Rd20 preview: Warriors v Sea Eagles
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS v MANLY WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Round 20 - 2014 NRL Premiership
Sunday 27th July, 2014 – Mt Smart Stadium
NRL Kick-Off 4:00pm - 2:00pm (AEST)
Follow @seaeagles for live updates
Competition leaders the Sea Eagles will be looking to continue their winning ways when they head over to New Zealand to face the Warriors this Sunday.
The Sea Eagles have an impressive record against the Warriors in recent years, winning seven of the last eight meetings. However, the Warriors were victors 18-16 in the corresponding round 13 clash last year at Mt Smart Stadium.
The Sea Eagles head into this match on the back of two impressive victories, however they will have to be wary of the Warriors, who, under new coach Andrew McFadden, have won three of their last four matches.
After a poor start to the season which saw coach Mathew Elliot lose his job, the Warriors have turned their form around and currently sit on 22 points in 7th position of the NRL ladder.
The Warriors' strength this year has been their attack, which sits equal first, having scored 407 points, however the Sea Eagles defensive line is one of the most resilient in the NRL and this battle shapes to be a beauty.
The Sea Eagles will cross the Tasman confident having beaten the warriors 27-12 in round 22 last year at Gosford, but the Warriors are a much more confident team playing at home, having won their last five matches there.
After stints in NSW Cup at the beginning of the year, barnstorming centre Konrad Hurrell poses as a big threat for the maroon and white, and his battle with Steve Matai is something to keep an eye on.
Halfback Shaun Johnson can score and set up tries from nothing and his combination with fullback Sam Tomkins can be lethal at times and is something the Sea Eagles must watch out for.
Despite this, the Sea Eagles have again proven this year, as too why they are regarded by many as the best backline in the competition, and with the consistency of their forward pack they will be very hard to beat.
Geoff Toovey will be looking for much of the same from his men who have won five of their last six matches, and are currently sitting two points clear at the summit of the NRL ladder.