Mitch Dransfield previews a mouth-watering round four clash between the Parramatta Eels and Manly Sea Eagles, This is what we have to look forward to.
Parramatta continued on their winning ways in 2020 with a convincing performance against the Broncos in round three. This matchup was high speed with the new ruck rules benefitting the Eels attack who outscored the Brisbane side 34-6.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Manly hosted Canterbury after the break in the season to collect their second win of the season. Tom Trbojevic starred as they ran riot against a struggling Bulldogs outfit to win 32-6.
1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Marata Niukore Interchange: 14. Brad Takairangi 15. Ray Stone 16. Kane Evans 17. Peni Terepo.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Brad Parker 4. Moses Suli 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic Interchange: 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Corey Waddell 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka
These two sides rivalry since they joined the league has been bitter and entertaining. Parramatta against Manly has always been heated battles but of recent times the scores have been very high with the average of the last four meetings being 54 total points in each fixture. Since 2014 the Eels have had the rub of the green with results going their way 8 from 10 matches with Manly only recording their two wins in the past two seasons.
BATTLE TO WATCH
These two teams have been standouts of this disrupted season so far with many players performing to their best ability. The key battle in this matchup will be between the fullbacks as they have shown to be pivotal in their team’s performances; they are of course Clint Gutherson and Tom Trbojevic.
The captain of the Parramatta side Gutherson has been inspirational in rallying his side to wins this season, using his actions to motivate and drive his team. He’s had an impressive start to 2020 with an average of 221 run metres working around the ruck and sweeping plays while getting his hand on the ball finishing off plays from play makers in Dylan Brown and Mitch Moses.
Manly’s star fullback Tom Trbojevic has been the best player in the competition this season with influential plays that has knocked around the best defences so far. Turbo has always been known for his involvement but this year it has gone to another level being in every set of the Sea Eagles whether drawing and passing for an assist or creating a try out of nothing for himself or the team. One of the biggest improvements has been his reads in defence which has been another string to his already strong bow.
This easily the game of the round this week, two club rivals going at each other this early with successful campaigns so far will have this measured as a test for both to see where they really are at compared to the best opposition.
Though the Eels have started strong they’ve had somewhat easy matchups until last week where they blew Broncos off the park if they can replicate that performance they will likely win but its still to be seen if they can be consistent against top sides.
For the Sea Eagles well they continue on in another hard match having already played against Melbourne and the Roosters this year, this could help them defensively and with decision making against Parramatta.
This could be a much lower scoring affair than in previous years with a heavy focus on defence from both teams this season it will likely come down to a clutch play.
Having seen what both sides can do in those high-pressure moments the Manly boys have the slight edge with DCE and the Trbojevic’s.
Sea Eagles by 4
Date: Saturday 6th June
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney