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Manly v Tigers Preview

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by DVS Matt, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. DVS Matt

    DVS Matt Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +25 / 0
    Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers preview

    What a cracking game this should be; second versus fifth on the table, the two combatants having scored a whopping combined 99 points in their victories last week to underline the attacking flair that’s bound to be on show again.

    The Sea Eagles were starting to look a little shaky before their 56-blot ravaging of the Roosters that prompted Chris Anderson to chuck in his job – they were out-muscled in every department at home against the Bulldogs (27-8) then compounded things with a 26-22 loss to the lowly Dragons.

    But they’re back on track courtesy of a performance coach Des Hasler rated as their most pleasing of the season – it was their fourth-biggest win in their 60-year history, as well as Manly’s largest ever score in a night game.

    Perhaps what pleased Hasler most was that after yielding 53 points in their two previous games, his guns kept their opposition scoreless – for the first time since the 1996 finals series, no less.

    Meanwhile the Wests Tigers, without Benji Marshall and most recently Brett Hodgson, have dropped just three of their past 12 games.

    After being dominated by Penrith early last week they responded with a devastating comeback, scoring five tries to turn a 20-4 deficit into a resounding 43-26 win.

    Before that they scored an unconvincing 22-16 win over the Raiders, but that form now looks decidedly shaky given the Raiders’ pummelling at the hands of the Dragons last week.

    The Tigers also have back-to-back losses to the Broncos and Titans over the past month.

    But captain Todd Payten is doing his bit to inspire the Tigers; he was in everything last week, with 14 runs for 135 metres, 20 tackles, seven tackle breaks, two tries, a line break and a try assist. They’ll need him in a similar mood for this one.

    Watch out Sea Eagles: The shift of bulldozing winger Taniela Tuiaki to the second row signals the Tigers’ intentions to seek more penetration up the centre.

    Out wide Tuiaki has made an average 12 runs a game for nine metres a time – he runs straight and hard and these bursts are perfectly suited to the centre of the park.

    Indeed, coach Tim Sheens believes Tuiaki’s future lies in the pack. Expect the Tigers’ playmakers to feed the big guy at every opportunity on the fringes of the rucks – especially Robbie Farah and John Morris who has five line break assists to his name.

    Watch out Wests Tigers: No-one would dare label any NRL forwards outfit “soft” – but the Wests Tigers 20 big hits for season 2007 rank them with the second fewest of these sorts of tackles in the NRL.

    That’s not an encouraging sign coming up against a pack boasting Brent Kite (an average 16.6 runs per game for a 136-metre gain), Glenn Stewart (16.3 runs per game for a 117-metre gain) and Anthony Watmough (17 runs a game for a 152-metre gain).

    Manly, on the other hand, have double the Tigers’ big hits with 40.

    Where it will be won: Swinging the ball wide.

    The Manly left-side attack has scored 45 of their 65 tries from the goal posts out to the left corner post.

    The Tigers, meanwhile, have yielded 37 of the 59 tries scored against them in this region.

    Expect winger Chris Hicks to improve on his season tally of eight tries. It gets worse for the Tigers – out on the other flank Michael Robertson has 10 tries.

    Both flyers figure in the top 12 on the try-scorers table.

    The History: Played 9; Sea Eagles 5, Wests Tigers 4. The Sea Eagles have won five of the past eight games, including a 19-8 win at Leichhardt Oval in round 2. The home side has won the past three games at Brookvale Oval, where they hold a 3-1 advantage.

    Conclusion: Some sides have players that they can turn to in their hour of need to extract points. For the home side it’s fullback Brett Stewart, who has 10 tries in 15 games and brings the crowd alight every time he runs the ball (on average 14 times a game). For the Tigers it’s Chris Lawrence who for this game shifts from lock out to Tuiaki’s left wing.

    Lawrence was dynamite for the Tigers last week – he scored three tries to take his career total to 15 from 15 appearances, making six incisive runs for 141 metres, plus 18 tackles.

    They’ll be looking to him as much to contain the Sea Eagles out wide as to defuse any attacking kicks, with the Tigers particularly vulnerable to cross-field kicks with just a 25 per cent defuse rate. It should be absorbing.

    Match officials: Referee – Steve Clark; Sideline Officials – Matt Cecchin & David Abood; Video ref – Chris Ward.

    Televised: Channel 9 – Live 7.30pm (NSW), delayed 9.30pm (Qld); FoxSports 3 – Delayed 7.30pm.

    * Statistics: NRL Stats.
  2. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +212 / 5
    Great review Matt - very comprehensive. What is the source?

    I am expecting the Tigers to mix things up a bit with positional switches at various times of the games. Farah, Tuaki, Lawrence, Fitzhenry etc can all move and pop up in different spots.

    I thought their attack was very good last week but Manly are much better at the fringes of the rucks where they made big inroads against Penrith, especially when Pritchard and Puletua were off.

    Their ruck defence was very brittle at times and Penrith made good metres against them. Williams at Fullback hurt them, and Brett Stewart has the potential to do the same.

    We have to defend well in the second twenty of the first half when King and Kite have their break. Should be a good game.
  3. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +971 / 7
    Their game against the Panthers reminded me of our turn around against the Raiders. This means that they do have a huge amount of attacking flair. Despite that I think this will turn into a bit of an arm wrestle and the Eagles to win on Matty's kicks to Robbo.

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