Parramatta Eels v Manly Sea Eagles Sunday, April 22, 2pm (AEST) ANZ Stadium, Sydney
The Wolf, like many others was expecting big things from the Eels this year, but they’ve failed miserably! Coach Brad Arthur has made mass changes as a result, with Jarryd Hayne, Brad Takairangi and Kane Evans all into the starting side. The Sea Eagles were booed off Brookvale Oval last week after they were embarrassed by the Tigers 38-12, and will be hoping for a similar response to when they last played the Eels back in Round 2.
FormParramatta’s season could not have started any worse as they are winless through six games, averaging a paltry 7.7 points per game. They also have the third worst attack to boot. Only one of their losses this year has been by single digits. Manly are 12th on the ladder with a 2-4 record. They have conceded 30-plus in three of their last four.
Key MatchupClint Gutherson v Tom Trbojevic: Gutherson made a solid return from an ACL injury and will only be better for the run. He provided plenty of talk from the back of the field and will be looking to increase his involvement this week. Trbojevic had a mixed bag in the loss to the Tigers last week, but despite a few errors he managed to break through eight tackles and made a line-break. He has one of the best work-rates of any fullback in the competition and could be set for a big afternoon, similar to his performance in Round 2 against the Eels.
Stats That Matter– Parramatta are 0-6 ATS with a 4-2 under record while Manly are 2-4 ATS with a 4-2 over number. – Manly have won 83 of the 138 matches played all-time. – The Eels had won six straight from 2014-17 but when the teams met in Round 2 Manly won 54-0. – Four of the last five have tallied 36 or fewer points. – Home underdogs of 4 or more in the first eight rounds of the season are 83-34 ATS since 2008 (66% Rounds 5-8). – The Eels have failed to cover their last seven. – Parramatta are 19-8 under at ANZ since 2015 including a 6-2 under record after scoring 10 or fewer. – Parramatta are 6-4 ATS with a 7-3 under record as an outsider at ANZ. – Manly are 4-15 ATS as a favourite away from Brookvale. – The Sea Eagles have covered just 2 of their 12 day games.
Final ThoughtsIt’s only a matter of time before the Eels get on the board, but The Wolf can’t touch them while they’re still missing their best forward in Nathan Brown. The Sea Eagles are also coming off a thrashing to the Tigers and will be looking for a big response here. These sides met in Round 2 at Brookvale and it was the Sea Eagles shutting out the Eels 54-0. It will be a lot closer this time around, but the same side will be leaving with the two competition points.
How It’s Shaping UpManly by 4
Recommended BetsBest: Manly ($1.60) Value: Manly 1-12 ($3) First Tryscorer: Brian Kelly ($15)