Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers Preview



Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers Preview Wed, 21 Jul 2010 15:56
Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers
Bluetongue Stadium
Sunday 3pm

Is your weekend looking a little dull? No major plans? Well, if you live anywhere near the central coast of New South Wales, the remedy is here.

With this major blockbuster, semi-final-football-come-early match-up between the Wests Tigers and Manly Warringah in Gosford, the perfect mini-break opportunity presents.

Whether you make it a family getaway with the kids, a romantic trip with your significant other or a wild weekend away with mates, this cracking match will put a great finish on your travels.

Both sides come in off the back of wins and both currently reside in the top six. As jostling for finals spots becomes more heated, these matches become more intense and this will be no exception.

Manly rumbled back into form by annihilating the Sharks last weekend, lifting them to sixth on the ladder and giving them renewed confidence for an assault on the top four.

A win in this fixture could potentially lift them to fourth but in a show of how close this competition is, a loss could have them drop back to ninth, out of the finals zone altogether.

They still need three wins from the last seven to have a chance at finals football and the sooner they notch those wins the better.

Des Hasler has selected the same side from the Cronulla caning, although he has added Matt Cross as an 18th man.

The Wests Tigers started very sluggishly last Monday night against the Cowboys but rallied strongly to win and cement third spot. A win here could potentially have them in the top two while a loss could push them down to fifth.

For the third week running, coach Tim Sheens has named Robert Lui at halfback despite the youngster failing to make the field from his injury concerns in the past fortnight.

Expecting he’ll play, Benji Marshall would return to five-eighth, Chris Lawrence would shift to centre and Geoff Daniela misses out. Gareth Ellis hasn’t been named but could still factor in this match.

The Tigers have plenty to play for, as a win would all but guarantee their first finals berth since 2005.

Watch out Sea Eagles: Regardless of whether he plays five-eighth or centre, Chris Lawrence has found some extra confidence in recent weeks and is a real threat to Manly and their attempted finals surge.

He has scored 10 tries this year and has as many line-breaks but he has also added six line-break assists. Close to the line he is very hard to stop, as the combination of speed, size and agility can see him slide between defenders with ease. But if you send an extra man to defend him, he is equally able to pop the ball to the unmarked man.

The Sea Eagles need to do a little extra homework on Lawrence to reduce his involvement.

Watch out Wests Tigers: The Sea Eagles are the second best side in the NRL at scoring tries from kicks; considering the Tigers are the fourth worst at conceding tries from the boot, you can be sure the Manly boys will be hoisting the ball high and squeezing the ball through low at the ends of their sets with pre-meditated urgency.

The Tigers need to provide more commitment around the scraps and also better anticipate the kick when it is likely to come.

Where it will be won: The shifts to the left sideline are going to be crucial in this clash, with both sides having great success shifting the ball wide from right to left this year.

The Wests Tigers have scored more tries on the left sideline than any other side with 16 for the year, but the Manly side is next with 15 tries. With Lote Tuqiri just waiting for action on the left side at the Tigers and Steve Matai blazing a trail on the left for the Sea Eagles, both sides have international-level players lurking.

Having both conceded nine tries in the same area, the teams are very evenly matched and the side that can continue to go to their strength and come up trumps is likely to get the chocolates. Obviously these shifts can’t happen without good field position, so the two packs are going to need to get some grunt going early.

The Tigers are averaging slightly more metres a game across the ground but the Sea Eagles’ pack has been sting by recent criticism and is on a mission.

The history: Played 14; Sea Eagles 8, Wests Tigers 6\. The Wests Tigers have won the past two matches against Manly – one of which was the riveting 26-22 comeback win in Round 1 this season – but the Sea Eagles had won five straight against the Tigers prior.

The two teams have never met on the Central Coast.

Conclusion: This is a tough result to call. The Sea Eagles had been a bit indifferent before blowing away Cronulla – but it was, after all, Cronulla. So the jury is still out on whether they can back it up against a big gun.

The Wests Tigers have been a little scratchy lately but are still winning… making them a side worthy of praise. The fact the finals are so close should drive them to greater heights, especially after some near misses in recent seasons.

If it was at Brookvale, you’d pick Manly but on the central coast it is anyone’s game.

Match officials: Referees – Shayne Hayne & Gerard Sutton; Sideline Officials – Paul Holland & Steve Carrall; Video Ref – Steve Clark.

Televised: Channel Nine – Delayed 4pm; Fox Sports – Delayed 6pm.


Well-known member
Jul 14, 2009
Sth Coast
@willow said:
Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers Preview

Watch out Wests Tigers: The Sea Eagles are the second best side in the NRL at scoring tries from kicks; considering the Tigers are the fourth worst at conceding tries from the boot, you can be sure the Manly boys will be hoisting the ball high and squeezing the ball through low at the ends of their sets with pre-meditated urgency.

Where it will be won: The shifts to the left sideline are going to be crucial in this clash, with both sides having great success shifting the ball wide from right to left this year.

Considering the above, I hope that 1) Brown does start on the wing to at least give us some height for their kick game and 2) Ayshford improves his defence on our right side…


New member
Jul 12, 2009
**Sportal Preview:**

Scott Brooks
VENUE & TIME: Bluetongue Stadium, Sunday, July 25, 3.00pm (AEST)
COVERAGE: Channel 9
HEAD TO HEADPlayed 14, Sea Eagles 8, Tigers 6
LAST TIME: Tigers 26 – Sea Eagles 22 at SFS, Round 1, 2010

WALKING WOUNDED: The Sea Eagles are virtually unchanged for this clash, with prop Matt Cross added to an extended bench. After running around in the Toyota Cup last weekend to regain a bit of fitness, half-back Robert Lui finds himself back in the Tigers' No. 7 jersey, allowing Benji Marshall a shift back to his preferred five-eighth position and Chris Lawrence a move back to the centres. Prop Keith Galloway remains in doubt with concussion, while both Gareth Ellis (groin) and Beau Ryan (shoulder) are hopeful of returning next week.

FORM: After slipping out of the top-eight following that below-par home loss to the Raiders, the Sea Eagles were in need of a confidence-booster and it came in the form of a 48-18 trouncing of the hapless Sharks last Saturday night. Their forwards responded to some stringing criticism in the media and their early dominance paved the way for the unprecedented early avalanche of points. The win shoots them into sixth position, with the aim of a top-four finish now very much back on the agenda.
There was plenty of flashy ball movement from the Tigers against the Cowboys last Monday last night, but the 11,000 or so fans that attended had to wait until the 77th minute to see their beloved side finally hit the front. Not a lot of patience on show from Tim Sheens' boys, but they went onto secure a third-straight win, cementing third spot on the ladder.

WHO'S HOT: Anthony Watmough's form has been up and down this season, but last Saturday night at Toyota Stadium was one of the highlights for the Aussie Test star in 2010, bagging his first career hat-trick and yielding 190m in attack. The Sea Eagles will need more of the same from 'Choc' if they are going to sneak into the all-important top-four. The Tigers had a host of good performers at the back-end of their win over the Cowboys, but winger Lote Tuqiri was strong throughout the entire 80 minutes in a display that netted two tries and plenty of metres in attack.

WE THINK: Are the Sea Eagles crazy for moving this game away from Brookvale Oval? Well going on 2010 form - or lack thereof - at their one-time fortress, it is probably is good move to shift this game up the highway to Bluetongue Stadium where the Sea Eagles are yet to taste defeat in five starts. Even though they only beat a dispirited Cronulla last week, it was a convincing display that allowed a few of their underperforming stars to regain a bit of confidence. The Tigers can thank the fact they were playing the lowly Cowboys the other night, because they would have struggled to beat a higher-ranked team on that performance. There were signs of impatience throughout the game that could prove fatal when the big matches come around. This should be a cracker though. Sea Eagles by 4.

**Leagueunlimited preview:**

Referee: Shayne Hayne and Gerard Sutton
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Steve Carrall
Referee: Steve Clark

Match of the round for mine. The Tigers are on a roll and as usual, are the most entertaining team to watch in the NRL. If Robert Lui actually starts at halfback this week, they will be even more lethal. Manly have found their form again after destroying the Sharks and have also found their mongrel. This all adds up to a bottler at Bluetongue on Sunday afternoon.

We are predicting the Monday night curse hits the Tigers and they have trouble matching the Eagles forwards in a physical, and hopefully spiteful, encounter. This battle of the ruck will be a highlight but Manly hit their peak in this game and do enough damage early to hold off the tired Tigers. Lote Tuqiri v Tony Williams should shake the very foundations. Enjoy.

My Man of the Match Prediction: Steve Matai
My Tip: Sea Eagles 27-20


Manly Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers
July 23, 2010

Sunday, Bluetongue Stadium, 3.00pm
Referees: Shayne Hayne, Gerard Sutton
Head to head: Sea Eagles 8, Wests Tigers 6
Last clash: Wests Tigers 26 bt Sea Eagles 22 at SFS (Rd 1 2010)
TAB SportsBet: Sea Eagles $1.55, Wests Tigers $2.40
FootyTab: Wests Tigers +1.5

Manly face a torrid run home so this home game away from home is very important to ensure they avoid the embarrassment of missing the eight. They destroyed Cronulla last week, but coach Des Hasler knows that was more training run than true challenge.

The Wests Tigers haven't been setting the world on fire in recent weeks, but in contrast to past seasons, they've been getting results in tight matches. Their focus is no doubt on grinding out a top two or at worst top four spot and then hope for Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah to explode. The Sea Eagles blew a 20-4 halftime lead to lose to the Tigers in round one and it goes without saying they must play for the full 80 minutes. The Tigers showed against the Cowboys last Monday they can pull a try from anywhere when they need it.
Due for a big game . . . Robbie Farah of the Tigers.

Key: Manly will win this match if they find fluency in their attack. They scored at will last week against the Sharks but need to do the same against quality opposition.