Stephen’s Match of the Round: Round 4

Our NRL and Dragons tragic is back again this week, as he casts his eye over a mouth-watering clash to take place between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Wests Tigers. Is it match of the round? Do you agree?

MATCH OF THE ROUND: ROUND 04 – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles V Wests Tigers – Thursday, Bluetongue Stadium. 20.05 local time, 22.05 NZ time.

LAST WEEK: Manly were upset by the Gold Coast Titans who got the two points with a late penalty that sealed he seal. 16-14

Wests Tigers lead from early on against Parramatta which did not change, eventually running out 30-16 winners.

THIS WEEK: Manly will have to show better signs than last week, after crucial errors cost them a win. Back on their temporary home turf will be a safe guard of sorts. They are a tough team that has complete composure all over the field which has lead to them being such a vigorous opposition. A fast pace turn around is needed.

No one can pick the Tigers bi-polar form, and nor can I. They started the season off in the worst fashion but in the last two weeks have been a much better side. Despite losing Keith Galloway for the season, the go forward has been much improved and has been the building blocks of a better performance. Keep going up with this and they will take Manly right to the edge.

WHAT TO EXPECT: The Sea Eagles are at their best when the ball is in the hands of their backs. Such silky skills throughout the backline leaves no weak link. The backs however are nothing without getting ball early from their halves. Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran are a great partnership and have the know how to support these guys. Early ball will definitely be on the agenda. Anything to try shut down the defence early.

The Tigers have to front up big time if they want to be contenders. Years gone by have shown the Tigers weak when it counts which has given them little in terms of reputation. A young front row has a big ask on their hands but if the unit fronts up together they will pose questions. Run it straight.

THE BATTLE OF: Kiwi halves. Kieran Foran sits in a six jersey very well for his club and has developed very well in the Manly system over the years. It’s always about trying to get one up over your mate – so if he can upstage Benji Marshall on the night this will make it very interesting.

One of the biggest names to ever play the game, and Benji Marshall is a player you always want playing along side you, not against. In one way or another, he weaves his wand causing chaos for opposition sides. He’s been good this year, but always fronts up in the big games.

KEEP YOUR EYE ON: KEEP AN EYE ON: Brenton Lawrence: This guy has given has all for his new club, and has been more than impressive.

Marika Koroibete – Lote who? This kid is all over the opposition. Pure power turning it in to pace. Wow, so good to watch.
Of course, with Koroibete now unfortunately out, we won’t get to see such pace & power in action for a few weeks now.

SWT Gallagher

PREDICTION: Manly suffering a lost last week will keep Toovey’s troops in order. A 22-14 victory I think.

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