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Round 16 NRL Preview: Sea Eagles vs Storm

It's the home match every Sea Eagles supporter marks down as a 'must' on their season draw.

And what a beauty it will be this Thursday night when Manly Warringah takes on fierce rivals the Melbourne Storm at 4 Pines Park.

Will lightning strike twice or can Manly come soaring to claim another win? We take a look at the Round 16 Telstra Premiership match through our maroon and white glasses!

Team Changes

Manly will be boosted by the return of Origin players Daly Cherry-Evans and Jake Trbojevic as well as several of their Pacific Test players with only Josh Aloiai missing through concussion.

The Form

The Sea Eagles have won two out of their last three matches since playing the Storm just over a month ago, with dominant wins against the Warriors and Tigers followed by a heart-breaking narrow loss to the Cowboys.

The 10th placed Sea Eagles sit on 14 competition points equal with ninth-placed Sydney Roosters and just two points outside the top eight.

The Storm beat Manly 28-8 last month and have since beaten the Roosters and Broncos to sit in second place on the ladder with 24 competition points.

Head to Head

Played 41: Manly 15, Melbourne 25, 1 draw

Croker Carrying on Form

A confident Lachlan Croker will be out for another big game after his dominant effort against the Cowboys.

Croker scored two tries and turned in another huge defensive effort with a whopping 46 tackles. He will be out to nullify the attacking threats of opposing hookers Harry Grant and Brandon Smith. 

Pressure the Storm early

The Sea Eagles will be looking to apply the blow torch early on the Storm, who have been slow starters in their past two matches.

Melbourne have leaked five tries in the opening 30 minutes of their last two matches combined with the Roosters scoring in the fifth minute and the Broncos two tries in the 17th and 24th minutes.

This stat works in nicely for the Sea Eagles with 19 of their tries this season coming in the first 30 minutes - seven of those in the last three matches alone.

Key Match-Up

One of the many great battles will be the clash between classy half-backs Daly Cherry-Evans and Melbourne’s Jahrome Hughes.

Hughes has scored nine tries compared to Cherry-Evans’ three this season but Cherry-Evans has forced 14 drop outs compared to Hughes’ five. The Manly half has nine try assists, just one behind Hughes.

The key difference is in their defensive abilities where the Sea Eagles captain soars. Cherry-Evans has made nearly double the amount of tackles (290 tackles) compared to his counterpart (153).

Tight Encounters

Of the 41 matches played between the two clubs, 13 games have ended within a margin of four points.

Four matches have ended with a one point difference and three with two points, highlighting the importance of full-back Reuben Garrick and Daly Cherry-Evans.

Cherry-Evans sits in second place for field goals kicked this season with two.

Garrick currently sits in first place for most points scored (136) and fourth place for goals converted (46). Both men will be a key part for their side if the match goes down to the wire.

Last Time at 4 Pines

The last time the two sides met at 4 Pines Park was in round one, 2020, with the Storm winning 18-4.

The Sea Eagles held a 4-2 lead at half-time through two penalty goals to Reuben Garrick before a Jahrome Hughes kicking masterclass steered the Storm into the lead in the span of three minutes, with winger Suliasi Vunivalu grabbing a double in the victory.

Snapping the Streak 

It's time to stop the streak!

The Sea Eagles will be looking to end a six game winning streak the Storm has had over them dating back to 2019.

Manly fans love nothing more than taking on the Storm at 4 Pines Park, so let's hope the Sea Eagles faithful can rally once again to help lift the boys to victory.

Match Day details

5.15pm: Gates open

5.30pm: Jersey Flegg: Sea Eagles vs Victoria Thunderbolts

7.50pm: NRL Kick-off: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles vs Melbourne Storm

Secure your tickets here

 

 

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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