against the Bulldogs.
On the other end of the table, the Broncos are struggling big time. Always tipped to be a finals bound team and recruiting the Dally M coach of the year, they have been very disappointing thus far. They currently sit 13th on the ladder with two wins from eight and only one from the last six games.
Manly Sea Eagles
More injuries for Manly with Addin Fonua-Blake and Lachlan Croker out for Magic Round. This causes yet another lineup shuffle to the spine with Apisai Koroisau moving to the halves, Manase Fainu starting at hooker, Toafofoa Sipley starting at prop and Morgan Boyle joining the bench.
Manly Sea Eagles: 1. Brendan Elliott 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Moses Suli 4. Brad Parker 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Apisai Koroisau 7. Kane Elgey 8. Toafofoa Sipley 9. Manase Fainu 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Jack Gosiewski 15. Kelepi Tanginoa 16. Corey Waddell 17. Morgan Boyle 18. Abbas Miski 19. Cade Cust 20. Zach Dockar-clay 21. Taniela Paseka.
Big news out of Brisbane this week with Andrew McCullough going down with a suspected MCL injury and James Roberts out of the team as well. That’s more drama that Brisbane didn’t need and now we see Jake Turpin starting at hooker to cover Macca as well as some reshuffling to their forwards as well as Anthony Seibold tries to find out what he needs to do to get away from the bottom four.
1. Darius Boyd 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Jack Bird 5. Gehamat Shibasaki 6. Anthony Milford 7. Tom Dearden 8. Matthew Lodge 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. Thomas Flegler 14. Patty Carrigan 15. David Fifita 16. Tevita Pangai 17. Joe Ofahengaue 18. Jamayne Isaako 19. Cory Paix 20. Jaydn Su’a 21. Sean O’Sullivan.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Broncos destroyed the Sea Eagles 48-16 in Round 25 last year before getting bounced out of the finals by the Dragons. The sides have been quite evenly matched though with both teams winning five of the last ten.
Martin Taupau has been his usual self so far with running over people, busting tackles and throwing offloads. He comes up this week against another beast in Payne Haas. Haas spent the first part of this season suspended but since he’s been back in the team he is showing us that the hype is real. Hugely talented and possessing similar barnstorming skills as Taupau, perhaps the most impressive part of this young guy is his massive motor. By all reports he is up there with the fittest players at the club and Seibold even has the option of playing him for the full 80 minutes, which is incredible for a front rower.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 10th May
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins, Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
WHO WILL WIN?
Hard one to pick with key changes to both teams, however going off what we’ve seen so far I will be tipping Manly to win by 8.