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Manly's muscle can be the edge

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Manly's muscle can be the edge

    Greg Prichard | August 23, 2008
    The big match

    Wests Tigers v Manly
    Tonight, ANZ Stadium, 5.30pm
    What the Tigers say
    They know they let frustration get the better of them when things went wrong and they fell behind against Parramatta on Monday. That led to more mistakes and the digging of a deeper hole, from which they could not escape. They have vowed to stay calm no matter what happens in this match. "We need to be more composed and play smarter," captain Brett Hodgson said.

    What the Sea Eagles say

    Coach Des Hasler says the faults in his team's play that contributed to their shock loss to South Sydney last weekend can be quickly remedied. "We weren't disciplined, we pushed passes . .. we just weren't the proficient side we normally are," he said. "It was definitely something that can be fixed in one game, with the right attitude, and I'm expecting us to be much more like our true selves this weekend."

    What Prichard says
    There is no reason Manly can't quickly get their act together again, but they will need to because the Tigers will be treating this like a finals match. If the Tigers lose, they won't be mathematically out of the running for a place in the top eight, but they will be on the ropes. Seven of the last eight games between these two have gone to the home team. The only break in that trend was when the Sea Eagles won away last year. But all of those games were at either Brookvale or Leichhardt. This is a Tigers home game, but you've got to think playing at ANZ Stadium is no great advantage for them. The Tigers are potentially dangerous, but if Manly muscle up in the forwards and power through the middle in their normal fashion, they should win.

    For the Tigers to win
    They have got to try to get the defence on the back foot with some good runs out of dummy half, backed up by quick play-the-balls. That will give them the space in which to move the ball around quickly, in their best style. They would know they can't try to out-muscle Manly and win a dour game. The Sea Eagles will come up with tries. The Tigers must back themselves to match them.

    For the Sea Eagles to win
    That wasn't the real Manly against Souths. Not even close. Whether it was a hangover from losing the heavyweight clash of the season against Melbourne the previous week isn't clear, but the Sea Eagles have got to get tough on themselves again, so they can get tough on the opposition. They have got to go out and set a high standard early on and then stick to it for 80 minutes.

    The X factor
    For the Tigers to give themselves their best chance of making the finals, Benji Marshall is going to have to play out of his skin in this game - and in the last two rounds as well. Now, sure, sometimes playmakers don't get enough room in which to make something happen because their forwards may not be winning the battle up front. But when you weigh things up, Marshall hasn't been as influential as he should have been for the Tigers this season. They really need some magic from him now.

    What the bookies say
    The Sea Eagles are warm, rather than hot, favourites. Sportsbook.com.au has them at $1.46, with the Tigers at $2.75. The points start is 6.5 in handicap betting.
    The late mail

    Ben Te'o has been omitted from the five-man Tigers bench. Hasler still has to cut one from his bench.
  2. Jethro

    Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +2,307 /13
    I agree. We will have to be on the ball against the Tigers for this game as they will want to make up for the way that they played last week as well.
  3. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +3,894 /65
    Manly 20+, haven't felt this confident about a game for a long time

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