Lottoland has been given the all-clear to host Saturday’s cut-throat NRL finals clash between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Cronulla Sharks.
That is welcome news for Des Hasler and company as they struggle to put together a match-ready 17 amid an untimely injury crisis.
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The Sharks have also had personnel issues this season, but most of their big names are available for the trip to Brookvale.
Manly finished two games clear of Cronulla to secure sixth place and a home final, yet it is the visitors who will start as favourites to reach the semis.
Manly Sea Eagles team news
The big news out of Manly is the emergency signing of Tony Williams, who is named in the reserves but is expected to feature in the matchday 13. Taniela Paseka and Curtis Sironen are out injured and Marty Taupau is serving a suspension. Jack Gosiewski returns on the front row, while Haumole Olakau’atu and Toafofoa Sipley complete the interchange.
Out: Taniela Paseka, Curtis Sironen, Martin Taupau
In: Jack Gosiewski, Haumole Olakau’atu, Toafofoa Sipley
Cronulla Sharks team news
Ronaldo Mulitalo is out suspended, which sees Aaron Gray recalled on the wing. Aaron Woods starts ahead of the benched Andrew Fifita in the only other change to the side that belted the Wests Tigers last week. There is a slim chance of a late call-up for Matt Moylan, who is listed in the reserves alongside Blayke Brailey, Kyle Flanagan and Billy Magoulias.
Out: Ronaldo Mulitalo
In: Aaron Gray
Sea Eagles vs Sharks tryscorer odds
Reuben Garrick – With Tom Trbojevic sidelined, Garrick looks the pick of Manly’s attacking options. Ladbrokes is offering $2.50 for the 22-year-old winger to score a try at any time.
Josh Morris – There is no substitute for experience, as Morris showed with his efforts for NSW in State of Origin this year. Get on the $12 odds at Sportsbet for first tryscorer.
Sea Eagles vs Sharks stats and trends
- Manly lost three of their last five games in the home-and-away season
- The Sea Eagles have won only four out of 12 games without Tom Trbojevic*
- Only a golden-point loss to Canberra prevented the Sharks from finishing with four straight wins
- Cronulla lost 24-14 when they visited Brookvale back in round 10
* That record becomes four wins in 13 games if you include the defeat to Melbourne in round 24 where Trbojevic played only nine minutes
Sea Eagles vs Sharks betting predictions
Cronulla Sharks by 13+ points – $3 at Sportsbet
Manly are a much better team when Tommy Turbo is fit and firing – that is a stone-cold fact. The Sea Eagles have battled hard all year and deserve their spot in the top eight, but they are short-staffed in key positions and will struggle against a talented Cronulla Sharks side.
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