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Round One Match Preview: Sea Eagles vs Panthers

The mighty Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have the great honour tonight of opening the 2022 Telstra Premiership season.

We take a look at the match through our maroon and white glasses as we travel to the foot of the mountains to tackle defending Premiers, the Penrith Panthers.

‘Turbo Talk’

Everyone’s asking can Tom Trbojevic repeat his 2021 dominance that saw him claim the prestigious Dally M Medal?

You would be foolish to say ‘Turbo’ can’t? Look out for a strong opener from the brilliant full-back who will be determined as all hell to get his and Manly’s season off to a winning start after missing the opening four rounds last year through injury.

Special moment

Exciting young centre Tolu Koula is set to make his NRL debut tonight.

If you saw his try in the NRL trial against Canberra, you can see why there is so much talk about his speed.

He has a fine pedigree though through his parents. His father, Tolutau Snr, competed in the men's 100m for Tonga and his mum, Anna, also represented Tonga in the hurdles and long jump, both at the Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000) Olympic Games.

Tolu himself recorded an official track time of 10.58 seconds to break the 100m record at the AAGPS Athletics Carnival Open Championship at Sydney Olympic Park in 2019.

His selection in the NRL team is a great reward for Tolu, who joined Manly at the age of 14 and came through the successful Sea Eagles Pathways Academy.

A broken record?

It’s been the most talked about record since John Farnham’s ‘Whispering Jack’ album in 1986...that the Sea Eagles haven’t won a round one opening game since 2013. 

Well, records do break, so let's hope we can scratch this one after 80 minutes.

It might be time for Daly, Jake and the boys to take the ‘Pressure Down’.  And should we do, there will be no doubt we would be singing more than just 'You're the Voice' afterwards with the 4 Pines flowing. It certainly could be a 'Touch of Paradise'.

Real TV stars

You've been waiting for something very special to hit your television screens.

And it has arrived in 12 free-to-air games on Channel Nine featuring your beloved Sea Eagles, giving some wonderful exposure to our cherished corporate partners

Forget MAFS, The Bachelor and so on...this is true reality TV featuring the likes of 'Chez', 'Foz', and 'Saabie' to name a few.

The day of the great ‘Wombat’

Manly recorded its highest ever score in the club’s history at Penrith Park on July 29, 1973, with a 70-7 win. Graham ‘Wombat’ Eadie kicked 14 goals in the win to hold the club record for most goals in a match.

The 63-point margin sits second on the list for Manly’s biggest ever wins behind the 66-0 victory over Canterbury at Bankwest Stadium last year.

99 not out

The opening round match will be the 99th game played between the two clubs since Manly won the inaugural match 17-8 on April 16, 1967, in front of a crowd of 9279.

98 games vs Penrith: Manly 57 wins, 40 losses, 1 draw.

Where it began

Penrith was where the rugby league career of current Manly Sea Eagles Coach Des Hasler began.

A Penrith junior, Hasler made his NSWRL first grade debut for the Panthers on March 6, 1982, coming off the bench in the 13-10 loss to Cronulla. John Peard was the Penrith Coach with current 2GB radio commentator Darryl Brohman the captain.


Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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