Round 14 of the NRL Telstra Premiership gets underway with a classy clash between two top eight teams, when Manly travel up to Skilled Park to play the Titans in Friday night footy.
The Sea Eagles were pushed down to number three on the ladder last week when they went down in a shock 6 – 22 loss to the Broncos. The Gold Coast were also defeated in Round 13, unable to beat the Raiders losing 24 -28.
Both the Titans and the Sea Eagles were once sitting in the second spot on the ladder, and will be desperate to claw their way back.
The Gold Coast have dropped to the sixth spot after suffering three consecutive losses, but despite their poor recent form are installed as the $1.48 favourite through Ladbrokes.com.au for this week as they have an excellent record at Skilled Park.
The Titans have just one player away on Origin duties with Ashley Harrison named as the No. 13 for Queensland, and although Manly have no players in the second Origin game, they are missing two of their biggest players out with injury.
The Sea Eagles must play without instrumental captain Jamie Lyon, injured in Origin Game 1, and Anthony Watmough who suffered a groin injury in their loss to the Broncos last week. Manly will be under the captaincy of backrower Glenn Stewart this match, who has been named as the Sea Eagle’s stand-in skipper.
With a weakened squad, ability to give away half-time leads, and playing away from home Manly are the current $2.65 underdogs with Ladbrokes.com.au, and we are inclined to stick with the Titans here.
Last time these two met back in round seven the Gold Coast got the better of Manly and we predict the same here, with the Sea Eagles to drop out of the top four by the end of the round.
Current Head-to-Head Odds: Titans $1.48 – Sea Eagles $2.65 Ladbrokes.com.au
Round 14 Titans Team:
1. Preston Campbell 2. Kevin Gordon 3. Mat Rogers 4. Sam Tagataese 5. David Mead 6. Greg Bird 7. Scott Prince (c) 8. Luke Bailey 9. Nathan Friend 10. Michael Henderson 11. Anthony Laffranchi 12. Mark Minichiello 13. Bodene Thompson
Bench: 14. Matthew White 15. Brad Meyers 16. Ryan James 17. Luke O’Dwyer
Reserve: 18. William Zillman
Round 14 Sea Eagles Team:
1. Ben Farrar 2. Michael Robertson 3. Tony Williams 4. Dean Whare 5. Willian Hopoate 6. Kieran Foran 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Brent Kite 9. Matt Ballin 10. Josh Perry 11. Chris Bailey 12. Shane Rodney 13. Glenn Stewart (c)
Bench: 14. Joe Galuvao 15. Vic Mauro 16. Matt Cross 17. George Rose
Reserve: 18. Jamie Buhrer