Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
41 hours ago
2013 brings another year of hope for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. This year will bring Geoff Toovey's second year at the helm and a lot of new faces to the line up.
Manly's backline will look for consistency in 2013. David Williams will be returning off yet another long term injury and will be looking to stay injury free in 2013. The halves (Kieran Foran & Daly Cherry-Evans) will continue to develop with another year under their belt and under the guidance of Andrew Johns who joined the club in late-2012. The forwards will struggle with the loss of Tony Williams but there are many young forwards looking to join the front line.
This season, Manly players and fans will have to get use to Monday night football with no fewer than seven Monday games scheduled for the first 20 rounds - most of these being away trips. The start of the season sees 2 trips to Queensland in the first 3 weeks and a home game moved to Gosford to begin Easter Weekend. The rest of the season has a consistent amount of home and away games, with the club's final home game against Penrith being also being shifted to Gosford.
Why They Will Win It
The spine. Brett Stewart, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans & Matt Ballin have been playing together for 2 years consistently and are now a strong combination.
Why They Won't Win It
Loss of experience in the forwards. Tony Williams is a huge loss for Manly in 2013.
Player to Watch
Jamie Lyon - at now 31 years of age, Killer's experience and leadership on and off the field will boost Manly's chances of a finals appearance in September.
Rookie to Watch
Michael Chee-Kam - this former Canberra Raiders U20s player will turn 21 just before the season starts. At 189cm, this tall second rower/centre will be pushing for a bench spot to start 2013 and provide depth for the backline.
2013 Roster Changes
Comings: Michael Chee-Kam (Canberra), Dane Chisholm (Wests Tigers), Richie Fa'aoso (Melbourne), Jacob Gagan, Justin Horo, Esikeli Tonga (Parramatta), David Gower (St George Illawarra), James Hasson (Sharks), Peta Hiku, Ligi Seo (Warriors), Brenton Lawrence, Kayne Lawton (Titans), Justin Lemalu (Bulldogs)
Goings: Darcy Lussick, Daniel Harrison (Parramatta), Dean Whare (Penrith), Michael Oldfield (Roosters), Tony Williams (Bulldogs), Josh Drinkwater (Dragons), Liam Foran, Vic Mauro (ESL)
Best Line Up
1. Brett Stewart 2. David Williams 3. Jamie Lyon (c) 4. Steve Matai 5. Jorge Taufua 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Jason King (c) 9. Matt Ballin 10. Brent Kite 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Jamie Buhrer 13. Glenn Stewart
Interchange: 14. Kayne Lawton 15. Michael Chee-Kam 16. George Rose 17. James Cunningham