'Vital' match at Fortress Brookie

An imposing record over Penrith and the return to ‘Fortress Brookvale’ might just be the lift the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles need heading into Sunday’s match.

The match marks the first Sunday afternoon game of the season for the Sea Eagles at their spiritual home ground and against an opposition the home side has enjoyed good success against.

Of the 40 matches played at Brookvale Oval between the two clubs, Manly have come out winners on 29 occasions.

Manly have also won 50 of the 81 matches between the two clubs.

The honours however have been split at four wins each over the last eight matches.

Sea Eagles Coach Trent Barrett says the side will be very competitive despite missing big guns Jamie Lyon, Daly Cherry-Evans, Brenton Lawrence and Steve Matai through injury. Powerful forward Martin Taupau remains suspended.

Manly sit in 13th place on the NRL table with Penrith in 11th position.

“It is two points we desperately need. We have got a lot of injuries again but we will still be able to field a good team,’’ Barrett said.

“Penrith have been a bit little unlucky in a lot of their games. They have had a lot of close games. They are two points ahead of us on the table, and a win is vital for us.

“We haven’t had too much luck of late, particularly with the last four games we’ve had and the run of injuries.

“It will certainly be good to get back to Brookvale and hopefully we can get our supporters there.”

Manly junior Jake Trbojevic will co-captain the Sea Eagles with Nate Myles for the first time. Kick-off is 4pm.

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Manly v Penrith

Head to Head

Played 81: Manly 50, Penrith 30, drawn 1

At Brookvale Oval

Played 40: Manly 29, Penrith 11

Past 8 Clashes: Manly 4, Penrith 4

2015

Penrith d Manly 11-10, Brookvale Oval; Penrith d Manly 22-12 at Pepper Stadium

2014

Manly d Penrith 26-25 at Brookvale Oval

2013

Penrith d Manly 38-26 at Brookvale Oval

2012

Penrith d Manly 22-4 at Centrebet Stadium, Manly d Penrith 30-0 at Brookvale Oval.

2011

Manly d Penrith 12-8 at Centrebet Stadium; Manly d Penrith 22-16 at Brookvale Oval.

Biggest head to head wins

Manly d Penrith 70-7, Penrith Park, 1973

Penrith d Manly 72-12, Penrith Football Stadium, 2004.