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NRL: Sea Eagles must weather the Storm

One of the biggest NRL rivalries resumes on Friday night when the Manly Sea Eagles take on the Melbourne Storm, while the Cronulla Sharks also face the Sydney Roosters.

There is no love lost between the Sea Eagles and Storm and we should be in for another fiery encounter at 4 Pines Park. 

The rivalry dates back to the 2007 and 2008 Grand Finals, while the now infamous ‘Battle of Brookvale’ in 2011 always gets a mention when these two sides meet. 

There should be no repeat of that melee, but the action and atmosphere at the ground should be intense. Strap yourself in. 

In the early game of the night the Sharks and Roosters will go head-to-head. These two have under-performed by their lofty standards so far this season and sit in 11th and eighth place respectively. 

If they are to mount a push for the premiership, they need to get their acts together quickly. 

After South Sydney Rabbitohs saw off the Dolphins 36-14 on Thursday night, all focus can now switch to Friday. Let’s take a closer look at both games.

Tedesco back for Roosters

WhatCronulla Sharks v Sydney Roosters
When18:00 (AEST) Friday 14th April 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsCronulla Sharks 2.20, Sydney Roosters 1.68

The Sharks return after the bye and need to find some consistency moving forward. 

Before the break they were 20-0 against the Warriors before losing 32-30 in a golden-point thriller. 

They have lost both home games this season and should still be hurting. With that in mind coach Craig Fitzgibbon will be hoping for a response against his former club. 

Cronulla are handed a double boost as Wade Graham returns from suspension while Oregon Kaufusi has recovered from concussion. 

However Dale Finucane is out through suspension, while Toby Rudolf has a foot injury. 

The Roosters are also searching for consistency. After beating both the Rabbitohs and Parramatta Eels, they slipped to a heavy defeat against Melbourne Storm last week. 

Captain James Tedesco being ruled out with concussion could have had something to do with the Storm defeat, and coach Trent Robinson will be delighted to have him back in the side. 

Tedesco has also scored a try in each of his last three visits to the Sharks home stadium and is priced at 2.55 to score anytime on Friday night.

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Sea Eagles need a response

WhatManly Sea Eagles v Melbourne Storm
Where4 Pines Park, Sydney
When18:00 (AEST) Friday 14th April 2023
How to watchChannel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
OddsManly Sea Eagles 2.45, Melbourne Storm 1.56

Manly got the season off to a flyer under new coach Anthony Seabold thanks to wins over the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Eels. 

However they have since gone off the boil with two defeats and a draw, so they need a response against the Melbourne Storm. 

Their two wins and a draw did come at 4 Pines Park, and they will be hoping a hostile atmosphere at their home ground can help to get them over the line. 

They will also have to tighten up in defence after conceding at total of 76 points in the last two games. 

Conceding 13 tries in the 32-32 draw with Newcastle and 44-12 loss to Penrith Panthers was disappointing to say the least. 

There is some good news for Manly as gun fullback Tom Trbojevic is fit to play despite suffering back spasms against the Panthers. Trbojevic will need to be firing for the Sea Eagles to have a chance. 

Reuben Garrick is out with concussion, so too is Karl Lawton with a shoulder injury. 

Melbourne Storm are finding their straps after a slow start and will be looking for their fourth win on the bounce on Friday night. 

They go into the game on the back of big wins over the Rabbitohs and Roosters so are in great touch. 

Cameron Munster and Jahrome Hughes will again be the danger for Storm, although their halves partnership will be broken up. 

With Nick Meaney ruled out through concussion, Munster is set to switch to fullback, so young gun Jonah Pezet will play at No.6. 

Storm centre Justin Olam has scored 10 tries in his last seven games against the Sea Eagles, and can be backed at 2.90 to score another at anytime during the game. 

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