By Stephen Gallagher
MATCH OF THE ROUND: ROUND 10 – Melbourne Storm V Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles – Monday, AAMI Park. 19.00 local time, 21.00 NZ time.
THIS WEEK: The Storm and the Sea Eagles have a great, passionate rivalry. The Storm are the sort of team who can make you feel like you’re well in the game when actually they’ve got two more gears to go up. Last week was only the third time in three seasons the Storm have lost multiple games in a row. This week, back with a vengeance, surely.
The Sea Eagles have a few injury concerns which has not given them much of a look in pre-game, but the spirit of the side is what shows on the field on the day. Continuing to perform when the pressure is applied has worked well for them. Not getting caught up in what’s happening.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Using the bench to the most effective way possible. With a bench stacked with young talent and some great experience, the bench rotations are phenomenal. Getting the young guys on at key times to run in to the tired Manly forwards is the best weapon for this Melbourne side.
Manly to have great use of early ball out wide. It seems to be a great ploy when used correctly. Canberra utilised it well when they defeated the Storm, and to put pressure on the wings of Melbourne would be the best way to get up the field, and torment the opposition.
THE BATTLE OF: Young n’ old. You could say Tahu Harris is having all his dreams come true within three months. World Club Challenge, NRL and International Debut’s. Wow this kid is impressive when he plays. No fear, all guts. It’s like there’s a 30 year old controlling this kid’s mind. Mature well beyond his years in his style of football.
Glenn Stewart is the stalwart of the Sea Eagles, and his determination and aggression leads the defensive line up swiftly to shut down any team on attack. He is nifty with ball in hand, and you can be forgiven for sometimes mistaking him for his brother when he takes on the line with such lack of fear.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON: Sisa Waqa – He’s been under a lot of pressure lately, but has a bunch of talent.
Justin Horo – Fitting in remarkably well in the Sea Eagles, playing some of his best football to date.
Manly’s third Monday Night Football game in a row. It’s going to be tough in the cold, but Monday Night something strange always happens. It’s always hard to go past Melbourne. Especially after two losses. 30-18.
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