Bitter Rivals Battle At Brookie

Brett Stewart
Manly need Brett Stewart at his best on Saturday night. Image courtesy of: Braden Fastier/foxsports.com.au

Manly Sea Eagles Logo


Sea Eagles v Storm


Brookvale Oval

Saturday March 14 – 6:05 PM (AEST)

Form:


L

W


Melbourne Storm Logo

 

Manly host arch rivals Melbourne on Saturday night after enduring one of the most turbulent weeks in the club's rich history. 

The Sea Eagles are a team in shambles. Not only have they lost star halfback Daly Cherry-Evans to the Titans next year, but this week it was reported halves partner Kieran Foran had signed a multi-million dollar deal with the Eels for 2016 onwards. Add that to the fact they lost to Parramatta last Friday and it would be no surprise if the Silvertails crumbled and dropped out of finals contention . But this is a team who has won multiple Grand Finals in the last decade and have finished in the Top 4 six times since 2004. Coach Geoff Toovey has named Steve Matai to replace the injured Clint Gutherson (ACL) and Jack Littlejohn to replace Kieran Foran (hamstring). Ligi Sao and Justin Horo have been named on an extended bench.

Many believed that this would be the year the Storm would fail; that they didn’t have the depth to even make the Top 8 , let alone the Top 4 . But with one of the most successful coaches in the game today, Craig Bellamy, behind the wheel, Melbourne has started to prove their critics wrong. It may have only been against the Dragons, but the Storm jumped out of the blocks running on Monday night with a comprehensive 12-4 victory. It was their goal line defence that was most impressive, defending the line for almost a third of the game. ‘Bellyache’ has named the same team that defeated the Dragons, with the exception of Felise Kaufusi, who copped a one game ban for dangerous conduct. 

These two have had a bitter rivalry for well over a decade now. They've faced each other in finals, grand finals and even in New Zealand. Last year, they battled each other twice, scoring a win a piece. Given that both of those matches were decided by four points or less, fans can expect another nail-biter.

 

 

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