One of the game’s great rivalries is renewed at 4 Pines Park as the home side fight to keep their final hopes alive by downing the enigmatic Eels.
The blue and golds are walking a little taller after upsetting the Panthers on Friday while Manly endured a tough night against the Roosters with seven key players missing the game for personal reasons.
When these sides met at CommBank Stadium in round 11 it was the Eels squeaking home 22-20, with Manly losing Tom Trbojevic for the season to a shoulder injury.
Des Hasler’s men will be hoping for better luck on home soil as they look to avenge that defeat and get on a roll towards the finals.
Sea Eagles: The Sea Eagles have Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Tolutau Koula, Haumole Olakau’atu and Toafofoa Sipley back in the starting side but Sean Keppie (shoulder) remains sidelined. Andrew Davey suffered a head knock against the Roosters but has been named to play and Ben Trbojevic is back from the head knock he suffered in Round 19. Dylan Walker and Martin Taupau reverted to the bench after starting last week.
Eels: Jake Arthur takes over at halfback for the injured Mitch Moses in the only change to the squad that took care of the Panthers in Round 20. Arthur starts at halfback for the first time in 2022 after playing five-eighth in rounds 7 and 8.
Reuben Garrick v Clint Gutherson: Manly’s No.1 continues to pile on the points and finish off the inside work of DCE and Kieran Foran. Life without Tom Trbojevic would be a lot tougher for Manly if not for Garrick’s 163 meters per game and his ability to break the line. King Gutho will take on even more responsibility with Mitch Moses out injured and there’s no doubt the Eels skipper is up for the job. Gutherson has racked up 11 tries, seven try assists, 10 line breaks and 152 meters per game in another fine season.
Mitch Moses leads the NRL in try assists with 20 so the Eels will need to find a new avenue to the tryline with their star hafback nursing an injured finger. His halves partner Dylan Brown has 13 try assists. Sea Eagles halfback Daly Cherry-Evans has come up with 15 try assists in 2022.