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Storm v Manly, NRL First Qualifying Final (4 v 5)

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by ManlyBacker, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +972 /7
    First qualifying final (4 v 5), Etihad Stadium, Friday, 7.45pm (EST)

    FORM GUIDE (past five matches):
    WLLWW (Storm); LWWWW (Sea Eagles)

    Winners: Both teams have an outside chance of getting a week off if results go their way.

    Losers: Such is the quality of the teams below that an early exit is not out of the question.

    Manly have won four straight to hit the finals with some strong momentum, including a last-start crushing of Gold Coast Titans. And one of those wins was achieved against the Storm three weeks ago, when they ground out a 20-16 win at Olympic Park. Melbourne, however, took the honours earlier in the season with a 22-8 victory at Brookvale Oval in round eight. The Storm will enter the game as slight favourites thanks mainly to home-town advantage, as their form over the past month hasn't been as convincing as Manly's.

    At various points of the year, both sides have struggled to find the cohesion that saw them feature in the past two grand finals, but their wealth of talent make them sleeping giants in September. Melbourne's biggest concern is in the forwards, with Jeff Lima, Matthew Cross and Sika Manu all under an injury cloud. Manly have one of the most imposing packs in the competition, and they will enter the game at full-strength up front. It is in backline that the Sea Eagles have failed to fire this season. Halfback Matt Orford will have to execute at his best, as Melbourne are ranked No.2 overall in the NRL for defence. Orford's counterpart, Cooper Cronk, has an astute kicking game and will have a huge role to play in turning the big Manly forwards around. Last year's grand final was a landslide, but expect this to be alive at the 75th-minute mark.

    KEY MEN:
    Greg Inglis (Storm): Inglis has been Manly's tormenter in recent seasons, often making their outside backs look inferior. He played a starring role in Melbourne's round-eight win at Brookvale Oval but he was sidelined for the Sea Eagles' round-24 triumph.

    Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles): Watmough has been knocking opponents over left, right and centre in 2009. If Melbourne's understrength forward pack fail to match it with Manly, the second-rower's power around the fringes might prove too much for the hosts to handle.

    The fifth-placed team has beaten the fourth-placed team in the past two finals series. Melbourne have won five of their past six week-one finals matches. Manly's round-24 win at Olympic Park was their first victory in six attempts against the Storm in Melbourne.

    Melbourne Storm $1.85, Manly $1.95 (TAB Sportsbet; 10/9)

    "Adam Blair's inclusion is a huge boost for Melbourne because I don't think they would have been much of a chance without him. Manly were very impressive in their performance against the Titans. They played a power game, they controlled possession, and I think Melbourne will struggle to match them up front. The Storm have certainly got a lot of strike power out wide, but this type of game is won through the middle. I think Manly will prevail in this one because they look as though they are starting to hit their straps. Melbourne won't be at Olympic Park, and I think, with the forward power they've got missing at the moment, they'll struggle against a team that is more than solid in that department."

    Manly by six points

  2. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +972 /7
    The Storm continued their recent good form with a resounding 30-0 win over the New Zealand Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.

    The win secured fourth spot on the ladder and a home final at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

    Manly also fine-tuned for the finals with a confidence boosting 38-4 win over the Gold Coast Titans.

    The win consolidated their fifth place finish and a meeting with the Storm in week one of the finals.

    WHO: Melbourne Storm v Manly Sea Eagles
    WHAT: First Qualifying Final of the 2009 Telstra Premiership season
    WHERE: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
    WHEN: Friday, September 11th @ 7.45pm
    ON TV: Fox Sports 2 - 10.30pm, Channel 9 (Melbourne) - midnight

    * Melbourne has won their last five games at Etihad Stadium
    * Manly has lost five of their last six games in Melbourne
    * Melbourne has scored the first try in their last three games
    * Manly scored the first try away from home on only four occasions this season

    Total: Played: 16, Storm: 9, Sea Eagles: 7
    At Etihad Stadium: First meeting at this venue

    Points for: Storm: 505, Sea Eagles: 549
    Points against: Storm: 348, Sea Eagles: 459
    Tries for: Storm: 92, Sea Eagles: 97
    Points differential: Storm: +157, Sea Eagles: +100

    2009 Sea Eagles def. Storm 20-16 Olympic Park
    2009 Storm def. Sea Eagles 22-8 Brookvale Oval
    2008 Sea Eagles def. Storm 40-0 ANZ Stadium
    2008 Storm def. Sea Eagles 16-10 Brookvale Oval
    2008 Storm def. Sea Eagles 26-4 Olympic Park
    2007 Storm def. Sea Eagles 34-8 ANZ Stadium
    2007 Sea Eagles def. Storm 13-12 Brookvale Oval
    2006 Storm def. Sea Eagles 30-20 Olympic Park
  3. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    To emphasise the intrigue, The Daily Telegraph can reveal:

    MANLY had Etihad Stadium locked down by security guards during a training session yesterday afternoon, banning media and onlookers from ground entry;

    DES Hasler called on the NRL to intervene and switch a meeting between Melbourne's operational team and stadium staff, which was to be held during Manly's training session in a function room overlooking the playing surface;

    MANLY's high performance director, Steve Danks, has been in Melbourne for three days checking out wind patterns, ground conditions and ensuring the club's hi-tech equipment is working; and

    A REQUEST to train with the roof closed was denied.

    "They will be locking the gates,'' Hasler said before the session. "There is no chance (of any media entry).'' Asked if Melbourne would try to spy, Hasler laughed: "Melbourne aren't like that.''
  4. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    The Sea Eagles received a significant boost with Jamie Lyon to return after hurting his shoulder three weeks ago. But the Storm are expected to be strengthened by the inclusion of Kiwi prop Jeff Lima from a broken thumb.
  5. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Melbourne Storm could be the losers

        * By Andrew Johns
        * From: The Daily Telegraph
        * September 11, 2009

    Here's how I see this weekend panning out.

    Storm v Eagles

    I can't believe Melbourne have willingly given away their slippery, narrow playing surface at Olympic Park to play this one under the roof at Etihad Stadium.

    It's a financial decision which could come back to bite them.

    I love the way the Manly forwards are going right now and I think they have a big advantage over the Storm off the bench. How good is big George Rose going?

    The Storm will need huge games from their big five - Smith, Cronk, Finch, Inglis and Slater.

    TIP: Manly in a golden-point cliff-hanger.
  6. ssar

    ssar Well-Known Member

    +220 /4
    The Storm could really take this game - they are gonna be pumped, and if they make very few mistakes and keep the pressure on, Manly are really gonna do it tough if not drop behind badly.
    Everyone knows how dangerous the Storm can be, and thier hometown advantage and recent form warrants prices of around Storm ($1.70) / Manly ($2.20) I reckon, rather than the current even money $1.90 for both that NSW SportsTAB is currently offering.

    The Sea Eagles, of course, will also be pumped - and surely know what a big game this is and the level of intensity the Storm guys are gonna throw at them.
    If Manly lose, they will have to wait on other games results this weekend therafter and face a likely sudden finish to thier season if the Eels, Knights and/or Broncos win.
    Manly will really want to win this one.

    Orford is gonna have to be on his game, and to facilitate this Ballin, Farrar, Williams (Wolfman) and Foran if/when he's on the field really need to lift and put in some great plays.
    If they do this, especially Ballin around the ruck, and Manly apply some good pressure and sets completions through such, our other stars (Watmough, Stewart as well as the forwards) will fall into place and help get the entire engine humming across the park.

    I'll be putting a few bets on Manly, but this one could go either way.
    Let's hope for a good, honest, well-refereed, tough game!

    I have tipped: Sea Eagles (by 14), Titans, Bulldogs & Dragons this weekend.

  7. Mark from Brisbane

    Mark from Brisbane Living the dream Premium Member

    +19,643 /383
    Tough (very) game for our boys.

    The Storm will be "smarting" from the loss just a few weeks ago and they do have some "troops" coming back from injury, I expect all of their men will play as will Jamie.

    This one can go either way, I don't expect 40-0 again as we are not that good (yet) this year.

    My winners will be

    Manly (just..maybe only a point or two)

    BUT if Manly lose you'll all be up here next weekend when we play the Bronco's at Suncorp and that will be HUGE.
  8. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    If 1 - 4 win (Dragons,Dogs,Titans,Storm)
    Manly will play the Tits at Suncorp

    If  (Dragons,Dogs,Bronco,Storm)
    Manly will play the Broncos at Suncorp ?
  9. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

    +4 /0
    Forget Blair (who started the year well, but has had a drop in form as the year has gone on), Lima is the big inclusion.

    I still have nightmares about how he destroyed us in the '07 GF. He was robbed of best on ground honours. He ran for something like 250 metres that night - and even though GI cut us up with a couple of tries, that game was won (and lost) in the first half by the forwards. And Lima was by far and away the best prop out there.

    Our bench props will need to lift a huge deal to combat his effect.

    Jamie's inclusion is a huge boost for us too. Our team is so much more balanced with him and Stewart both in there. The attack has some structure to it.... Is this the best team we've put on the park all year? The only bloke missing from my top 17 is Kingy (and possibly Rodney but I don't know whether he'd be able to slot back in....it's either him or Bailey for mine....)

    Either way, I'm heading down for this one. Quite excited. Packing my bags very soon.....it'd better not be a wasted trip!
  10. Central Coast Eagle

    Central Coast Eagle Active Member

    +108 /2
    I'm so fired up for this game now, I've just called in sick for work tonight so i can watch the game!

  11. Central Coast Eagle

    Central Coast Eagle Active Member

    +108 /2
    So with Hall not playing now, does that mean Ballin goes into the back row rotation? Will it effect our go forward?
  12. Downie

    Downie Active Member

    +3 /0
    Bench will be L'Estrange, Foran to interchange with Bailey, Rose and JWH I think.
  13. Dan

    Dan Kim Jong Dan Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +7,735 /120
    hmmm thats a dangerously small bench

    To be honest I cant see any use in having bother Foran and LeStrange in the team, or Farrer, Foran and LeStrange really
  14. Cletus

    Cletus Active Member

    +11 /0
    Can't wait for this game. As long as we come out with good intensity we should win it. We really need the fowards to get on top early.
  15. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Shower CHECK
    Beer cold CHECK
    Pizza Ordered CHECK
  16. nita

    nita Member

    +2 /0
    So nervous. Not confident at all.
  17. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Yeah me too now
  18. eagle_predator

    eagle_predator Active Member

    +0 /0
    Oh well boys & girls its not long till kick off.

  19. Zep

    Zep Active Member

    +8 /0
    I am suddenly glad for the Mute button on my TV and Austar (never too much protection against the channel commentary)
  20. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    2 u20s on the bench

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