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Sea Eagles look to sew up Top Eight spot against improving Tigers
The Tigers were valiant in defeat again last week when they went down to the Panthers 28-14. The final score line was not a true reflection of Ivan Cleary's men's efforts, with Penrith scoring two tries in the final six minutes to run away comfortable victors despite what was quite a struggle for the previous 74 minutes. Despite their evident improvement in the past couple of weeks, the Tigers now find themselves just two points in front of the last placed Knights. Cleary has remained loyal to the seventeen that lost to Penrith last week and will be somewhat confident of his side's chances seeing that the Tigers have won five of their past six against Manly at Leichhardt.
Meanwhile, after collapsing to heavy defeats at the hands of the Dragons and the Storm, Manly bounced back in spectacular fashion to score 32-answered points on the way to a 36-18 win over the Roosters. Yet, despite the victory, Trent Barrett's side will still need to keep their good form up with the Panthers and Dragons both desperate to take another step towards securing their own September dreams. Despite their poor record at Leichhardt, the Sea Eagles have recently dominated the Tigers, winning 12 of the last 16 clashes between the two sides.
Last meeting: Round 19 2017 - Sea Eagles 28 Wests Tigers 16
Who to watch: The matchup between the fullbacks may decide this one. James Tedesco has scored two tries and averaged 187 running metres in his past three outings. Yet the incredible thing is that Tedesco has still been relatively quiet in each of these games.
For the Sea Eagles, Tom Trbojevic starred in their last meeting with the Tigers and will play a significant role once again if they are to emerge victorious on Sunday afternoon. Trbojevic ran for 217 metres and finished with two line breaks and try-assists in that 28-16 win. Meanwhile, last week against the Roosters, Trbojevic was at it again, scoring two tries, setting up one and running 211 metres and you can only imagine that he will be producing similar numbers this weekend if the Sea Eagles come out on top.
The favourite: The Sea Eagles are well supported to secure their spot in the Top Eight.
My tip: This is a danger game for the Sea Eagles. However, yet again, look for Manly to leave it until late in the second half to claim the victory. Sea Eagles by 10.
1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Esan Marsters 4. Kevin Naiqama 5. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak 6. Tuimoala Lolohea 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods 9. Matt McIlwrick 10. Tim Grant 16. Michael Chee-Kam 12. Elijah Taylor 13. Matthew Eisenhuth 14. Alex Twal 15. Sauaso Sue 17. Jack Littlejohn 18. Josh Aloiai
1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Matthew Wright 3. Dylan Walker 4. Brad Parker 5. Akuila Uate 6. Blake Green 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Brenton Lawrence 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Martin Taupau 11. Frank Winterstein 12. Shaun Lane 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Lewis Brown 15. Lloyd Perrett 16. Darcy Lussick 17. Addin Fonua-blake
Referees: Grant Atkins, Chris James; Sideline Officials: Chris Sutton, Dave Ryan; Video Referees: Bernard Sutton, Ben Galea;