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NRL: Trio in fight for finals spot

Friday night is massive for the Manly Sea Eagles, Parramatta Eels and Sydney Roosters as they look to keep their slim top-eight hopes alive.

All three clubs sit just outside of the eight and have to win their remaining games to have any chance of playing finals.

It means whoever loses between the Eels and Roosters will see their season end, while the Sea Eagles have to go over to Auckland and beat the third-placed Warriors.

With so much riding on both games we are set for a bumper Friday night of NRL action.

Warriors in hot form

WhatNew Zealand Warriors v Manly Sea Eagles
WhereDaniel Anderson Stadium, Auckland
When18:00 (AEST) Friday 18th August, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsNorth Queensland Cowboys 1.25, Cronulla Sharks 4.00

The Warriors have won the last five games on the bounce and are sitting pretty in third spot on the NRL ladder.

They have not won six on the bounce since way back in 2002, but have a great chance to do so in the opening game on Friday.

With games against the Sea Eagles, Dragons and Dolphins to come, the Warriors look nailed on for a place in the top-four, which will boost their chances of making the grand final.

The Warriors can be backed at 4.33 to make the grand final, and the way they are playing at the moment, that cannot be ruled out.

One area that the Warriors need to improve in is defence. They have conceded 40 points over the last two games and they will need to tighten up to go well in finals.

It is also an area that Manly will be looking to exploit. The Sea Eagles simply have to win to have any chance of extending their season.

Manly have won their last three games against the Warriors, but they are a different animal these days under coach Andrew Webster.

Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson is having an outstanding season, while Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has scored 16 tries in his last 11 games.

The winger can be backed at 1.50 to score a try at Anytime.

Huge game for Eels and Roosters

WhatParramatta Eels v Sydney Roosters
WhereCommBank Stadium, Sydney
When20:00 (AEST) Friday 18th August, 2023
How to watchChannel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
OddsParramatta Eels 2.25, Sydney Roosters 1.65

Both the Eels and Roosters will have targeted the top eight as an absolute minimum heading into the new season, but there is a good chance both could miss out.

Whoever loses this one can pretty much kiss their season goodbye with just two games remaining, so the stakes could not be higher.

The Eels were thrashed by the Brisbane Broncos last weekend and also lost star player Mitchell Moses to a serious injury.

It will take some effort to bounce back against the Roosters after losing three of their last four games.

It is questionable whether home advantage will help. Parramatta have won seven of the last eight games at CommBank Stadium, but the Roosters also enjoy playing at the venue, winning six from eight there.

One thing is certain, Eels winger Maika Sivo will be a huge threat. He has scored 41 tries in 46 games at CommBank and is priced at 9.50 to grab the first try on Friday night.

It is likely to be a tight game with the Roosters priced at 6.50 to win by 1-5 points.

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