The South Sydney Rabbitohs and Manly Sea Eagles meet for a place in the Grand Final next week in Brisbane.
Betting online markets have the Rabbitohs as slight favorites, but bettors should be expecting an even contest at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.
Manly Regains Momentum
Nothing went right for the Sea Eagles against Melbourne a fortnight ago, but that all changed last week.
They scored an emphatic 42-6 win over the Sydney Roosters, who were blown out of the water from the opening whistle. We haven’t seen a dominant performance like that for some time, so the momentum is firmly back with the Sea Eagles.
Fullback and potential Player of the Year Tom Trbojevic was terrific. He might have been kept in check by the Storm, but he was slicing through the Roosters’ defense with ease.
Another player who stepped up was Daly Cherry-Evans. The captain had an excellent kicking game and beautifully controlled the offense.
Retired NRL star and now professional boxer Paul Gallen is complimentary of Trbojevic’s season.
“Turbo does it all. He does those runs in the middle of the ruck, too. He has one-off hit-ups in the ruck, getting their sets started, he scores tries, sets up tries,” Gallen told Nine.com.au.
“He’s been unbelievable all season. We talk about Jarryd Hayne and Ben Barba in years gone by, but I don’t think I’ve seen a bloke have a better season.”
The Manly Sea Eagles have blitzed the Sydney Roosters 42-6 to win through to next Friday’s preliminary final against South Sydney https://t.co/ucbUYU8aSM
— The Sydney Morning Herald (@smh) September 17, 2021
Morgan Harper also drastically improved his performance after a terrible night against Melbourne. Should the Sea Eagles make the final and play Melbourne, it will be worrying, but he played well last week.
“I was pretty disappointed in myself to be honest,” Harper said. “I just played (bleep) so I just needed to turn it around. That’s all it was.”
Harper will have his work set out for him against a physical Rabbitohs backline. It will be his toughest test to date, but the young star can handle the pressure.
NRL betting markets have the Sea Eagles at +105 to win. We think most of the betting support will come for the Sea Eagles throughout the week.
Rabbitohs Well-Rested for Finals
Having a week off can be a positive and a negative, but we think the Rabbitohs would have enjoyed the 14-day break.
They produced their best win of the season when beating the Penrith Panthers in Week One of the finals. Getting their players rested up for the qualifying final is ideal preparation, especially against a team that has played two tough matches.
Despite losing Latrell Mitchell to a brain explosion, which saw him suspended for six weeks, the Rabbitohs didn’t miss him against the Panthers. Blake Taaffe was an inspired pick from coach Wayne Bennett to fill Mitchell’s spot. He played a terrific game despite having a lack of experience.
— South Sydney Rabbitohs 🐰 (@SSFCRABBITOHS) September 11, 2021
Daly Cherry-Evans respects opposing coach Wayne Bennett, who is considered one of the best of all time.
“Wayne’s record speaks for itself and he will have Souths ready to play the game of their lives,” Cherry-Evans told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Wayne loves his rugby league and loves the people he picks because he believes they can do a good job for him. That belief trickled down in our (Queensland) Origin side last year. He’ll have that same effect on Souths next Friday night.”
Bennett rarely gets outcoached, but it won’t be easy to beat the Manly Sea Eagles. The sportsbook has only 1½ points the difference for a reason, so it could come down to the final play.
Rabbitohs vs Sea Eagles Pick
It’s one of the more difficult picks of the NRL season, but we’re taking the value with the Manly Sea Eagles.
We liked what we saw for their leading players against the Roosters last week, which shows they’re ready to rise to the next level.
South Sydney has been near the top for a few years, and although that’s a positive, the run could come to an end to a more progressive unit.
The +105 is a fair price from bookmakers, so take the value odds available.