Unavailable: Josh Hodgson, Junior Paulo, Joe Tapine
Canberra came unstuck against league leaders St George last week as the Raiders lost their second game in a row. They put up a spirited fight but ultimately fell short against the Dragons with them succumbing 25-18.
Liam Knight replaces the suspended Joe Tapine in the Canberra team. Knight comes onto the bench with Dunamis Lui starting at prop. Josh Papalii has also reverted to the second row with Sia Soliola starting at prop. Shannon Boyd also starts with Charlie Gubb dropping to the bench.
The Raiders couldn’t stop the Dragons from rolling down field and they eventually paid the price as St George sealed the win late on. Canberra made 1,351 metres in the game for an average of 9.13m per carry but allowed St George to make 1,708 metres with the Dragons running for over a metre more per carry (10.29m).
Head Coach: Trent Barrett
Starting 13: T. Trbojevic, Taufua, Suli, Kelly, Uate, Hodkinson, Cherry-Evans, Fonua-Blake, Brown, Taupau, Thompson, Lane, J. Trbojevic – Interchanges: M. Wright, Winterstein, Perrett, Sipley – Reserves: T. Wright, Gosiewski
Manly won an ill-tempered contest against Melbourne last week to claim back-to-back wins for the first time this season. The Sea Eagles had three players binned whilst Melbourne were given a red and a yellow with Manly able to claim a 4-24 win.
The Sea Eagles will be without two players as a result of last week’s unsavoury game. Dylan Walker suffered a broken eye socket thanks to Curtis Scott’s punch whilst Api Koroisau has been handed a suspension for his role in the brawl. Lewis Brown starts at hooker in place of Koroisau whilst Trent Hodkinson starts at five-eighth for Walker. Matt Wright drops to the bench with Jorge Taufua having recovered from his broken collarbone to take his place on the wing.
Manly enjoyed significantly more of the ball than the Storm last week as they came out on top to claim an important win. The Sea Eagles had 57% of the ball, taking their average for the season to 52% which is the joint-second highest total in the NRL.
Canberra and Manly meet in the nation’s capital with both sides having near identical totals in their points scored and conceded columns. The Raiders have both scored and conceded 241 points so far this season whilst the Sea Eagles have scored 246 points and conceded 251. Manly head to Canberra in good form having produced two impressive performances that have resulted in wins against Brisbane and Melbourne. Canberra meanwhile have lost their last two and whilst this looks an easier game on paper, Manly can claim a third win in a row should they replicate the form of the previous two games.
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