Premiership Contenders Jostle For Position

Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au
Daly Cherry-Evans continues to lead Manly around the field with distinction. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

2nd Preliminary Final, 2012 – Melbourne Storm 40 d Manly Sea Eagles 12 at AAMI Park
Round 15, 2012 - Melbourne Storm 26 d Manly Sea Eagles 22 at Brookvale Oval
Round 25, 2011 – Manly Sea Eagles 18 d Melbourne Storm 4 at Brookvale Oval
Round 1, 2011 - Melbourne Storm 18 d Manly Sea Eagles 6 at AAMI Park
Round 22, 2010 - Manly Sea Eagles 26 d Melbourne Storm 6 at Brookvale Oval

Current Form

  Rd 20    Rd 21    Rd 22    Rd 23    Rd 24 
Sea Eagles

W

W

W

L

W

Storm

L

W

W

W

W


The Sea Eagles  will be for their first win over the Storm  in more than two years when the clubs meet at Brookvale Oval on Saturday night. Defending premier Melbourne has had the better of recent meetings between the clubs, winning both clashes between the sides in 2012 before the pair played out a thrilling 10-all draw at AAMI Park earlier this year.

Fullback Brett Stewart returns for Manly after missing the 36-22 victory over Canberra on Sunday afternoon and has been joined in the squad by utility Tom Symonds, who has been named on the bench after spending seven weeks on the sidelines with a broken thumb. A couple of big names have been ruled out for the Sea Eagles however, with Anthony Watmough rested as he tries to overcome a knee injury ahead of the finals, while Jorge Taufua has been stood down by the club for two weeks following an off-season incident on the Gold Coast at the end of last year.

Tohu Harris returns to the fold for Melbourne after being a late withdrawal prior to his sides 64-4 victory over the Eels at AAMI Park and has been named on the bench with Tim Glasby 18th man. That result moved the Storm within touching distance of the top two, and it is still possible that they can claim an all-important home ground advantage for the first week of the finals if they win both of their remaining matches and other results go their way.


1st Tryscorer

Justin Horo  has been a real revelation for the Sea Eagles since joining the club from Parramatta during the off season, forcing his way into Manly's powerful pack and proving himself to be one of the best hard running forwards in the game. He runs great lines in attack and has already bagged nine tries in 2013.

Will Chambers  is one of the form centres in the competition at the moment and could be playing his way into a Kangaroos jersey with Justin Hodges set to miss the World Cup. The 25 year-old scored a double against the Eels last weekend to take his tally to five tries from his past four matches.


Prediction

Both of these clubs are already assured of a place in the finals but there is still plenty to play for at Brookvale Oval on Saturday night. Not only do the Sea Eagles need to win one of their remaining two fixtures to ensure they finish in the top four, but they will also be looking for a morale boosting victory over one of the top sides heading into the playoffs. They are yet to beat a top four side in five attempts this season and could struggle again here against a Melbourne outfit that has averaged 45 points a match in the last month. Melbourne Storm by 2

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