Andrew Pelechaty previews the rematch between Manly Warringah and Melbourne …
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Vs Melbourne Storm
Venue: 4 Pines Park, Sydney
Date: Thursday June 30, 7:50pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Sea Eagles: 1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Morgan Harper 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Christian Tuipulotu 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Sean Keppie 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Toafofoa Sipley 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Andrew Davey 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Dylan Walker 15. Josh Schuster 16. Martin Taupau 17. Taniela Paseka 18. Ben Trbojevic 19. Kurt De Luis 20. Ethan Bullemor 21. Jorge Taufua 22. Kaeo Weekes
Josh Aloiai (Samoa) has been rested following a concussion in the Pacific Tests; Sean Keppie moves to the starting side and Taniela Paseka is on the bench. Jake Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans should back up from Origin II, along with Christian Tuipulotu and Tolutau Koula (Tonga) and Josh Schuster and Marty Taupau (Samoa).Embed from Getty Images
Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Dean Ieremia 3. Marion Seve 4. Justin Olam 5. Grant Anderson 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Josh King 11. Chris Lewis 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Brandon Smith 14. Jayden Nikorima 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 18. Alec MacDonald 19. Ryan Papenhuyzen 20. Tyran Wishart 21. Jordan Grant 22. Bronson Garlick
Cameron Munster is in doubt after picking up a shoulder injury during Origin. Maroons teammate Felise Kaufusi is out for personal reasons. New Zealand reps Jesse Bromwich, Kenny Bromwich, Jahrome Hughes, lock Brandon Smith, Tui Kamikamika (Fiji) and Justin Olam (PNG) will back up from the Pacific Tests.
Referee: Grant Atkins
In another example of how ridiculous the NRL draw is, it’s been a bit over a month since Manly Warringah and Melbourne last played during Indigenous Round, also on a Thursday night. The Storm, reeling after consecutive losses to Penrith and North Queensland, took their frustrations out on the fading Sea Eagles, winning 28-8.
Since then, the Storm have beaten the Sydney Roosters and Brisbane, and have also gotten two points from the bye.
Manly appeared to be steadying after smashing the bottom four Warriors (44-12) and Wests Tigers (30-4). They were on track for three straight wins when they led North Queensland 26-12 with 15 minutes left at Brookvale (with two tries in three minutes to Lachlan Croker), but conceded three late tries to lose 28-26: one of the most dramatic collapses this season.
While Manly are still in top eight contention, the Cowboys loss could be a huge psychological blow. How they rebound against the ruthless Storm will say a lot about their finals hopes, as well as getting back in the Brooky faithful’s good books.
While the Storm are sitting pretty in second spot, they’ll want to keep going as they’re still two wins adrift of first-placed Penrith, and one win ahead of the third-placed Cowboys (who have two points coming for the bye soon). Though finishing in the top two is arguably more important than winning the minor premiership, so the Storm will want to keep the Cowboys at a safe distance.
The in-form Storm should continue to hold down second place with a comfortable win at Brooky.Embed from Getty Images
Manly’s huge 2008 Grand Final win (40-0) gave them the record of the biggest win and biggest margin in the NRL era.
Manly haven’t beaten Melbourne since Round 19, 2019 (winning 11-10). Melbourne have won the last six, including a 40-12 win in last year’s qualifying final on the Sunshine Coast.
Storm by 12.
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