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NRL: Manly and Cronulla looking to get back in the saddle

Manly Sea Eagles and Cronulla Sharks head into Sunday’s clash on the back of disappointing results and will be looking to bounce back.

Both teams have started the 2023 campaign well, particularly the Sharks, however they had a Magic Round to forget in Brisbane last weekend. 

The Sharks suffered a surprise 36-16 loss to the Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium, while the Sea Eagles were well beaten 32-6 by the Broncos. 

The ladder is tight to say the least, just one point separates the Sharks in 5th and the Sea Eagles, who are down in 12th, so Sunday’s game is massive. 

With it being the very last game of the round, both Manly and Cronulla will know exactly where a win and two points would take them. The most important thing is to remain focused on getting the job done.

Sea Eagles need consistency

WhatManly Sea Eagles v Cronulla Sharks
Where4 Pines Park, Sydney
When16:05 (AEST) Sunday 14th May, 2023
How to watchFoxtel, Kayo, Channel 9
OddsManly Sea Eagles 2.60, Cronulla Sharks 1.50

Manly have had an up and down start to the season - winning four and losing four, as well as picking up a point in a very rare draw. 

The Sea Eagles are currently down after losing their last two games and they will be looking to stop the rot against the Sharks. 

The defeats came against the Titans when they went down 26-10, before they slipped to another defeat against the Broncos. 

Manly’s overall record against the Sharks is impressive, but they have struggled to pick up wins in recent history. 

Indeed it is the Sharks that have won three out of the last four meetings. One of those wins was a 40-6 mauling at 4 Pines Parks last season. 

However, under new coach Anthony Seibold, this is now a totally different Sea Eagles side. They have impressed at 4 Pines Park this season with three wins out of four, so it has become something of a fortress. 

Tom Trbojevic is also back fit and firing and he is sure to be a big threat to the Sharks. He does have an excellent try-scoring record against them and can be backed at 2.25 to score anytime on Sunday. 

The Sea Eagles are also boosted by the return of Josh Schuster who has battled back from a quad issue.

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Sharks need to rediscover bite 

The Sharks were one of the form teams in the competition heading into Magic Round after winning three games on the bounce, including a big victory over the Roosters. 

However, they came crashing back down to earth as the NRL’s latest new team, the Dolphins, put them in their place. 

Their defence let them down badly against the Dolphins and coach Craig Fitzgibbon will be demanding a response from his players at Brookvale. 

Captain Dale Finucane will start a game for the first time after returning from suspension and that will be a huge boost for the Sharks. 

Playmaker Nicho Hynes continues to be the star of the show for the Sharks, just like in 2022 when he dominated in both games against the Sea Eagles. The Sharks will be banking on him to shine again on Sunday. He is priced at 3.50 to score a try.  

Cronulla have impressed on the road this season when defeating the Eels, Dragons and Bulldogs, while they only lost by four points at Canberra. 

They will hold no fear heading to Manly and a close battle looks to be on the cards.

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