Andrew Pelechaty previews Canberra Raiders clash with Manly Sea Eagles at Campbelltown. This is what we have to look forward to.
After copping a bollocking following the Newcastle loss, Canberra (4-1) responded with a tough win over the Wests Tigers. Down 4-0 at halftime, tries to Jack Wighton and Nick Cotric in the 49th and 54th minute secured the 14-6 win, celebrating Ricky Stuart’s 400th game as coach. Defence has been the cornerstone of Canberra’s wins, conceding six points all all four of their victories.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Manly (3-2) pulled off another great escape, and this time it actually worked. Trailing 18-0 against Brisbane, tries to Tevita Funa, Daly Cherry-Evans, Moses Suli and four goals to Reuben Garrick secured a 20-18 win.
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Jordan Rapana 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Curtis Scott 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Iosia Soliola 11. Joseph Tapine 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Horsburgh 14. Siliva Havili 15. Emre Guler 16. Ryan Sutton 17. Hudson Young 18. Dunamis Lui 19. Bailey Simonsson 20. Matt Frawley 21. Tom Starling.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Tevita Funa 3. Brad Parker 4. Brendan Elliot 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Taniela Paseka 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Jack Gosiewski 16. Sean Keppie 17. Morgan Boyle 18. Toafofoa Sipley 19. Abbas Miski 20. Haumole Olakau’atu 21. Cade Cust.
Manly have a habit of getting under Canberra’s skin: out of the Raiders’ 10 losses last year, two were against the Sea Eagles. The first was in round seven at Brookvale: Manly won 24-20 after Canberra burst to a 12-0 lead after 12 minutes. Former Raider Lachlan Croker scored two of Manly’s four tries.
Manly also won 18-14 in round 23 at Bruce. It was an upset considering the Raiders had won five of their last six to surge to the top four. It was two tries each, with Reuben Garrick’s five goals the difference. After the game, Manly’s Addin Fonua-Blake taunted the Canberra fans by pretending to cry. This angered Raiders boss Don Furner, who told Fonua-Blake to “grow up”. Furner’s reaction added another chapter to this spicy rivalry, with Manly holding an 18-13 lead since 1998.
BATTLE TO WATCH
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad v Tom Trbojevic
Both fullbacks are crucial cogs to their respective teams. CNK was not only amazing on the field last year, but became a local cult hero through his generous off-field field deeds. CNK’s early drop against Newcastle signalled that the Raiders were off, but he was back to his usual safe self against the Wests Tigers. Expect Dylan Walker and DCE to target him all afternoon.
After missing the end of last season due to injury (which hurt Manly’s premiership hopes), Tommy T’s return has revitalised the Sea Eagles. He’s scored three tries in five games and put a try-saving tackle on Brisbane Xavier Coates last week, which secured Manly’s win. Was it a shoulder charge? It doesn’t really matter now. Maybe it’s the justice gods at play after the forward pass debacle against Parramatta?
This game will be won mentally as much as physically. As mentioned earlier, Manly know how to get under Canberra’s skin, and will attempt to psyche the Raiders out. Aside from the Newcastle game, Canberra’s defence has been rock solid, so if they hold Manly out, they could sneak home. It’ll be a close one, and may even go to Golden Point. As it’s the Raiders’ official “home” game, they’ve have a virtual Viking Clap, and may even have a small supporter base (and not just dedicated superfans Con and Simon), which will help.
Canberra by two.
Date: Sunday June 21.
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney.