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31 Mar 2018

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles vs Canberra Raiders: Lineups, preview and prediction

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Overview

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Recent meetings

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Selected teams

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The facts that matter

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Prediction

Overview

The Sea Eagles will host the Raiders in an exciting Easter Saturday clash at Brookie Oval. Both teams will be eager to snatch a win in what should be a highly competitive clash after both losing last week. The Sea Eagles lost by a big margin last week after a massive win the week before, while the Raiders have lost all three of their matches by two points, two points and one point, respectively.

The Sea Eagles have looked impressive to start the season, save for last week's match. In Round 1, the team lost in Golden Point and followed up the tight loss with a 54-0 victory in Round 2. Round 3 was a forgettable result for the Silvertails, although; it looked like it was an off day. This Sea Eagles side has plenty of talent and shouldn't lose too many matches by big margins. The side will have a massive hole in it, however, as they enter the match without their big winger Jorge Taufua, who has been ruled out for eight weeks.

The Raiders have lost all three games by two points or less this season. It's been unbelievable. They've held the lead on numerous occasions and have been unable to finish it off. They've actually looked like one of the NRL's better sides, and have been very consistent in scoring points. Their defence just hasn't held up, and it's cost them time and time again.  The Raiders will come into this match fired up and looking to avoid any more embarrassment. The Sea Eagles will seek to add to the Raiders' misery.

Recent meetings

2017 - Sea Eagles def. Raiders 21-20

2017 - Sea Eagles def. Raiders 20-18

2016 - Raiders def. Sea Eagles 44-30

2016 - Raiders def. Sea Eagles 30-18

2015 - Sea Eagles def. Raiders 26-24

The teams have been evenly matched in recent years, splitting the past six fixtures with three wins apiece. Both of last year's fixtures went to Golden Point, with Manly claiming victory both times. Very ironic considering the Raiders' start to the season.

Selected teams

Sea  Eagles Raiders
1Tom TrbojevicJack Wighton
2Matthew WrightNick Cotric
3Brad ParkerJarrod Croker
4Brian KellyJoseph Leilua
5Akuila UateJordan Rapana
6Lachlan CrokerAidan Sezer
7Daly Cherry-EvansSam Williams
8Addin Fonua-BlakeIosia Soliola
9Apisai KoroisauSiliva Havili
10Martin TaupauShannon Boyd
11Joel ThompsonJosh Papalii
12Curtis SironenElliott Whitehead
13Jake TrbojevicLuke Bateman
Interchange
14Jackson HastingsAta Hingano
15Shaun LaneJunior Paulo
16Lloyd PerrettDunamis Lui
17Kelepi TanginoaJoseph Tapine
Reserves
18Frank WintersteinLiam Knight
19Jack GosiewskiMichael Oldfield

The facts that matter

The Sea Eagles need the win this week to back up their talent and form to start the season. The Eagles should have won in Round 1, as well as last week, but lost both. They've played well, but ultimately under-performed.  They can't afford to be the Raiders' first casualty for the season, particularly when the Raiders have choked each week. The home crowd will provide the support Manly needs to win, but the talent needs to step up and take the victory. The loss of Jorge Taufua is significant, however, they boast multiple quality scorers. Daly Cherry-Evans will be the key player for Manly. He'll need to guide the boys around the park against a quality Raiders outfit.

The Raiders NEED this win. I cannot emphasize how much they need this win. They're 0-3 with a deficit of five points. That's how close they are to being 3-0 had the results gone their way. They can't afford to begin the season 0-4, and it'd be an embarrassment to the talent they have. Very rarely can you say one of the NRL's better teams has yet to win, but it's true. They haven't lost by more than two points, and they've scored a fair amount of points. A loss this evening would be an utter disaster and tarnish their finals hopes early on.

Prediction

The Sea Eagles will be too much for the Raiders at home. After last week's embarrassing loss, they'll be keen to take it out on the lowly Raiders. I'd like to think the Raiders have figured things out, but one close loss should be enough, not three. I don't think tonight's match will be particularly close. Manly to win 18-8.