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2021 NRL Semi-Final Preview, Sea Eagles Vs Roosters

Jame Nash previews this do or die clash between the Sea Eagles and the Roosters on Friday night. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: BB Print Stadium, Date: Friday, September 17, Time: 7:50pm AEST

Sea Eagles

1. Tom Trbojevic
2. Jason Saab
3. Brad Parker
4. Morgan Harper
5. Reuben Garrick
6. Kieran Foran
7. Daly Cherry-Evans
8. Josh Aloiai
9. Lachlan Croker
10. Martin Taupau
11. Haumole Olakau’atu
12. Josh Schuster
13. Jake Trbojevic
14. Dylan Walker
15. Karl Lawton
16. Sean Keppie
17. Taniela Paseka
18. Toafofoa Sipley
19. Moses Suli
20. Curtis Sironen
21. Tevita Funa

Team Changes

IN: Lachlan Croker, Tevita Funa, Toafofoa Sipley
OUT:

Roosters

1. James Tedesco
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Josh Morris
4. Adam Keighran
5. Matt Ikuvalu
6. Lachlan Lam
7. Drew Hutchison
8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
9. Sam Verrills
10. Isaac Liu
11. Angus Crichton
12. Sitili Tupouniua
13. Victor Radley
14. Sam Walker
15. Nat Butcher
16. Egan Butcher
17. Fletcher Baker
18. Dale Copley
19. Ben Thomas
20. Ben Marschke
21. Naufahu Whyte

Team Changes

IN: Ben Marschke, Ben Thomas, Nat Butcher, Naufahu Whyte
OUT:
Siosiua Taukeiaho

Referee: Gerard Sutton

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Sea Eagles

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Lachlan Croker should be right to play after being a late withdrawal with back tightness last week. Karl Lawton will move back to the bench and Curtis Sironen into the reserves. The Sea Eagles were simply never in it last week in their big 40-12 loss to the Storm. Melbourne raced out to a 16-0 lead in the opening 15 minutes and Manly were unable to run them down. After only having 39% possession last week, if they can even up that stat, they” have a far better chance this week.

Roosters

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Sam Verrills has been suspended two games so coach Trent Robinson will be forced into a change at hooker. The Roosters got out of jail in an absolute thriller against the Titans last week. A late Sam Walker field goal was the difference, while the Titans had a chance in the dying seconds but Patrick Herbert wasn’t able to connect on the final pass. The Roosters will be out to prove last week wasn’t a lucky win.

PREVIEW

All eyes will be on the battle of the fullbacks in this match, with two of the best players in the competition going head to head. Trbojevic was largely kept quiet by the Storm last week and will want to bounce back in a big way. His form has been simply scintillating this season and he will once again be key to Manly’s chances. Tedesco was at his usual best last week, scoring a try and an assist, while also running for 184 metres with five tackle breaks and a line break. The Roosters will need a similar performance from him this weekend.

In a season where the Roosters have had to deal with a plethora of injuries, they will now be without Sam Verrills due to suspension. Ben Marschke is likely to take his place at hooker and he’s performed admirably this season but Verrills’ absence will hurt. One of the keys for Trent Robinson’s men, however, will be improved discipline after only completing 26 of 39 sets against the Titans.

KEY STAT

Recent history between the two sides is split, with the two sides winning five games apiece over the last 10 games.

PREDICTION

There’s no more second chances for the Sea Eagles. Despite their heavy loss to the Storm last week, they should still be too good against the undermanned Roosters.

Sea Eagles by 6

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