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2021 NRL Round 10 Preview, Sea Eagles Vs Broncos

Lachy MacCorquodale previews the Friday night Magic Round clash between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Brisbane Broncos. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Date: 14th May, Time: 8:05pm

Sea Eagles Team

  1. Tom Trbojevic
  2. Jason Saab
  3. Brad Parker
  4. Morgan Harper
  5. Reuben Garrick
  6. Kieran Foran
  7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c)
  8. Taniela Paskea
  9. Lachlan Croker
  10. Martin Taupau
  11. Haumole Olakau’atu
  12. Josh Schuster
  13. Jake Trbojevic
  14. Cade Cust
  15. Moses Suli
  16. Sean Keppie
  17. Toafofoa Sipley
  18. Zac Saddler
  19. Tevita Funa
  20. Christian Tuipulotu
  21. Ben Trbojevic

Team Changes

IN: Martin Taupau
OUT: Jorge Taufua

Broncos Team

  1. Jamayne Isaako
  2. Xavier Coates
  3. Herbie Farnworth
  4. Jesse Arthars
  5. Corey Oates
  6. Anthony Milford
  7. Tyson Gamble
  8. Matthew Lodge
  9. Jake Turpin (c)
  10. Payne Haas
  11. Jordan Riki
  12. Tevita Pangai Junior
  13. Thomas Flegler
  14. Danny Levi
  15. John Asiata
  16. Ethan Bullemor
  17. Rhys Kennedy
  18. Keenan Palasia
  19. David Mead
  20. Tesi Niu
  21. Brendan Piakura

Team Changes

IN: David Mead, Keenan Palasia
OUT:
Patrick Carrigan, Dale Copley

Referee: Gerard Sutton

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Sea Eagles

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The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have been in terrific form since the return of their star fullback Tom Trbojevic. Since his return in round six, the Sea Eagles have scored 130 points, averaging 32.5 points per game. This is a complete flip from the opening five rounds of the season when Trbojevic was absent. In those first five matches, the Sea Eagles scored a lacklustre 47 points, averaging 9.4 per game. The fullback played his 100th game on the weekend and delivered one of the great individual performances: scoring two tries, assisting in a further four, and breaking the line on five occasions.

His impact on the Sea Eagles is nothing like the competition has seen for years, having scored five tries and assisting eight in his four games since returning from a hamstring injury. The Sea Eagles are now on a roll and sit just outside the eight on points differential. They’ve got a real opportunity to move into the top eight if they can manage a win against the 14th-placed Broncos.

Broncos

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The Brisbane Broncos failed to back up their Titans win as they fell to the North Queensland Cowboys by one point last weekend; they haven’t won consecutive games since round two 2020. It was arguably the Broncos’ best shot at winning a game during May as they take on Manly, the Sydney Roosters and the Melbourne Storm over the next three weeks, all difficult fixtures. Still, the Broncos seemed to have found something over the past two weeks.

Brisbane scored 36 points against the Gold Coast and backed it up with 18 against the Cowboys, a sign that they are starting to compete against the sides that aren’t bona fide finals teams, something which they failed to do last season. Helping them has been winger Corey Oates, who seems to have found some of his form on the wing, running for over 150 run metres in three of his four appearances this season, including a try against the Titans.

PREVIEW

Manly will head to Brisbane with the upmost confidence as they enter Magic Round with plenty of momentum. A potential spot in the top eight is looming with a victory on Friday night, but the Broncos won’t be keen to roll over in front of an ‘away’ Suncorp crowd. The Broncos are going to be aggressive up front and will look to win the battle in the middle with players such as Payne Haas and Tevita Pangai Junior charging through. They’ll clash heads with big middle forwards in Martin Taupau and Taniela Paseka in what is a genuine clash between big units. They won the post-meterage battle last weekend against the Cowboys and will look to do the same this weekend. This will allow the forwards to lay a good platform for Tyson Gamble and Anthony Milford to play off.

However, it would be surprising if this game was won by the Broncos’ ability to score points rather than restricting the Sea Eagles to minimal points. At the moment it hasn’t mattered what opposition sides have scored against the Sea Eagles, except for their loss to league leaders Penrith, because their ability to score points has skyrocketed since the return of Tommy Turbo and defence hasn’t been the Broncos’ strong suit in 2021. The Broncos currently have the fourth-worst defence in the competition, conceding 240 points in nine games thus far. It’s not easy to win games when you concede on average 26.7 points per game and it’s not going to be an easy task for the Broncos on Friday night.

KEY STAT

The Broncos capitulated in the second half against Manly in their only clash in 2020, but they have recent history on their side, having won four of the past six clashes against the Sea Eagles and scored at least 18 points in all six contests. Bizarrely, this will also be the sixth time in their last seven outings that this fixture has been played in Brisbane.

PREDICTION

Manly are very hard to go past on Friday night; a ‘home’ fixture in Brisbane against Brisbane doesn’t help their cause, but their attacking form at the moment has been enthralling. I think the Sea Eagles will be too strong. 

Manly Warringah by 14 points.

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