Manly Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights Friday, April 27, 6pm (AEST) Lottoland, Sydney
What is going on at Manly? From salary cap dramas to season-ending injuries to in-house fighting – it’s all happening! And that’s not even mention their on-field performances. They’ve conceded 32+ points in their last three matches and been hammered off the park in each match. They are lucky this match is being played at Brookvale, where they have won two of their three matches this season. They will also take on a Knights side missing Mitchell Pearce who will be relying on the inexperienced halves pairing of Connor Watson and Jack Cogger to stop their season falling apart.
FormManly enter this off being humiliated by Parramatta by 34 points and have now dropped three straight where they have conceded at least 32 in each. The Sea Eagles are now 13th on the ladder with a 2-5 record with the third worst defence to go with the seventh ranked attack. Newcastle are into the Top 8 with their last minute win over the Wests Tigers in Tamworth. The Knights have a 4-3 record though they have the second worst defence and the 11th rated attack. The Knights have won two of their last three.
Key MatchupDaly Cherry-Evans v Jack Cogger: DCE has been in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons of late. He’s been fined for his altercation with teammate Jackson Hastings and was terrible in the big loss to the Eels last week. The Manly halfback is on big money and needs to lead from the front if the Sea Eagles are to save their season and put the off-field drama behind them. It doesn’t get much tougher than a Friday night road trip to Brookvale Oval, but that’s what young Jack Cogger will be facing. The loss of Mitchell Pearce for an extended period will force Cogger out of his shell and it’s become a real sink or swim situation for him. He’ll need Connor Watson and Kalyn Ponga to be at their best if the Knights are to salvage something this season as the loss of Pearce can’t be understated. The Wolf has heard the wraps on Cogger and is ready to see if he can step up over the next few weeks.
Stats That Matter– Manly are 2-5 ATS with a 5-2 over record while Newcastle are 4-3 ATS with a 4-3 over number. – The Sea Eagles are 31-18 all-time against the Knights and have won 12 of the last 15 meetings. – The Sea Eagles have won seven straight against the Knights at Brookvale with five of those wins coming by margins of 14 or more. – Six of the last seven meetings have tallied 40 or fewer. – Manly are 12-25 ATS as a favourite since 2015. – The Sea Eagles have covered four of their last five at Brookvale. – The over is 9-2 when Manly play at Brookvale after conceding 30. – Newcastle have covered just 9 of their last 29 night games though are 2-1 ATS at night this year. – The Knights have covered six of their last seven as a road underdog of 8 points or fewer. – Road underdogs of 8 or less off a win cover at 57% back to 2015.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf isn’t beaming with confidence tipping up Manly, but the loss of Mitchell Pearce is a massive blow to the Knights’ finals hopes this year, and especially their chances at Brookvale where the Sea Eagles have been good other than their blowout loss to the Tigers. Manly have won seven straight against the Knights at Brookvale and that’s a good enough stat to back them here.
How It’s Shaping UpManly by 4
Recommended BetsBest: Manly 1-12 ($3) Value: Manly 1-12 & Under 40.5 ($4.50) First Tryscorer: Dylan Walker