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ELMO Match Preview: Sea Eagles vs Storm

It’s finals fever time in the Telstra Premiership with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles tackling the Melbourne Storm in an absolute blockbuster on Friday night.

Let’s take a look at some of the key facts heading into the sold out clash at Sunshine Coast Stadium. Kick-off is 7.50pm.

Form

Two of the most exciting attacking sides go head to head in the opening finals match for Week One.

The Storm last week secured their fourth minor premiership in six years, losing just three matches this season.

Outside of their attack, the Storm can certainly grind down their ópposition and have strike power across the park.

The Sea Eagles finished the regular season in fourth spot in an incredible run after losing their first four games of the season.

Manly have won seven of their past eight matches, produced some electrifying play, including some superb length of the field tries.

Brilliant full-back Tom Trbojevic has taken all before him for the Sea Eagles this season, scoring 25 tries, recording 27 try assists, and 30 line breaks in just 15 games.

Team Changes

It’s a clean bill of health for the Sea Eagles. Josh Aloiai has been named at prop with Toff Sipley dropping back to the reserves list.

The Venue

The Storm are undefeated in nine matches at Sunshine Coast Stadium with the ground becoming their home away from home for the past two seasons.

The Sea Eagles have won one of two matches at Sunshine Coast Stadium with the most recent being a 56-10 win over the Parramatta Eels last month.

Last Time We Met

The Sea Eagles may have went down 28-18 to the Storm at Suncorp Stadium in Round 21 but learnt plenty of valuable lessons along the way.

Manly exposed some chinks in the Storm’s arm but know they need to play a more disciplined game and control the ball much better if they are capitalise on the opportunities that will come their way.

Head-to-Head

39 games: Manly 15, Storm 23, 1 draw

Records

Points scoring machine Reuben Garrick needs just five more points to pass Brett Hodgson in the NRL's '300 points in a season' club (including finals).

Garrick is on 304 points, Hodgson 308, and Hazem El Masri on 342 points.

El Masri achieved his feat in 28 games in 2004 and Hodgson in 28 games in 2005. Both won premierships with the Bulldogs and Wests Tigers respectively in those years.

Meanwhile, Tom Trbojevic is just three tries short of breaking the club record for most tries in a season for Manly, including finals.

Phil Blake holds the record of 27 for most tries in 24 games in the 1983 season. Trbojevic is on 25 tries with team-mates Jason Saab on 23 and Garrick on 21.