Strange as it may seem, winless Manly might actually go into this Saturday afternoon encounter with more momentum and confidence than the Warriors.
After a good first-round home win over the Bulldogs, the Warriors weren't able to stick with the Tigers last week at Campbelltown and crashed to a heavy loss.
The Sea Eagles also lost, but they finished the game strongly against the Roosters and might feel like they learned something about themselves.
The return of Tom Trbojevic can't come soon enough for Manly and Daly Cherry-Evans needs to start firing.
Match: Sea Eagles v Warriors
Round 3 -
Venue: Christchurch Stadium, Christchurch
Sea Eagles: Manly will take to the field as named on Tuesday. Sea Eagles fans will be delighted to see fullback Tom Trbojevic back from an ankle injury, while prop Addin Fonua-Blake returns from suspension for Toafofoa Sipley, who moves to the bench. Brendan Elliot and Kelepi Tanginoa were the last players cut prior to kick-off, while Trent Hodkinson and Lloyd Perrett dropped out of the squad on Friday.
Warriors: A few late alterations, with Isaiah Papali'i elevated to the starting lineup in the back-row and Adam Blair shifting to lock. Lachlan Burr drops to the bench and Gerard Beale moves from the reserves to the bench. Blake Ayshford and Liligiifo Sao were cut an hour before kick-off, while Chanel Harris-Tavita and Karl Lawton dropped out of the squad on Friday.
Fullback for Sea Eagles is number 1 Tom TrbojevicFullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Winger for Sea Eagles is number 2 Jorge TaufuaWinger for Warriors is number 2 David Fusitu'a
Centre for Sea Eagles is number 3 Moses SuliCentre for Warriors is number 3 Peta Hiku
Centre for Sea Eagles is number 4 Brad ParkerCentre for Warriors is number 4 Solomone Kata
Winger for Sea Eagles is number 5 Reuben GarrickWinger for Warriors is number 5 Ken Maumalo
Five-Eighth for Sea Eagles is number 6 Kane ElgeyFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Adam Keighran
Halfback for Sea Eagles is number 7 Daly Cherry-EvansHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Blake Green
Prop for Sea Eagles is number 8 Addin Fonua-BlakeProp for Warriors is number 8 Agnatius Paasi
Hooker for Sea Eagles is number 9 Apisai KoroisauHooker for Warriors is number 9 Issac Luke
Prop for Sea Eagles is number 10 Martin TaupauProp for Warriors is number 10 Bunty Afoa
2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 11 Joel Thompson2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Tohu Harris
2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 12 Curtis Sironen2nd Row for Warriors is number 17 Isaiah Papali'i
Lock for Sea Eagles is number 13 Jake TrbojevicLock for Warriors is number 11 Adam Blair
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 14 Manase FainuInterchange for Warriors is number 13 Lachlan Burr
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 15 Jack GosiewskiInterchange for Warriors is number 14 Jazz Tevaga
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 16 Corey WaddellInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Leeson Ah Mau
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 17 Toafofoa SipleyInterchange for Warriors is number 18 Gerard Beale
Cherry-Evans and Blake Green were teammates at Manly before Green moved on to the Warriors. Both players have a lot on their plate every week for their teams to be successful but that comes with the territory of being starting playmakers in the NRL. Their respective contributions on Saturday are crucial to the outcome.
For the Sea Eagles to win
They can't have a repeat of last week when the game was effectively over at half-time. The forwards need to assert themselves against the hot and cold Warriors pack, while Cherry-Evans and Kane Elgey need to step up and take control.
For the Warriors to win
When the Warriors cut the Tigers' lead to 12-6 early in the second half it looked as the game could've gone either way. But the Tigers turned up the heat and the visitors didn't have it in them to fight on. An 80-minute effort is vital on Saturday and they need their experienced leaders to take charge.
Brett Kimmorley says ...
I’m not too sure where Manly can go on the back of being blown off the park last week and being poor in week one. They really need a good first 40 minutes When you are down on cattle you need to start well, lead, and then go from there. The Warriors would have their pride hurt after last week. With this game being in Christchurch there will be a lot of emotion, that will mean a lot. The game has to be played between the ears, that is the biggest deficiency for the Warriors. Warriors by 8
Sea Eagles Stat Attack
Curtis Sironen is equal-second in the NRL in off-loads (7), while Apisai Koroisau has been busy in defence with 93 tackles (equal-second). On the down side Cherry-Evans is equal-second in handling errors (4).
Warriors Stat Attack
Mistakes and poor options hurt the Warriors in the 34-6 loss to the Tigers. They completed just 67% (22/33) of their sets and had 14 errors - twice as many as the Tigers.
And another thing ...
It's fair to say Blake Green is a rugby league journeyman, but the 32-year-old playmaker has carved out a very respectable career. Green is with his sixth NRL club and also had stints with two English Super League clubs. He played with the Sea Eagles in 2017 and would love to get a win over his former teammates.