NRL Round 22: Sea Eagles v Tigers Preview & Betting Tips

The Tigers are fighting for their season when they travel to Fortress Brookvale to start round 22.

James Baxter
Tue, 13 Aug, 12:00 AM

Manly Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers – 1300 SMILES Stadium – 7:50pm

Manly’s charge towards the top four hit a New Zealand brick wall last week, their 24-16 defeat a massive opportunity blown considering defeats to third-placed Canberra and fourth-placed Souths. After a string of impressive performances, Manly failed to rise against a desperate home side looking to put pride back in their badge.

Manly drew blanks for the opening 67 minutes and it was only when the Warriors were down a man did they finally crack their defensive line. Being held to nil for so long wasn’t through a lack of ball or chances – they simply couldn’t execute when they needed to.

Reuben Garrick’s double – suddenly a candidate for NRL’s top try-scorer this campaign despite his late debut – and Joel Thompson’s bullocking run gave the Sea Eagles hope they could pull off an almighty heist but in the end, they had left their run too late.

Moses Suli was a highlight in their seven-minute try frenzy with two try assists in what was one of star halfback Daly Cherry-Evans’ most frustrating games of the year, perhaps hampered by an ankle complaint.

Their defeat combined with Parramatta winning means instead of eyeing off the top four, Manly now find themselves in equal fifth with the Eels. They’re still a chance at cracking into the four but equally, they’re now at risk of sliding to sixth should they not get back on track this week.

It was a Saturday night disaster for the Tigers, their 18-16 loss to Canterbury making their battle to end NRL’s longest finals drought even harder. Nothing went right for Wests with injuries to Moses Mbye and Robbie Farah – coupled with Luke Garner’s sin bin – severely disrupting Michael Maguire’s side’s flow.

Even when Garner then scored in the final minute to get the Tigers within a conversion of extra time, two try winger Paul Momirovski sprayed the attempt to condemn the Tigers to another week outside the top eight.

Momirovski was the Tigers’ third-string goalkicker after Esan Marsters publicly revealed a mutual agreement between Maguire and himself to throw away the kicking boots to concentrate on his own game while Mbye’s quad complaint meant an early night for the Queenslander. It does though add further weight to any mental demons the Tigers may have in their quest for finals footy.

The Bulldogs are rapidly emerging as a genuine spoiler for those chasing the finals but it’s this type of game the Tigers needed to bank the two points in no matter what. Instead, they’ve lost further momentum and now face the ominous task of needing to beat Manly to stay within the finals chase.

Farah battled through a fractured tibia for nearly 15 minutes before succumbing and the veteran hooker is now needing a major medical recovery if he’s to play NRL again before his retirement. Benji Marshall was again a leading light in attack but the Tigers simply need to find a way of grinding out the tough contests.

There’s no better way of finding out if the Tigers are ready for September than their Manly challenge – a win and their season is alive. A defeat and it might be another painful season finish for the long-suffering Tigers punters.

 

Key stats:

• Manly need to overcome recent history over Wests, they have only won one of their last six head-to-heads.

• The Sea Eagles though have won 3 of the last 4 first halves against the Tigers.

• Reuben Garrick has 7 tries in his last 4 games.

 

Tip: Sea Eagles

Best bet: Sea Eagles first half - $1.55* (Unibet)

Value bet: Reuben Garrick anytime try scorer - $1.85* (TAB)

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