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MATCH PREVIEW | New Zealand Warriors vs Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

Todd Warren brings you the preview of the Warriors vs the Sea Eagles as both fight for ladder position in preparation for Finals.

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Warriors

The Warriors are on a two game losing streak after beating the Sharks by one point back in Round 18 and a 90 minute draw with the Broncos the week before.

Sea Eagles

Manly are flying. They pumped the Knights 30-6 last week and were one of the only teams to be able to beat Melbourne the week before. They’re on a three game winning streak and have only lost one game from their last six, when they lost by a drop goal against the Rabbitohs.

SQUAD NEWS

Warriors

Kodi Nikorima is out after suffering an ankle injury in the Raiders game last week however he is replaced by the capable Chanel Harris-Tavita. Karl Lawton won’t play due to a shoulder injury so Jazz Tevaga starts at hooker with Adam Keighran the bench utility.

The Warriors need to win. With only five games left they are three points behind the eighth-placed Tigers and have a worse differential than the four teams above them.

Warriors team list:

1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c)
2. Gerard Beale
3. Peta Hiku
4. Blake Ayshford
5. Ken Maumalo
6. Chanel Harris-Tavita
7. Blake Green
8. Agnatius Paasi
9. Jazz Tevaga
10. Leeson Ah Mau
11. Adam Blair
12. Isaiah Papali’i
13. Lachlan Burr
14. Adam Keighran
15. Sam Lisone
16. Bunty Afoa
17. Ligi Sao

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Sea Eagles

Manly are back to fielding a strong side after a heap of injuries earlier in the season.

While Finals footy seems a certainty with the in form Manly side, they are undoubtedly vying for a spot in the top four. They are two points behind the Roosters, Raiders and Rabbitohs who are only split by differential. With the top four all facing off against each other on Sunday it gives Manly a chance to sneak into fourth place if they can get a big win over the Warriors and the Storm beat the Rabbitohs.

Manly team list:

1. Tom Trbojevic
2. Jorge Taufua
3. Brad Parker
4. Moses Suli
5. Reuben Garrick
6. Dylan Walker
7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c)
8. Addin Fonua-Blake
9. Apisai Koroisau
10. Marty Taupau
11. Joel Thompson
12. Curtis Sironen
13. Jake Trbojevic
14. Manase Fainu
15. Corey Waddell
16. Morgan Boyle
17. Taniela Paseka

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HEAD TO HEAD

Manly got a big win back in round three when they smashed the Warriors 46-12. Manly have been very dominant in these games and have won eight of the last ten.

KEY BATTLE

Another battle of the fullbacks. Two of the best players in the game and will line up against each other as Tom Trbojevic faces off against Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. “Tommy Turbo” has been nothing short of electric since returning from injury in Round 13. In fact he is undefeated in club football as well as Origin, which is impressive enough, let alone he has been a key figure in all of those games. He’s a genuine match winner and capable of anything at just 22 years old.

On the other side of the field we have RTS, who is a game breaker in his own right and has been at the top of his game for longer than Tom has been in the league. He is a Premiership winner with the Roosters and a huge part of the success that club has had over the last decade. With arguably the best footwork out of anyone in the game he is a constant threat in attack, very solid in defence and captain of his club and country. On a personal note I consider James Tedesco to be the best fullback in the world right now but I honestly struggle to decide whether to put Trbojevic or RTS at #2 or #3. Regardless of that, there’s no doubt that both these guys will play a starring role in this game.

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THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Friday August 9th
Venue: Mount Smart Stadium, New Zealand
Kick-off: 6pm
Referee: Ben Cummins, Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski

WHO WILL WIN?

Manly will be too good and I expect them to get the job done to put themselves in position to end the round in the top four. Sea Eagles by 18.

 

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