One of the really interesting match-ups of the round, this clash between Manly and Melbourne will come down to mental toughness above all else as they face off at Brookvale Oval on Saturday.
On very different paths this season these two are likely to get physical and up in each others’ faces having contested two grand finals against each other in recent years.
Manly are coming off a shock loss to the Knights last week and will be desperate to make up for the hiccup and to sink their claws into the Storm.
Melbourne scored a big 36 – 12 win over the Raiders last week, but away from home they could struggle to make it three in a row.
These two always rise when playing each other so no matter who you pick it will be a beauty.
The venue could be the deciding factor for this one, the Sea Eagles love Brookie and the bookies agree with Ladbrokes.com.au installing them as the $1.65 favourites.
When these two met back in Round six it was a close result, Manly narrowly winning by two points and with all that has happened this season expect another down-to-the-wire thriller.
But if you are looking for an upset, Melbourne could provide it here as Manly fullback Ben Farrar has been ruled out after injuring his knee last week and the remainder of the Sea Eagles will really need to step up in defence to win.
Michael Robertson will step in from the wing to play as fullback making room for young Will Hopoate to play.
Then again Justin O’Neill is out for the Storm, the flying winger replaced by Chase Stanley.
Adding it all up we are tipping the Sea Eagles at Brookvale as long as they get some early possession and convert this into points.
Footy Tip of the Match – Anthony Watmough to score the Sea Eagles’ first try at $11 through Ladbrokes.com.au
NRLleague Footy Tip of the Match:
Manly’s powerhouse back-rower Anthony Watmough is one of the best in the comp and has made the most metres for the Sea Eagles this season. If he can get the ball down the short side he is nearly impossible to stop, which is why we are backing Watmough to score Manly’s first try at $11 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Current Head-to-Head Odds:
Manly $1.65 – Storm $2.25 Ladbrokes.com.au
Round 22 Sea Eagles Team:
1. Michael Robertson 2. Will Hopoate 3. Jamie Lyon (c) 4. Steve Matai 5. Tony Williams 6. Kieran Foran 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Jason King 9. Matt Ballin 10. Josh Perry 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Shane Rodney 13. Glenn Stewart
Bench: 14. Joe Galuvao 15. Brent Kite 16. George Rose 17. Chris Bailey
Reserve: 18. Matt Cross
Round 22 Storm Team:
1. Billy Slater 2. Matt Duffie 3. Dane Nielsen 4. Greg Inglis 5. Chase Stanley 6. Brett Finch 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Cam Smith (c) 10. Brett White 11. Sika Manu 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Adam Blair
Bench: 14. Ryan Hinchcliffe 15. Tod Lowrie 16. Bryan Norrie 17. Jeff Lima
Reserves: 18. Kevin Proctor 19. Sione Kite