2018 NRL – Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles vs North Queensland Cowboys Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Thursday 31st May, 10:50 (UK)

Where? Lottoland

What channel is it on? UK - Sky Sports Arena
Australia - Nine Network, Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go
Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available?
http://www.ticketmaster.com.au/manly-warringah-sea-eagles-v-north-brookvale-new-south-wales-31-05-2018/event/13005386C3F1B7E7?artistid=1297216&majorcatid=10004&minorcatid=695

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

SEA EAGLES

Head Coach: Trent Barrett

Starting 13: M. Wright, Taufua, Suli, Kelly, Uate, Hodkinson, Cherry-Evans, Fonua-Blake, Koroisau, Taupau, Thompson, Winterstein, Lane – Interchanges: Parker, Gosiewski, Perrett, Sipley – Reserves: T. Wright, Brown

Unavailable: Curtis Sironen, Kelepi Tanginoa, Lachlan Croker, Taniela Paseka, Dylan Walker, Tom Trbojevic, Jake Trbojevic

  • Manly suffered heartbreak last week as Aidan Sezer’s last-gasp drop goal sealed a win for Canberra. The Sea Eagles were six points ahead with five minutes remaining but Jack Wighton’s try followed by Sezer’s field goal condemned Manly to a 21-20 defeat.

  • The Sea Eagles will feel the impact of State of Origin with brothers Tom and Jake Trbojevic called up by New South Wales. Their absence is huge for Manly but Trent Barrett will be hoping his side can respond with Matt Wright at fullback with Frank Winterstein coming into the second row and Shaun Lane reverting to lock. Brad Parker and Jake Gosiewski come on to the bench.

  • Manly made significantly more ground than Canberra last week but couldn’t make it count. The Sea Eagles restricted the Raiders to 33.4m per set but were able to make 41.7m per set, a difference of 8.3m per set.

COWBOYS

Head Coach: Paul Green

Starting 13: Coote, Feldt, O'Neill, Tuala, Winterstein, Martin, Thurston, Hampton, Granville, Bolton, Fensom, Lowe, Taumalolo – Interchanges: Hoare, Jensen, Molo – Reserves: Linnett, Dunn, Bowen

Unavailable: Josh Chudleigh, Kane Linnett, Jordan McLean, John Asiata, Michael Morgan, Matt Scott, Gavin Cooper, Coen Hess

  • North Queensland played out a fascinating encounter with Melbourne but came out on the wrong side of a low-scoring game. Just one try apiece was scored during the encounter in Townsville with Cameron Munster’s 72nd minute drop goal the difference between the sides as the Cowboys went down 6-7.

  • The Cowboys are hit by Origin withdrawals too with Michael Morgan, Gavin Cooper and Coen Hess all selected for Queensland. Matt Scott is also suspended with Ben Hampton surprisingly named at prop. Lachlan Coote returns at fullback with Sam Hoare coming on to a three-man bench at present.

  • The Cowboys allowed two more line breaks than the Storm last week as well as missing 11 more tackles. Errors were also an issue with the Cowboys failing to complete 12 of their 39 sets for a 69% completion rate whilst the Storm completed at 80%.

THE PREDICTION

Not many people would have foreseen North Queensland’s demise this season with the Cowboys’ final hopes all but done at the start of State of Origin. With three consecutive losses, the Cowboys sit in 15th place with just three wins to their name all season and that means they’re eight points away from the top 8. They travel to Manly this week without several key names due to Origin call-ups but the Sea Eagles will also be without the key Trbojevic brothers. The Sea Eagles were on the end of a tough result last week as they lost in the last minute to the Raiders but will be hoping to bounce back on home soil and can do so, in part due to the limited options the Cowboys have available to them in terms of personnel.