Manly v Warriors preview

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Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles v Warriors Sunday 2:00pm at 4 Pines Park

Resurgent Manly look to fix blip on the radar against Warriors

After putting up a good fight last week, the Manly Sea Eagles were ultimately outclassed by the Panthers, while the Warriors started fast but only just held on against the Cowboys. 

Despite the loss, Manly fans will be pleased by their side showing that they currently have the ability to at least hang with the best teams in the competition. With Tom Trbojevic in the side, it is clear that Manly are capable of making the finals, something which was considered a pipe dream just 4 weeks ago.

The Warriors, on the other hand, have been true to historical form and not shown any consistency whatsoever throughout the season. The week after a resilient win against the Dragons, they got smashed by the Storm in a game where coach Nathan Brown bizarrely appeared to concede that he didn't think they were capable of winning. They will be looking to move on from their poor second half last week, which nearly saw them give up a 24-point lead to the Cowboys. 

In team news, Josh Aloiai has unfortunately been ruled out for 3 months due to a wrist injury. Sean Keppie has been named to start in the front row for Manly, with Olakau'tau also moving to start in jersey number 11. Moses Suli is set to make his return via the interchange, while Zac Saddler comes into the 17 for Martin Taupau, who is out with a concussion.

For the Warriors, Eliesa Katoa will make his first appearance since Round 5, replacing Ben Murdoch-Masila who also suffered a head knock last week. Other than that, they are unchanged, although Chanel Harris-Tavita has been named in the reserves and is a chance of returning from injury. 

Manly's turnaround in fortune can be traced back to round 5, where they beat the Warriors 13-12 courtesy of a last second Daly Cherry-Evans field goal. Despite the close score-line, the game was a dour affair, with both sides struggling to form any attacking shape and looking extremely fatigued after about 60 minutes. Both sides recent form indicates that scoring points shouldn't be an issue, so don't be surprised to see a much higher scoring game than last time.

Last meeting: Round 5 2021 - Warriors 12 Sea Eagles 13

Who to watch: It goes without saying, but the key difference to the Manly side this week and the Manly side in Round 5 is Tom Trbojevic. He has proved to be the saviour Manly fans were hoping he would be and brings some much-needed direction to the Manly attack. Sunday will be his first game back at LottoLand since Round 19 last year, where he unfortunately reinjured himself against the Titans. If he can stay healthy throughout this game, Manly will definitely score a lot more points than the 13 they managed last time.

While Manly may have added Tom Trbojevic, the Warriors have gained a similar attacking weapon in Reece Walsh. Walsh was controversially given the fullback spot in his debut, which forced Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to the wing, but since then he has moved to five-eighth and complemented Kodi Nikorima extremely well there in the first half of last week. Walsh ran for 103 metres off 10 runs and assisted one try while making 2 tackle breaks. The Warriors struggled for points in Round 5, however if Walsh maintains his strong form that shouldn't be an issue this week or in the future.

The favourite: Manly are favoured by exactly 6 points over the Warriors for this one. 

My tip: All signs point to a Manly win in this one, so with that in mind I'm going to say the Warriors will win. Warriors by 10.

1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Sean Keppie 11. Haumole Olakau'atu 12. Josh Schuster 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Cade Cust 15. Moses Suli 16. Zac Saddler 17. Toafofoa Sipley 18. Ben Trbojevic

1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Edward Kosi 3. Adam Pompey 4. Rocco Berry 5. Ken Maumalo 20. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Kodi Nikorima 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 9. Wayde Egan 10. Kane Evans 11. Josh Curran 17. Bayley Sironen 13. Tohu Harris 6. Reece Walsh 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Leeson Ah Mau 16. Bunty Afoa 18. Jack Murchie

Referees: Peter Gough; Sideline Officials: Darian Furner, Chris Butler; Video Referees: Ashley Klein;

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