Canberra Raiders v Manly Sea Eagles Friday, May 25, 6:00pm Canberra Stadium, Canberra
The Raiders situation has reached critical levels after another blown game on the road against the Dragons. A loss at home against a Manly team that is in-form but injury ravaged could do irreparable damage to their finals hopes.
Recent FormCanberra are 11th on the ladder with a disappointing 4-7 record. They have the sixth best attacking record but rank ninth in defence. The Raiders have lost their last two and have been held to 18 or fewer in four of their last six. Manly are 12th on the ladder, also with a 4-7 record. They rank fifth in scoring while they rate 12th in defence. The Sea Eagles have won their last two against the Broncos and Storm. Manly have scored 20 or more in three straight.
Key MatchupAidan Sezer v Daly Cherry-Evans. The battle of the No.7s will prove critical. Sezer near single-handedly cost the Raiders last week with a god-awful passing game and some questionable kicking. Cherry-Evans is still holding out hope for a Maroons recall and has seen his form improve over the last fortnight with four try assists in his last two games after just two in his first nine. The seven that controls this one likely gets the win.
Stats That Matter – Canberra are 5-6 ATS with a 6-5 under record, covering five of their last seven. – Manly are 5-6 ATS with a 6-5 over record, covering their last three. – Manly have won three straight and 16 of the last 21 against the Raiders. – The Sea Eagles have won six of the last seven meetings at Canberra Stadium. – The last nine meetings have all topped 38 with six of those hitting 48 or more. – The Raiders have covered just 5 of their last 16 home games while they are a poor 2-7 ATS with a 7-2 under when favoured by a try or less. – In home night games the Raiders are 12-9 ATS with a 13-8 under record. – When playing at home after scoring 18 or fewer, Canberra are 10-5 ATS with an 11-4 over number. – The Raiders have lost six straight on a five-day turnaround. – The Raiders are a much better night team than a day team going 25-14 ATS overall since 2015. – Manly are 22-28 ATS away from Brookvale since 2015 but have covered their last three. – The Sea Eagles have covered 10 of their last 15 night games away from Brookvale. – Manly are 6-14 ATS on the road after scoring 24 or more. Road teams off a win of 20 or more are 73-101 ATS since 2008.
Final ThoughtsNot the easiest game in the world for punters. Manly have a strong history against Canberra but have now lost Dylan Walker and must backup off a brutal encounter against Melbourne. This is also their third road game on the trot, a big run of travel. Meeting Canberra in a desperate situation is also doing them no favours while road teams off a win of 20 or more are historically lays. Canberra have been strong at home at night so fancy they get the points here.