Manly Sea Eagles Vs Canberra Raiders at Brookvale Oval, Saturday 3pm.
Sea Eagles hoping to soar against pillaging Raiders
Canberra will attempt to continue their rise through the top 4 when they encounter Manly on Saturday afternoon. Both of these sides have had very different seasons, one looking forward to finals football and Manly hoping to end their season in style. Canberra have gone on an incredible winning run of late which has seen them knock over the top 2 teams in the NRL in the past 3 weeks. They will hope that they can continue that going against a plucky Manly side. Manly will see this as a good opportunity to cause an upset against a team in the top 4 and gain some much needed confidence.
Last Meeting: Canberra Raiders 30 defeated Manly Sea Eagles 18 at GIO Stadium, Round 13, 2016.
Canberra may have won the clash earlier this season but had dropped 6 of the previous 7 before that. Canberra have also only won 1 of the last 5 games at Brookvale which was a 24-22 triumph in 2010. Overall the Raiders have won just 9 times at the Northern Beaches venue in 25 games. Not a happy hunting ground.
Who To Watch: Manly will be hoping that Jake Trbojevic can continue to lead from the front with his strong example and defensive displays. He has played with maturity above his years and it’s no surprise to see him touted as a future captain of the Sea Eagles. He is one of the hardest hitters in the NRL and some of the big tackles he puts on can inspire his fellow team mates to lift. With injuries hitting Manly hard, expect to see Jake lead to set the example.
For the Raiders they have been exciting everyone with their attack and one player that has been quietly consistent has been Aiden Sezer. The former Titans half back has been steering the Raiders around the park seamlessly and his organisational skills are second to none. He hasn’t done anything flashy recently but still has had a formidable 2016 season with 5 tries, 10 try assists and 4 line breaks. Look for him to keep the Raiders on top with his short, attacking kicking game.
The Favourite: Canberra are big favourites in this game despite being away from home.
My Tip: even though the Raiders have a very ordinary record at Brookvale, I fancy them to buck this trend and keep their good form going. Josh Hodgson returns which boosts both their attack and defense and they are brimming with confidence. Manly seasons ended a few weeks ago and at the moment they are just going through the motions. Hard to see them getting up for this one. Canberra by 18.