Warriors versus Sea Eagles preview

25 09 2008

The big question heading into Saturday night’s Preliminary Final between the Manly Sea Eagles and the NZ Warriors is whether the fairy tale will continue? Can the Warriors continue their stunning run through the NRL playoffs and reach their second Grand Final?

In many ways they have a better team than that 2002 model. Of course that 2002 team had the single greatest Warrior ever, Stacey Jones and numerous other attacking weapons like Ali Lautiti and Clinton Toopi but their defence was ropey and teams knew that if they could stay with the Warriors until the 60th minute there was a chance they could win. The 2008 Warriors on the other hand have proved their toughness and defensive expertise over the past 12 weeks, winning 10 including the historic upset over the defending champion Melbourne Storm.

As the season has gone on the Warriors have become a team you want to put away early. You don’t want them within striking distance as their defence, led by Michael Luck and Simon Mannering, is brutal and in Manu Vatuvei, Brent Tate, Jerome Ropati and Wade MacKinnon they possess some lethal finishers. Add to this their little guys led by Nathan Fien and brilliantly accentuated by Lance Hohaia, and the Warriors are a fearsome opponent.

The Manly Sea Eagles are a classy opponent and possess Matt Orford, the best player in the NRL this past season. They will be tough to beat. But this Warriors team has the feeling of a team of destiny. The game will be close and I’m half hoping/half expecting a thrilling come from behind victory.

Warriors by 2



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: