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2021 NRL Round 14 Preview, Sea Eagles Vs Cowboys

Andrew Pelechaty previews the opening game of round 14, with Manly Warringah hosting North Queensland. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Lottoland, Date: Friday June 11, Time: 6pm

Sea Eagles Team

14. Dylan Walker
2. Jason Saab
3. Brad Parker
4. Morgan Harper
5. Reuben Garrick
6. Kieran Foran
7. Daly Cherry-Evans
8. Taniela Paseka
9. Lachlan Croker
10. Martin Taupau
11. Haumole Olakau’atu
12. Karl Lawton
13. Jake Trbojevic
15. Moses Suli
16. Ben Trbojevic
17. Toafofoa Sipley
18. Kurt De Luis
19. Cade Cust
20. Christian Tuipulotu
21. Jorge Taufua
22. Tolutau Koula

Team Changes

IN: Cade Cust, Dylan Walker, Haumole Olakau’atu, Jorge Taufua, Kieran Foran, Kurt De Luis, Tolutau Koula
OUT: Sean Keppie, Tevita Funa, Zac Saddler

Cowboys Team

1. Valentine Holmes
5. Murray Taulagi
3. Javid Bowen
4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
18. Justin O’Neill
6. Scott Drinkwater
7. Tom Dearden
8. Tom Gilbert
9. Reece Robson
10. Jordan McLean
11. Shane Wright
12. Coen Hess
13. Jason Taumalolo
14. Jake Granville
15. Peter Hola
16. Lachlan Burr
17. Francis Molo
19. Ben Condon
20. Daejarn Asi
21. Corey Jensen

Team Changes

IN: Ben Condon, Francis Molo, Jason Taumalolo, Justin O’Neill, Kyle Laybutt, Lachlan Burr, Tom Dearden
OUT:
Heilum Luki, Jake Clifford, Mitchell Dunn

Referee: Adam Gee

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Sea Eagles

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Manly Warringah enjoyed a round 13 bye, settling into sixth with the free two points. The Sea Eagles had a surprise last-start loss to Newcastle, falling 18-10 after leading 10-0. The Sea Eagles had won six of their past seven games before that.

Cowboys

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North Queensland are one spot behind the Sea Eagles after also enjoying a round 13 bye. Like Manly, the Cowboys rebounded from an 0-4 start to win six from their last eight games. They beat the NZ Warriors by a point in round 12, with Valentine Holmes (for the second time in a month), icing the game with a late field goal.

PREVIEW

The big factor will be how each team’s Origin contingent backs up, with both sides having big names returning.

There’s a huge out for Manly, with Tom Trbojevic rested after his Man of the Match Origin hat-trick in NSW’s 50-6 win (and Dylan Walker likely to play fullback). Daly Cherry-Evans and Jake Trbojevic are backing up, while – for the Cowboys – Kyle Feldt will miss the game, though Valentine Holmes and Coen Hess will play.

While I’d originally tipped Manly Warringah, Turbo’s omissions swings the game back towards North Queensland: that’s how important Turbo is!

If this game is close in the final five minutes, expect a frenzied field goal shootout, with both Daly Cherry-Evans and Holmes capable of clutch one-pointers (or even a two-point Super Field Goal).

KEY STAT

Manly have a 16-13 advantage since 1998 and have won the past two games: they won 24-12 in round 11 2020 and 22-20 in round 13 2019, both times in Townsville.

PREDICTION

With both teams enjoying winning momentum after poor starts, this should be a tight game; with the hugely influential Tommy Turbo not playing, I’m tipping the Cowboys to get up here, with Holmes kicking another late winning one pointer.

Cowboys by one.

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