Round 21 NRL Preview: Vodafone Warriors v Sea Eagles
Wednesday 25 July 2012 12:52 PM
VODAFONE WARRIORS v MANLY SEA EAGLES
Round 21, 2012 NRL Premiership
Saturday, July 28, 2012
NRL Kick-Off 5:30pm, NYC Kick-Off 3:15pm (Local)
Patersons Stadium, Perth.
Referees: Jared Maxwell/Alan Shortall
ROUND 21 GAME PREVIEW
Coming In To Round 21
The Vodafone Warriors are 2-2 in their last four games, and are coming off a 24-19 loss to the Knights.
They have averaged 23.5 ppg since Round 17, and have conceded 16.5 ppg in that period.
They sit 9th on the competition ladder, 2 points out of the Top 8.
Manly Sea Eagles are 2-2 in their last four games, and are coming off a 20-12 loss to the Bulldogs.
They have averaged 19.3 ppg since Round 17, and have conceded 25.3 ppg in that period.
They sit 7th on the competition ladder, 2 points out of the Top 4.
Last Time They Met
Round 1, 2011 - Watch game highlights of the Warriors v Sea Eagles earlier this season.
Last 10 Games - Warriors 2, Sea Eagles 8.
The Warriors will be looking to end a five match losing streak against the Sea Eagles when they head to Perth this weekend.
Team Changes and Late Mail
Find all the Vodafone Warriors Team and Injury News from Tuesday and full Round 21 Lineup here.
K Locke, B Tupou, L Brown, K Hurrell, M Vatuvei (c), J Maloney, S Johnson, R Packer, N Friend, B Matulino, F Mateo, B Henry, E Taylor.
Bench: Sam Lousi, Sione Lousi, J Lillyman, Sebastine Ikahihifo, P Godinet.
MANLY SEA EAGLES
D Whare, J Taufua, J Lyon (c), S Matai, D Williams, K Foran, D Cherry-Evans, J King (c), M Ballin, B Kite, A Watmough, T Williams, G Stewart.
Bench: J Buhrer, J Galuvao, D Lussick, G Rose, V Mauro, D Harrison.
The last time these two sides met was Round 1 - the time before that, the Grand Final, October 2, 2011.
However, things are slightly different heading into Round 21, with both sides teetering on the fringe of the Top 8. Once again, this clash of the heavyweights, could end one season, while the other goes on to triumph.
The Vodafone Warriors will be without captain Simon Mannering in Perth after the skipper succumbed to an ankle sprain. The loss of the inspirational skipper will be a tough blow for Brian McClennan’s men, but with Manu Vatuvei, returning from injury to lead the side, the Warriors remain one of the most dangerous sides in the competition.
A boost for the Warriors will be the form of halves James Maloney and Shaun Johnson, who seem to be gelling at the right time of year. Both men are brilliant individually, but recent weeks have shown the two can also work together, forming one of the most potent running combinations in the NRL.
The Sea Eagles will be without Brett Stewart, with Geoff Toovey opting to give his star more rest before the finals run, however, the Origin custodian is on the plane to Perth, so never say never, but all signs indicate that it will be Dean Whare who again pulls on the number one jersey.
Apart from the absence of Stewart, and the naming of an extended bench, the squad remains almost at full strength with Glenn Stewart continually improving after his injury layoff. Despite not having the motivation of a vocal home crowd this weekend, the Sea Eagles will be tough to beat in the heat of Australia’s western state.
There is no doubt that each side knows the importance of this clash, both suffered tough losses last weekend and will be looking to bounce back as the run to the finals begins. With no team having a significant home advantage, it will be down to whatever side brings the most complete performance - that should be the Vodafone Warriors, who have too much firepower across the park, and are playing for their future in 2012.
How do you see the Warriors v Sea Eagles v playing out this Saturday? Will you be there? Let us know in the comments below.