Manly Set To End Sharks Season

Picture: Gregg Porteous/dailytelegraph.com.au
Anthony Watmough returned from injury against the Roosters last week. Picture: Gregg Porteous/dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 6, 2013 – Manly Sea Eagles 25 d Cronulla Sharks 18 at Brookvale Oval
Round 3, 2012 – Cronulla Sharks 17 d Manly Sea Eagles 14 at Sharks Stadium
Round 5, 2011 – Manly Sea Eagles 19 d Cronulla Sharks 13 at Sharks Stadium
Round 19, 2010 – Manly Sea Eagles 48 d Cronulla Sharks 18 at Sharks Stadium
Round 5, 2010 – Manly Sea Eagles 40 d Cronulla Sharks 12 at Brookvale Oval

Current Form

  Rd 23    Rd 24    Rd 25    Rd 26    FW1 
Sea Eagles

L

W

W

L

L

Sharks

W

W

L

W

W


The Sea Eagles  will be looking for their eighth win from nine matches against the Sharks  when the sides meet at Allianz Stadium on Friday night, with Souths awaiting the winner. Manly played out a hard fought qualifying final against the Roosters on Saturday night but came out on the wrong side of a 4-0 scoreline, although there was plenty of merit in their performance. The Sharks lived to fight another week with a 20-18 victory over North Queensland in the first week of the finals that came on the back of a controversial first half try from Beau Ryan that came on the seventh tackle.

Brett Stewart has been named to return for the Sea Eagles after being a late withdrawal last weekend with the hamstring strain that has troubled him over the past month. Should he fail to recover in time, Peter Hiku will again line up at the back after running for 297m in a man of the match performance against the Roosters last weekend. Richie Fa’aoso is expected to take his place on the bench despite being carted off with a head knock, although James Hasson and David Gower have been added to the squad as cover.

Cronulla has been dealt a huge blow ahead of the must win semi-final, with five eighth Todd Carney ruled out after reinjuring his hamstring that kept him on the sidelines for a fortnight. With his star playmaker out, Shane Flanagan has named Australian backrower Luke Lewis alongside Jeff Robson in the halves, with Jayson Bukuya taking his place in the starting pack. Bryce Gibbs comes into 17 on the bench, while Ben Ross is 18th man.


1st Tryscorer

David Williams  finished the regular season with a flurry of tries that saw him get across the line ten times in the final six rounds and will be determined to get on the scoresheet again after his side failed to trouble the scorer last weekend.

Sharks winger Beau Ryan  missed a lot of football in the middle of the season with a knee injury but has been on fire since returning to the NRL. He has scored in three of his past five outings and opened his sides account against the Cowboys last weekend.


Prediction

Manly has a great recent record against Cronulla and appears to have a strong chance of building on it at Allianz Stadium on Friday night. They were arguably unlucky to lose to the Roosters in week one of the finals, while the Sharks were fortunate to scape past the Cowboys on the back of a controversial refereeing decision that ultimately proved the difference between the sides. The absence of Todd Carney is a huge blow for the Sharks, who will struggle to break down the Sea Eagles defence that conceded the second fewest points in the regular season. Manly Sea Eagles by 14

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