It’s been 17 long years since they last took out the minor premiership, but the boys from Manly will go a long way to securing the feat with victory over the Broncos on Friday night.
Coming off a courageous 22-12 win over the Warriors in Auckland last Sunday, the Sea Eagles find themselves four points clear at the top of the NRL ladder heading into the final quarter of the home and away season.
Geoff Toovey’s men produced a resilient defensive display against a lively Warriors outfit to ensure the important victory across the ditch.
It wasn’t the prettiest, but it was effective. Manly showed just why they were premiership favourites. The forwards plugged away as the backs showed off their silky skills to put on the points.
Having won six of their past seven matches, including the past three consecutive, Manly will be looking to continue their impressive form against Brisbane on Friday night as September looms.
Their opposition on the other hand have failed to fire in recent weeks, recording just the one win in their last five matches. After a bright first half to the season, the alarm bells are beginning to ring as they fight to stay inside the top eight.
Whether or not the recent signing of Wayne Bennett had any bearing on their perfoamcne against the Storm last week, the Broncos will need to quickly recuperate in a bid to shock the ladder leaders.
Despite Brisbane’s ordinary form heading into Friday night’s clash at Brookvale Oval, Anthony Griffin’s men will take plenty of confidence from their last start against the competition leaders, where they produced one of their finest performances to upset the NRL heavyweights 36-10.
Both sides were heavily hit by Origin commitments and injury the last time they met back in round 12, but Friday night’s clash promises to deliver an entertaining 80 minutes, with both teams fielding almost full-strength line ups.
The Sea Eagles have had the wood of the Broncos in recent years despite suffering that heavy defeat earlier this season. Having won four of their past fiving meetings, Manly will look to inflict more pain on the struggling Broncos.