Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will be out to continue their impressive charge up the NSWRL Jersey Flegg Cup ladder when they tackle Penrith Panthers today.
A tough and very talented side, the Sea Eagles have won their past four matches to move into eighth place on 18 points, just one win behind the fifth placed Panthers ahead of their clash at HE Laybutt Field, Blacktown.
The two teams met in the opening round of the season with Penrith claiming a 30-20 win at home.
Manly go into the match on the back of a 30-12 victory over the Newcastle Knights at 4 Pines Park last Saturday after leading 16-6 at half-time.
The Sea Eagles ran in five tries with powerful winger Sanele Aukusitino adding to his season tally with a double. Crafty hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong, skillful half-back Jamie Humphreys and barnstorming second-rower Samuela Fainu also crossed for tries.
Sea Eagles Coach Adam McEwen said he was really pleased with how the squad is tracking heading into the crucial business end of the season.
“We have been fortunate over the last month to have some continuity within the team and it has shown in the way combinations are developing,’’ McEwen said.
As a team, we’re starting to consistently execute effort areas and the way we are finishing matches strongly is pleasing.Manly Coach Adam McEewen
“I’m really proud of the group. It would have been easy to roll over when we were not getting positive results, but we have worked hard and are starting to play the way we always hoped to.”
Following the Panthers match, the Sea Eagles have a bye before facing Parramatta (9th, home), Canterbury (10th, away), Cronulla (4th, home), and Canberra (7th, away) to finish the regular season. The top five teams contest the finals.
Blacktown Workers face another big test at home when they tackle Penrith Panthers in a NSW Cup local derby.
The Panthers have slipped to second position following a 32-20 loss to the second last placed Western Suburbs Magpies at Leichhardt Oval last Saturday.
The loss ended a three-game winning streak for Penrith, who will be determined to regain their lead in the race to the minor premiership with new front-runners Newtown Jets.
Blacktown Workers head into the match on the back of a 32-12 loss to Newcastle Knights at 4 Pines Park last Saturday.
A solid first half effort saw Blacktown Workers lead 12-10 at half-time through tries to centre Pio Seci and hooker James Segeyaro.
However, the Knights dominated possession in the second half to run in 22 unanswered points to hand Blacktown Workers their fifth straight loss.
The Panthers beat Blacktown Workers 24-4 at Penrith in the opening round of the season.
Blacktown Workers sit on the bottom of the ladder, five points behind the Magpies with five games and a bye remaining.
Sunday, July 24
HE Laybutt Field, Blacktown
1pm Jersey Flegg: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles vs Penrith Panthers
3pm NSW Cup: Blacktown Workers vs Penrith Panthers