Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will be looking to reach their first NRL Grand Final since 2013 at Suncorp Stadium this Friday night.
The Sea Eagles take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the Preliminary Final with the winner to play either Melbourne Storm or Penrith in the Grand Final on Sunday, October 3 at Suncorp Stadium.
Suncorp Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for the Sea Eagles over the years with Manly winning 23 of their 38 matches played there.
Manly has also recorded three wins from four matches played at Suncorp since the relocation of the Telstra Premiership to Queensland in July.
The Sea Eagles also recorded a 50-6 win at Suncorp in May in the NRL Magic Round.
Suncorp is also cheekily known to many Sea Eagles supporters as ‘Brookvale North’ in reference to the very strong showing Manly always attracts at the Brisbane venue.
Coach Des Hasler has named the same team for the Rabbitohs clash that beat the Sydney Roosters 42-6 in the Elimination Semi-Final in Mackay last Friday night.
Tom Trbojevic has scored 27 tries and recorded 28 try assists in 17 games this season. He has registered either a try or an assist in 15 of those 17 appearances.
Trbojevic has also scored three tries and made three try assists in his last five matches against the Rabbitohs.
The Sea Eagles have scored 20 tries when they’ve begun possession off an opposition kick off this season, seven more times than any other team in the competition and four times as many as the Rabbitohs (5).
Trbojevic (27), Jason Saab (26) and Reuben Garrick (21) have scored an incredible 74 tries between them this season.
Trbojevic and Souths winger Alex Johnston are the NRL's leading tryscorers with 27 tries each, including the finals series.
Last Time We Met
It is a long way from the 26-12 loss to Souths at Brookvale in round two. The Sea Eagles were also missing Tom Trbojevic for the game.
The Rabbitohs have won 9 of their 13 NRL finals games against the Sea Eagles.
The Sea Eagles have won four of their last five preliminary finals.
Friday's match is the first time Manly has reached this stage since a 30-20 win over Souths in 2013. Halves Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans lined up for Manly that night while Sea Eagles utility Dylan Walker played for Souths.
The last time the two teams met in the finals was in 2019 with South Sydney winning 34-26 in a controversial match at ANZ Stadium.
Friday’s Preliminary Final will be South Sydney’s fourth since their 2014 Premiership victory with the record books showing the Rabbitohs losing all three matches a week out from the Grand Final.
161 matches: Manly 81, Souths 79, drawn 1
Souths have won the last four matches against Manly.
Tom Trbojevic and Jason Saab are within striking range of breaking the club record for most tries in a season for Manly (including finals).
Trbojevic and Blake share the record of 27 tries. Blake achieved his record in 24 games in 1983 with Trbojevic reaching his in 17 games this season.
Saab sits on 26 tries in 26 games in a superb first season at Manly.
The NRL’s Highest Points Scorer this season, Reuben Garrick, is just 20 points off Hazem El Masri's 2004 record of 342 points in a season.
Garrick sits second on the '300 Points in a Season' list on 322 points through 21 tries and 119 goals from 26 games.
He is also three goals ahead of South Sydney half-back Adam Reynolds on the NRL’s leading goal-kicking list.