Manly Sea Eagles (@2.75) vs Cronulla Sharks (@1.5)
15-09-2019

Our Prediction:

Cronulla Sharks will win

Manly Sea Eagles – Cronulla Sharks Match Prediction | 15-09-2019 05:50

Injuries haven't been kind to Manly but you get the feeling Des Hasler flat out refuses to let his team use the growing casualty list as an excuse. Hasler might have to make more forced changes this week after the Magic Round loss to the Broncos and will be counting on his senior players to provide leadership and poise under pressure.

The only real time that the Sharks had any sortofof dominance over the Sea Eagles was between 1986 and 2007, when they won all their home matches against the men from the northern beaches in that period. As for their record in the Sutherland Shire, the Sea Eagles seem to really enjoy their visits there, having returned to the northern beaches victorious on 22 occasions (out of 38 visits to the Shire, including non NRL matches).

Sea Eagles vs Sharks stats and trends

That could prove crucial for the injury-hit Sea Eagles who will be without numerous players but with 15 wins from the last 17 against the Sharks, Manly could still get home. It will take a mammoth effort from their patched up side but head coach Des Hasler will not allow them to feel sorry for themselves with some key players missing and although Cronulla should win, Manly will take some beating on home soil. Manly will have home advantage in this clash with Cronulla after Lottoland was cleared after a safety concern.

The Sharks are ranked veryhighly in defence, having conceded the 3rd fewest points in the competition (330). Moreover, despite having the second worst attack of the top 8 teams (behind the Warriors), the Sharks are certainlynot to be taken lightly when they have the ball, given they are ranked 4th in line breaks (78), 3rd in offloads (231) and 4th in try assists (54). In addition, the Sharkies have made the 5th most intercepts, making 6 for the season. This is of minimal surprise, when you consider that they are streets ahead of the other teams, with regards to dominant tackles made, with 211.

This year, Manly won 24-20 at Brookvale after Canberra led 12-0 in as many minutes. Recent contents between the Raiders and Sea Eagles have been tight. Manly have a habit of getting under Canberras skin, so these contests are always willing. While Manly beat Canberra 32-16 on Easter Saturday in 2018 (though the scoreline flattered Canberra), the Raiders rebounded at Bruce with a 21-20 win in round 12, with an Aidan Sezer field goal sealing the win in the 79th minute.

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The Battle of the Beaches is well known to fans for fierce clashes in the middle of the park with the big men dictating the outcome more often than not, the idea for Manly to ambush the Cronulla side with enthusiasm and their defence on the goal line to frustrate their young backs will no doubt be tested. An emphasis on completions and giving their opposition not an inch of possession will be the focus of both teams heading into this Sunday. The Sharks in front of another packed PointsBet Stadium will help them when struggling but with their team bruised from past encounters and calling upon players with new combinations to do the job it could be too much to ask after already winning past fixtures with their back against the wall.

The Sea Eagles have been a surprise packet this season with defence being their point of difference from recent seasons they will no doubt frustrate a Sharks side struggling to hold combinations in their side with changes week in week out, but same goes for the Manly outfit also. The Sharks are looking for their third win in a row for the first time this season with an injury toll increasing they will do well to scrape a win. These two sides head to head are notorious for exciting and tough matches with a lot of heavy contact between forwards but also high scoring tallies across the years, the last time they met at the end of 2018 the Manly team was able to upset at Cronulla with 1 point victory with scores 33-32.

This fixture will be a fitting match-up for both injury-riddled sides, having the great depth that Sharks and Sea Eagles boast it will still be down to one key battle in the match which is between arguably the best props in the competition in Andrew Fifita and Martin Taupau. These two have boosted their discipline on and off the ball this season becoming stronger leaders with their team play but also individual performances that have inspired their young players who have featured this season.

HEAD TO HEAD

Whilst the Sharks are still very much in the race for a place in the top 4, they can ill-afford to drop another match, as they must pick up as many points as they can. Although their defence is almost impenetrable, they must make good on their opportunities when presented with them, as they found out last week against the Broncos. The competition for a top 4 place is currentlyfierce, and their rivals for that coveted top 4 spot will almost certainlypounce on any slip up by them.