Andrew Pelechaty previews the Saturday afternoon clash between Manly Warringah and the Wests Tigers …
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Vs Wests Tigers
4 Pines Park, Sydney
Date: e.g., Saturday May 7, 3:00pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Christian Tuipulotu 3. Ben Trbojevic 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Sean Keppie 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Martin Taupau 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Josh Schuster 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Dylan Walker 15. Ethan Bullemor 16. Josh Aloiai 17. Toafofoa Sipley 18. Kurt De Luis 19. Morgan Harper 20. Kaeo Weekes 21. James Roumanos 22. Viliami Fifita 23. Jamie Humphreys 24. Jacob Sykes
A big in for Manly Warringah, with Tom Trbojevic back. Brad Parker (knee) and Jason Saab (toe) are out, with Ben Trbojevic taking Parker’s centre spot and Reuben Garrick back on the wing. Haumole Olakau’atu returns from suspension after Karl Lawton accepted a four-match ban, while Josh Aloiai will return from a shoulder knock. All three Trbojevic are playing in this game.Embed from Getty Images
Tigers: 1. Starford To’a 2. Asu Kepaoa 3. Oliver Gildart 4. Luke Garner 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Jake Simpkin 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Kelma Tuilagi 12. Alex Seyfarth 13. Joe Ofahengaue 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Alex Twal 16. Thomas Mikaele 17. Stefano Utoikamanu 18. Jacob Liddle 19. Jock Madden 20. Junior Tupou 21. Tukimihia Simpkins 22. Austin Dias 23. Junior Pauga 24. Fonua Pole
Luciano Leilua (hamstring) and David Nofoaluma (concussion) are out, replaced by Alex Seyfarth and Ken Maumalo. Jake Simpkin (ankle) is back at hooker for Jacob Liddle. Stefano Utoikamanu returns from his knee injury.
Referee: Adam Gee
Manly have defied the ”no Turbo, no Sea Eagles” theory, with dominant wins over Newcastle, Gold Coast, and competitive losses against Cronulla-Sutherland and South Sydney. The 4-4 Sea Eagles sit in eight and will be looking to beat Wests and Brisbane (a Lang Park ”home” game in Magic Round), before big tests against the erratic-but-dangerous Parramatta and the Storm in Melbourne.
The Tigers, to the credit, have been a lot more competitive these past three weeks: beating Parramatta and Souths by one point each and pushing the equally-improved Dragons all the way. Along with Jackson Hastings, the much-maligned Luke Brooks has risen as well, with a crucial try and the game-winning field goal against Souths and the Tigers’ only try against the Dragons as they staged a late comeback. While the Tigers probably won’t challenge for finals just yet, more competitive displays will keep the fans (relatively) happy, keep Madge in a job, and stop Fox Sports from writing clickbait trash about them.
While Manly should be too good at Brookvale Oval, expect the Tigers to push them all the way. It won’t be a repeat of their two 2021 clashes, which Manly won 40-6 and 44-24.Embed from Getty Images
Manly had a comfortable win over Wests in the 2022 trials, beating them 28-4, with a hat-trick to Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega.
Sea Eagles by 10.
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