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Mitch Dransfield previews the Warriors and Sea Eagles clash for the last round of the season at Central Coast Stadium. This is what we have to look forward to.

FORM LINE

New Zealand Warriors

New Zealand put in a gallant effort against the Raiders in their previous outing, falling 26-14 while losing a few key players to injury in the process.

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Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

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Manly clashed with the Titans at home: a fast-paced match occurred with a close score line at half time (22-12). The Gold Coast scored first after the break, then piled on the points to push ahead of the Sea Eagles 42-24 and win their fourth consecutive game.

SQUAD NEWS

New Zealand Warriors

1. Peta Hiku 2. Adam Pompey 3. Adam Keighran 4. Hayze Perham 5. Patrick Herbert 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Chanel Harris-Tavita 8. Lachlan Burr 9. Karl Lawton 10. Isaiah Papali’i 11. Eliesa Katoa 12. Tohu Harris 13. Jazz Tevaga 14. Wayde Egan 15. Adam Blair 16. Jack Murchie 17. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 18. Josh Curran 20. Paul Turner 21. Gerard Beale 22. Tom Ale.

Peta Hiku fills in at fullback for the injured Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Patrick Herbert returns on the wing, with Hayze Perham moving to the centres. Eliesa Katoa is added to the second row, with Jack Murchie on the bench, while Isaiah Papali’i starts at prop. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown also returns onto the interchange, with Jazz Tevaga named but needing to pass HIA protocols in order to play.

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

1. Tevita Funa 2. Abbas Miski 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Lachlan Croker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Corey Waddell 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Albert Hopoate 15. Morgan Boyle 16. Sean Keppie 17. Haumole Olakau’atu 18. Ben Trbojevic 19. Luke Metcalf 20. Toafofoa Sipley 21. Sione Fainu.

Tom Trbojevic succumbing to another injury will see Tevita Funa revert to fullback once again. Reuben Garrick is named to return from his shoulder issue. Abbas Miski will start on the other wing,  with Albert Hopoate dropping to the interchange. Taniela Paseka starts at prop with Morgan Boyle sent back to the bench. Corey Waddell starts in the second row with Jack Gosiewski out, while Haumole Olakau’atu sees more game time on the bench.

KEY STAT

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Manly have only won one of the past four meetings between the two teams. The latest episode of this rivalry saw New Zealand win 26-22 at Lottoland after leading 20-10 during the break.

BATTLE TO WATCH

Tohu Harris vs Curtis Sironen

For an encounter that doesn’t pose any consequences for either team, there’s a tasty battle in the back row between two in-form second rowers in Tohu Harris and Curtis Sironen.

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Harris has been the Warriors’ best player this season: an average run metre total of 174 metres is incredible for a forward. His work in defence has been also impressive, being able to make staunch tackles on a regular basis, with up to 42 each match over 19 rounds: it’s a large amount of workload alongside his attack.

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One of Manly’s most consistent players in a horrible season, Sironen has been flying high with his lines off his edge to find his teammates with offloads in nearly every damaging run. In his 17 appearances, Sironen has averaged 107 run metres which – with limited ball possession for his side over the year – has made his game go to another level, with his work ethic staying in the match with the same intensity.

GAME DETAILS

Manly by 10.

Date: Sunday 27th September 
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Kick-off: 2pm

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