Date: Saturday 9th September 2017
Kick Off: 10:40
Venue: Allianz Stadium (Sydney)
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Manly Sea Eagles v Penrith Panthers
The Manly Sea Eagles face their Sydney rivals, the Penrith Panthers in the first round of the NRL Finals (play offs) in what is a knock out game.
With both team’s seasons on the line, we are all set for a must watch match and one that is every bit as unpredictable as these 2 teams form this season.
Both have put runs together when they have looked unstoppable and both have put runs together when they have been poor and well off of the pace.
The Sea Eagles finished the regular season in 6th place and just 1 place and 2 points ahead of the Panthers, with Manly having a points difference of +40 and the Panthers +45. That just highlights how close these 2 have been all season and how tight this match is set to be.
The Sea Eagles didn’t make a strong finish to the regular season with just 4 wins from their last 9 matches but 2 of those wins came in their last 2 matches including a 28-12 win over the Panthers just a week ago.
The Panthers won 7 of their last 9 matches but in complete contrast to the Sea Eagles they lost their last 2 matches and only just scraped over the line.
Manly make no changes.
The Panthers make no changes to their match day squad but name Jarome Luai in the reserves as Matt Moylan is out on leave.
The up and down nature of both of these teams makes this a difficult match to predict. With the game taking place at the neutral Allianz Stadium and with a 50/50 crowd for this Sydney derby, it is all set up to go right down to the wire and it could easily go either way, with extra time a distinct possibility.
Aside from the last couple of weeks the Panthers have been in the stronger form and they have found scoring points easier so we are going to back them for the win but in many ways this match really is a toss of the coin and comes down to which team performs on the day.
Our Prediction: Penrith Panthers by 4
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