The Sea Eagles have the perfect chance to get back on track this Sunday afternoon.
Manly has been belted in the past fortnight courtesy of heavy defeats to Stgeorge Illawarra and Melbourne and all of a sudden their top four ambitions have not only disintegrated, but a spot in the top eight is now looking shaky.
The Northern Beaches outfit heads into this game with an outstanding record against the Roosters so this gives Trent Barrett’s team a good opportunity to get their season back on track.
Sydney Roosters will fancy their chances of breaking their poor run against Manly after producing a huge second half to beat North Queensland 22-16 without a handful of their stars.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
That is the one question that most punters will be asking of MANLY over the past fortnight.
One of the surprise packets of the season, Manly have been outscored 92-28 by the Dragons and Storm in recent weeks which has made them look like pretenders and not contenders.
A signature of their season has been their ability to win away from home since their record at Lottoland has been just average (4-4) but even though they are still 6-3 in that stat, questions have to be raised with both defeats being at WIN Stadium and AAMI Park.
Manly has lost three straight games by 30 points or more just once previously in club history and that was back in 2003.
If the SYDNEY ROOSTERS want to know if they can make the Grand Final then Sunday’s game may prove it.
They have a terrible record at Brookvale Oval (Lottoland) so if they can somehow pull out a victory then it will go a long way to getting them to the Grand Final. In the NRL era, the chooks have only won four of 14 at the venue with three of those leading to appearances in the big one (2003, 2004 and 2013) with the one exception being 2015 and that season they reached the Prelim Final.
Last week’s win against the Cowboys was huge from a premiership perspective.
Sydney Roosters trailed 16-6 at the break but lifted their intensity and enthusiasm to another gear in the second 40 and that was something North Queensland couldn’t cope with.
Ultimately they ran over the top of the visitors in a real statement that they are a premiership threat. The fact that is was done without Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend and Michael Gordon made it even more impressive.
As mentioned earlier we don’t think Trent Barrett would have been happier to see anyone else arrive on the Northern Beaches this Sunday.
The Sea Eagles have won 16 of 23 matches between the sides since 2005 including seven of the past nine at Brookvale Oval. Although the Roosters did win 46-10 at their previous visit to the venue, it has been 14 years since they have managed back-to-back wins there.
One of Manly’s wins against Trent Robinson’s outfit was earlier in the season at Allianz Stadium where Dylan Walker crossed for a try in the final minute to win the match for his side, 18-12.
There is one stat here that margin punters will love. In the past eight games the average winning margin has been 9.75 points and when you take away the big win by the chooks back in 2015 that is reduced even further to six points.
A Sydney Roosters 1-12 Winning Margin is returning $3.10 @ bet365 while a Sea Eagles 1-12 result will net you $3.75 @ Palmerbet for every dollar invested.
We are going with Sydney Roosters to buck the trend against Manly.
Unibet have them $1.80 favourites which is fair enough considering the Sea Eagles’ recent performances but you don’t suddenly turn bad overnight so that explains why the home side is being kept safe in betting.
If Manly are to get back to their winning ways then they need to improve their discipline. They, along with Melbourne, concede the most penalties in the competition and that is the last thing you want to give the Roosters.
With Luke Keary and Mitchell Pearce dictating the play and the forwards, ably assisted by bench players such as Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Sydney Roosters can match any team up front which means their team can easily get a roll on.
With six wins from their past seven starts, the tricolours are in form and look in the mood to finish the season on a high and secure a top-two spot with only Melbourne in front of them at the moment.
Manly’s form is too worrying for us to have a throw at the stumps especially since both their heavy losses in the past fortnight have come on a Sunday afternoon.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS 1-6 WINNING MARGIN