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The in-form Manly Sea Eagles present a massive challenge for the Canberra Raiders, but they must find a way to win to keep their finals flame flickering. Tune into the action right here on The Roar with live scores from 6pm (AEST).
Last Thursday’s loss to the Storm leaves the Raiders once again out of the eight, with only three matches left to sneak back in. Facing a difficult final-round clash with the Roosters, you’d expect they’d need to win at least two of their last three to have any chance of ousting the eighth-placed Titans.
Fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is expected to return from his long-term neck injury off the bench, but isn’t over the line just yet. With Corey Harawira-Naera already missing through suspension, and Tom Starling out with a broken jaw, Ricky Stuart needs all the firepower he can get to spring an upset on Manly.
The Sea Eagles were stunned by the Raiders when last they met a month ago, but it’s one of only two defeats in their past nine matches, the other to the ladder-leading Storm. Finals spot secured, it’s all about the top for from here on out for Des Hasler, last week’s 56-10 win over the Eels leaving them a solitary win behind the Roosters in fourth.
The big watch this week for Manly is over Tom Trbojevic, the superstar fullback named to play despite continuing to carry a cheekbone injury. He’s determined to play after scans showed he’s avoided a fracture, but will they want to risk him with finals so close by, as well as in soft closing-round matches to come against the Bulldogs and Cowboys?
1. Jordan Rapana, 2. Bailey Simonsson, 3. Sebastian Kris, 4. Matthew Timoko, 5. Harley Smith-Shields, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Sam Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Joseph Tapine, 11. Hudson Young, 12. Elliott Whitehead (c), 13. Ryan Sutton
Bench/Reserves: 14. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 15. Emre Guler 16. Iosia Soliola, 17. Matt Frawley | 18. 20. Dunamis Lui, 19. Trey Mooney, 20. Elijah Anderson, 21. Caleb Aekins
Manly Sea Eagles
1. Tom Trbojevic, 2. Jason Saab, 3. Morgan Harper, 4. Moses Suli, 5. Reuben Garrick, 6. Kieran Foran, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8. Josh Aloiai, 9. Lachlan Croker, 10. Martin Taupau, 11. Haumole Olakau’atu, 12. Josh Schuster, 13. Jake Trbojevic
Bench/Reserves: 14. Dylan Walker, 15. Karl Lawton, 16. Curtis Sironen, 17. Toafofoa Sipley | 18. Jack Gosiewski, 19. Tevita Funa, 20. Kurt De Luis, 21. Cade Cust