2023 NRL Preview Round 7: Sea Eagles Vs Storm

Elinya Chenery previews the Sea Eagles facing off with the Storm in the late Friday night match.



Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Vs Melbourne Storm
Venue: 4 Pines Park, Sydney
Date: Friday 14th April, 8:00pm


Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Ray Tuaimalo-Vaega 6. Cooper Johns 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Jake Trbojevic 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Josh Aloiai 14. Kaeo Weekes 15. Ethan Bullemor 16. Aaron Woods 17. Toafofoa Sipley 18. Sean Keppie 19. Samuela Fainu 20. Ben Condon 21. Gordon Chan Kum Tong 22. Josh Schuster

Storm: 1. Cameron Munster 2. William Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Jonah Pezet 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King 14. Bronson Garlick 15. Alec MacDonald 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Tariq Sims 18. Grant Anderson 19. Aaron Pene 20. Tyran Wishart 21. Sualauvi Faalogo 22. Jack Howarth

Referee: Adam Gee

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These two old foes come into this match-up in drastically different positions, but both will be fighting tooth and nail to take home the two premiership points come Friday night. Whilst the home side are heading into this game off the back of a heavy defeat at the hands of the defending premiers out in Penrith last week, the visiting Melbourne Storm are on an upwards trajectory, jagging three straight wins in the last few weeks, following back-to-back losses early in the season.

With Manly still running on the very real possibility that they may be without five-eighth Josh Schuster for another week, the pressure is on for superstars and veteran playmakers Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans to stand up and guide their side to a victory as underdogs. It also gives an opportunity for Josh Schuster’s replacement Cooper Johns to make his mark on this side in his first season at the club following time spent down with the Storm for the last few years. A diehard Manly fan during his childhood, pulling on the jersey will be extra special for club debutant Aaron Woods on Friday, and such emotion should foster a big game for the big man.

Nick Meaney’s absence is a hefty blow for Melbourne, as despite being the club’s top try-scorer for 2023 so far, he was already a fill-in fullback for an injured Ryan Papenhuzyen. Low on troops, sending Cameron Munster to the fullback position is a necessary move, and sees energy brought into the halves with the inclusion of youngster Jonah Pezet at five-eighth. Despite being early in his career, Pezet now has three games in the halves under his belt during the 2023 season, and should be fresh and energetic after a week out of the NRL during Round 6.

Of course, you can’t talk about Manly and Melbourne facing off on the Northern Beaches without thinking of the “Battle of Brookvale” – 12 years old come August. An historic night set alight the longstanding rivalry between these two sides, and if history is anything to go off, we should expect fireworks come Friday night. Melbourne comes into this one with the recent statistics on their side, having claimed victory six out of the last seven times they’ve faced off against the Sea Eagles.


Sea Eagles 3, Storm 7.


Storm by eight points.

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