The Green Machine is starting to rumble along but they can repel the inconsistent Sea Eagles?
Canberra has been impressive in winning by double digit margins in the past three weeks with New Zealand their latest victims, at this venue, by a score of 20-8.
Manly gave away too big a start against Melbourne last week but after trailing by three converted tries, roared back but fell short by four in a 30-26 thriller.
HOME SWEET HOME
Canberra’s recent success has been built off the back of their brilliant home record.
Ricky Stuart’s men have won 12 of the past 14 games at GIO Stadium with the only two losses coming against the Cronulla Sharks last season, the later of those being in the Quarter Finals.
Overall they are averaging 28.6 points per game during this span which ensures that whoever travels to the nation’s capital better be ready to defence for their lives because they will get blown away.
Manly’s momentum has been halted in the past fortnight.
After notching three straight wins in devastating style, MANLY has succumbed to the benchmark teams of the competition in Stgeorge Illawarra and Melbourne in recent weeks. More alarmingly is that both those games were at Lottoland, aka Brookvale Oval, where they have lost four of five games in 2017.
If any side has ambitions of playing finals footy then they need to be winning their games at home and that is something coach Trent Barrett needs to urgently address.
Up until recently Manly has completely dominated this fixture.
Between 2004 and 2014, Manly won 10 of 12 match ups, however, Canberra has taken three of the past four contests. When looking at games at GIO Stadium, the Sea Eagles have won five of the past six but did lose at the previous visit to the venue.
Canberra’s average winning margin against any opponent in their past 12 wins is 16.5 points. A Raiders Win between 11-20 Points is returning $3.75 with Sportsbet.
The Green Machine are starting to click and that spells big danger for Manly here.
Although the Raiders are short ($1.26 @ Unibet) they are set to feature with punters prominently over the weekend and especially those who enjoy taking Multis.
Their brilliant home record is an indication of just how well they play in front of their fans but they will face some stiff opposition here from Manly who have won their only two away games so far. What’s more, one of those wins was against the Cowboys in Townsville.
We’d love to tip the value here in Manly but their defence has gone missing in the past fortnight as they have conceded 65 points in two games, which definitely isn’t good enough to beat most sides. Factor in that Canberra has the second best attack in the competition (26ppg) and those stats are enough to give us some confidence in the home side.