Mitch Dransfield previews the Sea Eagles taking on theTigers at Brookvale Oval: a must-win clash for either side. This is what we have to look forward to.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Manly was tasked with venturing up to the Sunshine Coast to play the Storm, with the Sea Eagles staying in the fight for the first half. A Lack of urgency and discipline hurt Manly, with Melbourne running away with a comfortable 30-6 win.
Wests fell to a red hot Penrith team last round, losing 30-6. They never looked ready for the match: with lots of errors and interchange cards being swapped, it was a difficult time for them to get going at all. They will be keen to move on quickly.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Tevita Funa 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Brad Parker 4. Albert Hopoate 5. Abbas Miski 6. Cade Cust 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Jack Gosiewski 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Corey Waddell 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka 18. Josh Schuster 19. Morgan Harper 20. Morgan Boyle 21. Haumole Olakau’atu
Josh Schuster is a chance of debuting in the NRL with Jack Gosiewski filling in the second row for the injured Joel Thompson; Abbas Miski also comes in for Rueben Garrick.
1. Moses Mbye 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Joseph Leilua 4. Adam Doueihi 5. Asu Kepaoa 6. Benji Marshall 7. Luke Brooks 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Harry Grant 10. Thomas Mikaele 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Alex Twal 14. Matt Eisenhuth 15. Elijah Taylor 16. Jacob Liddle 17. Sam McIntyre 18. Chris Lawrence 19. Tommy Talau 20. Josh Reynolds 21. Russell Packer
Asu Kepaoa returns to the side on the wing.
These sides have traditionally had high-scoring matches, with Wests dominating over the last few seasons, winning four of the last five encounters. Manly have won 16 from 29 matches played since 1998, with nine of those being at Brookvale.
BATTLE TO WATCH
Alex Twal vs Jake Trbojevic
It’s hard to go past the battle in the middle for this fixture: with Alex Twal having the best season of his career and Jake Trbojevic putting up his normal effort with hard tackling, this will be the main clash to look forward to. This pair of locks are guaranteed to shape the outcome; with such influence in the middle they generate quick play-the-balls and late offloads that terrorise sides.
This is a do-or-die situation for both clubs; they will both need to get on a winning streak and quick. Each side has to win their remaining games and have other results go in their favour to make the finals, but for Manly it’s a somewhat easier road to doing so.
Wests have been impressive in passages, with Harry Grant stamping his mark along with Alex Twal dominating the middle of the park; if they can win over the Manly pack their elusive backs can blow away the opposition, like in previous meetings.
The Sea Eagles have the chance to give some young blood a chance, with Schuster likely to come into the 17 by game day, a correction in playing the entire 80 minutes with Addin Fonua-Blake, and Martin Taupau punching through the middle to set the platform for Manly’s halves, they should be able to get a somewhat comfortable victory at home.
Sea Eagles by eight.
Date: Saturday, September 5.
Venue: Brookvale Oval