Tigers Set To Pounce At Bluetongue

Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au
Daly Cherry-Evans has been one of the Sea Eagles best this season. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 2 2012 – Manly Sea Eagles 22 d Wests Tigers 18 at Bluetongue Stadium
Round 21 2011 – Wests Tigers 14 d Manly Sea Eagles 12 at Bluetongue Stadium
Round 20 2010 – Manly Sea Eagles 38 d Wests Tigers 20 at Bluetongue Stadium
Round 1 2010 – Wests Tigers 26 d Manly Sea Eagles 22 at Sydney Football Stadium
Round 21 2009 – West Tigers 19 d Manly Sea Eagles 18 at Sydney Football Stadium

Current Form (most recent first)

Sea Eagles - LWW
Tigers - LWW

The Manly Sea Eagles  have made just one forced change to the team that suffered a 16-14 defeat to the Titans last weekend for their match against Wests Tigers , with Jesse Sene-Lefao coming into the 17 in place of suspended prop Richie Fa’aoso. Despite pleading guilty to a grade one dangerous contact charge, Brent Kite is free to play. While Brookvale Oval has been a fortress for the Sea Eagles in recent times, Bluetongue Stadium hasn’t been such a happy hunting ground, with the club losing two of its past four matches at the venue.

With Fijian flyer Marika Koroibete sidelined with a foot injury sustained in Wests’ 31-18 win over Parramatta last week, Matt Utai has been recalled on the wing for Thursday night’s round four opener at Gosford. Since going down 42-10 to Newcastle at the start of the season, the Tigers have scored a pair of impressive home wins, although Manly will pose a much stiffer challenge and the Tigers have lost six consecutive away games.

1st Tryscorer

Uncompromising centre Steve Matai  hasn’t been known for his tryscoring prowess in the past but he has already proven a potent attacking weapon for Manly in 2013, crossing for a double against the Broncos on the opening weekend. His combination with Jorge Taufua on the left side of the field has caused all sorts of problems already this season.

Tigers' playmaker Benji Marshall  was barely involved in the flogging that his side suffered to Newcastle three weeks ago but has put in a pair of impressive performances since, taking on more responsibility in attack and running the ball more. If his forwards give him some space, he will look to run at the Sea Eagles defensive line.

Prediction – Both of these sides have somewhat limited front row stocks with Jason King and Richie Fa’aoso unavailable for Manly and Keith Galloway and Matt Groat missing for the Tigers but the Sea Eagles have greater depth in the position, which should give their playmakers more space to move. While Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall have taken inferior opposition apart in the past fortnight, they are unlikely to get the same opportunities against a well-disciplined Sea Eagles outfit, which should be too good. Manly Sea Eagles 1-12

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