Manly Sea Eagles vs NQ Cowboys: NRL Finals live scores, blog
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Manly Vs. Nth Queensland
2012 NRL Premiership Season, 15 September, 2012
|Allianz Stadium, NSW|
|Manly 22 defeated Nth Queensland 12|
|Referee: Shayne Hayne|
|Touch judges: P Holland & J Younis|
The Manly Sea Eagles will need to be at their best if they are to keep their premiership hopes alive against the inform North Queensland Cowboys in tonight’s NRL semi-final. Join us for NRL live score updates and commentary from 7:30pm AEST.
Manly underperformed in last week’s loss to Canterbury and now have no room for error against the Cowboys.
Aside from a short dominant passage midway through the first half which saw Manly post back to back tries; the Sea Eagles were lethargic in attack against the Bulldogs and will need to play with a lot more intensity tonight if they are to defeat North Queensland.
Their only consistency was the Anthony Watmough and co. injection of niggle and hostility into tackles and back-chat.
They’ll need to be more disciplined and use their aggression in attack and defence.
The Cowboys were clinical against Brisbane last week, racing out to a 16 nil lead before eventually securing a strong 33-16 victory.
North Queensland’s win was made possible by the superb performances from Johnathon Thurston, Matt Bowen, Michael Morgan, James Tamou and Matthew Scott.
The preceding players are all in top form and will cause Manly tremendous headaches if the reigning premiers fail to improve their discipline and ball handling tonight.
With Steve Matai suspended, Manly will be hoping that Jamie Lyon starts in the centres tonight.
Lyon succumbed to a calf injury against the Bulldogs last week and is in some doubt for the match against the Cowboys.
If Lyon is deemed unfit to play tonight, Manly’s attack will suffer outwide, given that Lyon is the general of a very talented Sea Eagles backline.
Without Lyon to dictate the attack, halves Keiran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans will really need to fire tonight if the Sea Eagles are to score enough points to keep the Cowboys at bay.
After producing below par performances in the loss to Canterbury, expect Foran and Cherry-Evans to come out with a point to prove against master playmakers Thurston and Bowen.
Foran and Cherry-Evans will fancy their chances of opening up a Cowboys defence that still possesses chinks in its armour.
If Manly’s halves however fail to click, the Cowboys should be favoured to emerge victorious tonight.
As mentioned earlier, the Cowboys possess inform players in key positions with Bowen in particular the player most likely to wreck havoc for Manly.
Bowen was sensational against the Broncos last week, scoring a try and assisting in two other four pointers scored by Morgan and Tate respectively.
In order to limit the attacking prowess of Thurston and Bowen, Manly’s forwards have to get on top of inform Cowboys props Tamou and Scott.
Scott and Tamou are laying a wonderful platform for Thurston and Bowen to shine in attack and will take a power of stopping given their current form.
If Scott and Tamou manage to win the arm wrestle upfront, Bowen and Thurston will dominate and will turn attacking pressure into points when given the chance.
Although Manly possess home ground advantage, playing at Allianz Stadium will hold no fear for a Cowboys side that possesses the belief and attacking class necessary to cause the upset and end the Sea Eagles hopes of winning back to back premierships.
Cowboys by 4