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2022 NRL Round 20: Sea Eagles vs Roosters Preview & Betting Tips

July 27th 2022, 11:47am, By: Greg Davis

NRL Sea Eagles vs Roosters

After a drama-filled week, a depleted Manly Sea Eagles will take on the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night to kick off NRL Round 20 action. While we'd love the focus to be on the action on the field, it's the off-field controversy that has dominated discussion throughout the media this week over Manly players boycotting the club's pride jumper.

Greg Davis has dissected the drama and brings us his preview and NRL tips for the match below!

Manly Sea Eagles vs Sydney Roosters Betting Tips

4 Pines Park, Brookvale, Sydney, Thursday 7.50pm (AEST)

Squads

Sea-Eagles

1.Reuben Garrick 2. Pio Seci 3. Morgan Harper 4. Dylan Walker 5. Alfred Smalley 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Kurt De Luis 11. Ethan Bullemor 12. Andrew Davey 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. James Segeyaro 15. Sean Keppie 16. Martin Taupau 17. Morgan Boyle 18. Zac Fulton 19. Kaeo Weekes 20. James Roumanos

Roosters

1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Sam Verrills 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Angus Crichton 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley 14. Connor Watson 15. Egan Butcher 16. Drew Hutchison 17. Matthew Lodge 18. Adam Keighran 19. Terrell May 20. Naufahu Whyte 21. Ben Thomas 22. Kevin Naiqama

NRL Sea Eagles vs Roosters

 

Match Preview

Amidst all the posturing, protests, politics and pandemonium around Manly’s Pride Jumper palava, there is still a game of football to be played this Thursday night when the Sea Eagles host the Sydney Roosters at Brookvale.

If you have been living under a rock for the past few days, here is what happened.

  • Manly announced it would be wearing a Pride jumper for the NRL’s Women in League round with rainbow colours adorning the club’s jersey – without consulting players or coaches.

  • Seven Manly players – Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula, Toafofoa Sipley – decided to boycott the game as the inclusive jersey went against their religious and cultural beliefs.

  • All hell broke loose with everybody from the Prime Minister to Peter V’landys to Pete the Pie Shop patron having their say as mainstream media and social media went into meltdown.

  • Manly coach Des Hasler fronted the media and quoted Gandhi while also confirming the seven players would sit out the match and the club would go ahead and wear the jersey in question which sold out online within hours of being released.

Even by rugby league standards – remembering the game was born out of conflict, controversy and drama over 100 years ago – it was a remarkable few days for a code that could find trouble if it was a needle in a haystack in the middle of the Amazon jungle.

But after all is said and done, when the two teams run out onto the revamped Brookvale Oval, Manly will be missing six players who started against St George Illawarra last round plus Schuster who came off the bench.

Manly’s reserve grade team is coming last in the NSW Cup with just two wins in 2022 so the talent pool is not that deep on the Northern beaches.

The Sea Eagles, Roosters, Dragons and Canberra Raiders are all locked together on 20 competition points heading into Round 20 with the four teams gunning for the one spot in the top eight with the seventh-placed Parramatta two wins ahead of the desperate quartet.

So, Thursday’s clash is essentially a four-point game for the Eagles and Chooks.

Losing seven of your best 17 players is a less-than-ideal preparation for such an important match that could shape your season. With wholesale changes in the wind, the Roosters’ starting price shortened significantly while the Sea Eagles’ odds in head-to-head betting began to blow in the wind.

Manly has called in players who don’t even have a headshot to go alongside their names in the team list online.

On the other hand, the Roosters are rolling after big wins over the Dragons and Newcastle in the fortnight since their bye and have a near full-strength side at their disposal. Roosters supercoach Trent Robinson will not let them take the foot off the pedal against a severely depleted Manly side. If they are serious about playing finals football, they simply cannot drop this one. And they won’t. Not by a long shot.

Strange things can happen in sport and bigger underdogs have defied the odds and sprung a massive upset. But it’s not just WHAT happened at Manly this week that will cripple the Sea Eagles. The how, why and when it happened will also dictate the result which should be a resounding win to the visitors.

First Try Scorer Bet: Paul Momirovski - $14 (Ladbrokes)

Roosters -16.5

$1.90 (2 Units)

 

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