Manly and Melbourne have both named their sides for this Sundays Grand Final. Neither side giving much away, with extended squads being named in both camps. Manly will trim 3 players from their squad and the Storm will remove 4.
The Sea Eagles are expected to wipe Travis Burns, Matt Ballin and Glenn Hall from their squad – the unlucky Hall likely to miss the Grand Final after showing top form all year, only to sustain injury against the Warriors in Round 24 and while he fought hard to regain fitness, the Manly bench continues to be explosive and the likes of Adam Cuthbertson, Mark Bryant and Steve Menzies have been inspirational for the Eagles – making Hall’s recall impossible.
It’s expected Des Hasler will continue with the same team that comprehensively disposed of the Cowboys last weekend.
While the Storm are also expected to utilize their same side from last weekend after grinding out a tough win against the Eels, they have done a good job to mask the injury concerns from last weeks game. Problems for Billy Slater, Ben Cross, Israel Folau, Clint Newton and Ryan Hoffman were there for viewers to see during last weeks game. The most concerning being Slater and Cross. Slater was in obvious distress during the game and his usual confidence and speedy kick returns were non-existent in the tough clash. Ben Cross has had scans on his problematic hamstring, however results are claimed to be positive – coach Bellamy keeping Garret Crossman on standby for the talented Cross.
SUNDAY, Sepetember 25, Telstra Stadium
MANLY SEA EAGLES: Brett Stewart, Michael Robertson, Steve Bell, Steve Matai, Chris Hicks, Jamie Lyon, Matt Orford (capt), Jason King, Michael Monaghan, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Glenn Stewart, Luke Williamson. Interchange: Travis Burns, Glenn Hall, Mark Bryant, Steve Menzies, Matt Ballin, Jack Afamasaga, Adam Cuthbertson (three to be omitted).
MELBOURNE STORM: Billy Slater, Steve Turner, Matt King, Israel Folau, Anthony Quinn, Greg Inglis, Cooper Cronk, Ben Cross, Cameron Smith (capt), Brett White, Clint Newton, Ryan Hoffman, Dallas Johnson. Interchange: Jeremy Smith, Matt Geyer, Michael Crocker, Jeff Lima, James Aubusson, Garret Crossman, Adam Blair, Sika Manu (four to be omitted).
Referee: Tony Archer