Manly Sea Eagles Look Set for the Top-Eigh - But What Now?
Manly Sea Eagles Look Set for the Top-Eigh - But What
Sea Eagles are looking to secure their place in the
NRL's top-eight during the final four rounds of the
season, and despite it looking unlikely they will
end their wait for another Premiership title, Trent
Barrett will be pleased with the spirit his side have
been showing in their quest for the finals.
was the last year the Sea Eagles lifted the NRL trophy,
when they defeated Melbourne Storm (who are favourites
for another title in 2017) 40-0 in front of a packed
out ANZ Stadium. Despite this year not looking to
be the year their wait for another success ends, they
have shown tremendous spirit in recent weeks to impress
rugby league followers.
defeats against St George Illawarra Dragons (50-22)
and Melbourne (40-6) in Round 20 and 21 left Manly's
place in the top-eight looking vulnerable, with their
defence in particular struggling to cope with any
dangerous attack thrown at them, conceding 90 points
in just 160 minutes of rugby.
That victory over Sydney has boosted Manly's chance
of a top-eight finish despite the club sitting just
seventh on the NRL ladder. St George Illawarra's miserable
form has seen a gap open up between Barrett's side
and ninth place, which they will be looking to increase
this weekend when they face the lowly West Tigers
in Round 23.
are 1.46 favourites to pick up the win against the
Tigers, who are looking over their shoulder with four
rounds to go, as the Newcastle Knights drag them into
a battle for the unwanted wooden spoon. Barrett will
be looking for his side to turn on the style in round
23, with the hope they can pick up some form between
now and the finals, which could potentially give his
side the belief they can cause a shock in the end
of season lottery.
players Barrett will be hoping can rediscover their
best is leading points scorer, Dylan Walker and top
try scorer, Akuila Uate. The outside
backs have 23 tries between them in 2017, with
Walker bagging 11 and Uate crossing the whitewash
on 12 occasions. However, Walker has crossed for just
one try in his last four appearances, whilst Uate
has scored twice in that time.
The form of Walker and Uate will help in during the
final rounds of the campaign, but Barrett will be
looking to his more creative players to guide Manly
through the final stages of the season and hopefully
into the finals. The two players Manly are likely
to turn to will be Daly Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic,
who will line-up at half-back and full-back respectively.
duo have 13 tries between them and have laid on 32
assists over the course of 2017 - Cherry-Evans has
three tries, but the half-back has been the creative
cog in Manly's side for much of the season with 18
try assists for his teammates.
has also been effective, with 10 tries and 14 try
assists, including two tries in Manly's victory over
Sydney last week from full-back.
is likely that the form of Cherry-Evans and Trbojevic
will be key to Manly's success between now and the
end of the season, with the duo behind everything
Barrett's team has done well in 2017.
Last week's victory over the Sydney Roosters was very
impressive, and it is more than likely that it will
be the result that sees Manly stride towards a top-eight
finish and a place in the finals. It would be a surprise
to see Manly challenge for silverware later in 2017,
but what they do between now and when their season
ends, could be an indication of how they will perform
in the 2018 campaign.
Manly can continue to show the spirit they have shown
recently, there is every chance that they will have
a successful end to this season and take a lot of
positives into the next.