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CrownBet Match Preview: Round 23

Dan Talintyre (Twitter: @dantalintyre)

Wests Tigers will return to Leichhardt Oval this Sunday desperate to get back in the winners’ circle when they take on the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at 4:00pm.

It was only a month ago that these two sides met at Lottoland, with Ivan Cleary’s side letting a second half lead slip not for the first time this season, with the Sea Eagles running out 28-16 winners in the end. Since then, both teams have chalked up strong victories, with Manly conceding heavy defeats to the Dragons and Storm, while Wests Tigers have endured heartbreaking losses to the Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels.

Since the midway point of the season, there’s no denying how close Wests Tigers have been in games, with an inability to close out in the key moments brining them undone.

In all but one of the five games they have lost since Round 14, Wests Tigers have been leading or within two points of their opponents with 10 minutes to go. There’s no doubting how frustrating that must be for the players involved, but what’s been pleasing to see is the refusal to let games get away from them and allow a drop off in intensity.

Wests Tigers will be out to make up for letting that lead slip in Round 19 and, with a strong Leichhardt Oval crowd behind them, will certainly be up for the challenge. 

In some respects, however, Sunday’s outcome may well come down to which Sea Eagles side turns up, with mixed performances from Trent Barrett’s side in recent weeks.

When the two sides met in Round 19, it was Wests Tigers who dominated the opening 50 minutes before the Sea Eagles came home strong to emerge with the win; last week’s win over the Sydney Roosters followed a similar storyline as they came from 18-10 down at the break to deliver an emphatic 36-18 win over the premiership hopefuls.

In between those two games, Manly have been blown off the park by the Dragons (beat 52-22 in Round 20) and the Storm (beat 40-6 in Round 21) — leaving many to question whether the Sea Eagles are the real deal this year or simply too inconsistent to win it all.

They’ll be looking to answer that question on Sunday, and they’ll need to tighten up their defence if they want that to happen. Despite sitting inside the top eight, the Sea Eagles have the third worst missed tackles of any team this season, with 39, 63, 50 and 42 missed tackles in their past four games. Conversely, Wests Tigers — who have missed more tackles than any team this year — have missed 50 less tackles in that time.

Be there as Sunday afternoon footy returns to Leichhardt Oval against the Sea Eagles!

MATCH DETAILS

Date — Sunday, August 13, 2017

Time — 4:00pm AEST

Venue — Leichhardt Oval, Sydney

 

TV, LIVE STREAM AND RADIO INFORMATION

TV — Live via Channel 9 and Fox League (Ch.502)

Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, FM 104.9 Triple M

Live Stream — Live via Foxtel Go, NRL Digital Pass (subscription required)

 

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referees — Grant Atkins and Chris James

Touch Judges — Chris Sutton and Dave Ryan

Video Referees — Ben Galea and Bernard Sutton

 

LATEST CROWNBET ODDS

Head-to-Head — Wests Tigers ($2.90), Sea Eagles ($1.43)

Line — Wests Tigers +7.5 ($1.92), Sea Eagles -7.5 ($1.92)

Latest odds via CrownBet.com.au (18+ only, gamble responsibly)

Odds correct as of Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 12:00pm

 

TEAM NEWS

Wests Tigers

One change for Wests Tigers, with Chris Lawrence (pectoral) ruled out of the contest. He is replaced in the side by Michael Chee Kam, while Josh Aloiai makes his return from injury on the interchange bench after playing 80 minutesn in Intrust Super Premiership last week.
 

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Addin Fonua-Blake returns from suspension to replace Kelepi Tanginoa on the bench in the only change for Trent Barrett’s side, with last week’s debutant Brad Parker retaining his spot in the centres over rookie Brian Kelly, who drops out of the reserves alongside Jarrad Kennedy.
 

Team Lists Update

4:00pm, Tuesday — 21-man squads announced — Click here

4:00pm, Saturday — 19-man squads announced — Click here

3:00pm, Sunday — Final 17-man team lists announced

 

RECENT RESULTS

Wests Tigers

Round 18 — BYE

Round 19 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 28 def. Wests Tigers 16

Round 20 — Parramatta Eels 17 def. Wests Tigers 16

Round 21 — Wests Tigers 26 def. Gold Coast Titans 4

Round 22 — Penrith Panthers 28 def. Wests Tigers 14

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Round 18 — Penrith Panthers 16 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 8

Round 19 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 28 def. Wests Tigers 16

Round 20 — St. George-Illawarra Dragons 52 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22

Round 21 — Melbourne Storm 40 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 6

Round 22 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 36 def. Sydney Roosters 18

 

THE HISTORY

·       Head-to-Head — Played 24, Wests Tigers 9, Sea Eagles 15, Drawn 0

·       At Leichhardt Oval — Played 7, Wests Tigers 5, Sea Eagles 2, Drawn 0

·       Last Time They Met — Manly Sea Eagles 28 def. Wests Tigers 16 (Rd.19, 2017)

 

TEAM MATCHUP

 

Wests Tigers

Manly Sea Eagles

Position

15th (14 points)

7th (28 points)

Home Form

Won 1, Lost 8

Won 6, Lost 5

Away Form

Won 4, Lost 7

Won 6, Lost 3

Points Scored

323 points (15th)

460 points (3rd)

Points Conceded

485 points (14th)

419 points (11th)