The rivalry between the Sea Eagles and Storm is famous, there is no love lost between these two sides so what better way to get round 16 of the NRL underway on Thursday night.
There may be some distance between the two sides in 2022 but in years gone by they have clashed in two grand finals and numerous finals, while the infamous ‘Batte of Brookvale’ will never be forgotten.
It took place at Brookvale Oval in 2011. Manly beat the Storm 18-4, but the game will be remembered for the five-minute brawl which involved all players on the pitch at the time.
So it is fair to say that tensions usually rise when these two sides meet.
The Storm are going well at the moment after winning their last three games to sit second on the ladder, while the Sea Eagles face a battle to make the top eight this season.
They are 10th on the ladder just two points away from the eight but it is tighter than ever and they need to get on a roll.
A win over the Storm would be a great place to start but they will have to raise their game to get one over on Craig Bellamy’s side.
These two sides met recently in round 13 with Melbourne winning 28-8 and will be the hot fancies to come out on top once again.
What: Manly Sea Eagles v Melbourne Storm
Where: 4 Pines Park, Sydney
When: 19:50 (AEST) Thursday 30th June, 2022
How to watch: Channel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Manly 11/5, Melbourne 9/25
Storm out to keep the pressure on Panthers
Melbourne Storm have found their feet again following back-to-back defeats against the Penrith Panthers and the North Queensland Cowboys.
The defeats served as a wake-up call to the Storm and they have since bounced back with three wins on the spin.
In the last game before the bye, Bellamy’s side faced a tough test against a rejuvenated Brisbane Broncos team but they passed it with flying colours when picking up a 32-20 win at AAMI Park.
They now need to keep the wins coming to keep the pressure on the Panthers at the top of the ladder. They are four points behind Penrith but have played a game less.
Melbourne will also be well aware of the Cowboys breathing down their neck as the battle for the top two spots starts to hot up.
There is mixed news for the Storm ahead of the game. The big concern is the fitness of star playmaker Cameron Munster.
Munster picked up a shoulder injury while playing for Queensland in State of Origin on Sunday and is touch and go for the game. He has been named to play but it remains to be seen if he will take to the pitch.
Storm are definitely without fellow Origin star Felise Kaufusi who has been given permission to miss the game due to personal reasons. The players has jetted to the USA to be close to his sick father.
The good news is star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen has recovered from sickness and a hamstring injury and has been named among the reserves. There is a chance he could be a late inclusion in the side.
Jesse and Kenny Bromwich along with Jahrome Hughes and Brandon Smith have all been named after returning unscathed from international duty.
Sea Eagles top-eight push
Manly have had to deal with a number of issues this season, but are managing to hold it together and remain in the hunt for the top eight.
Since losing to Melbourne they have bounced back well. They thrashed both the Warriors and the Wests Tigers and then gave the high-flying Cowboys a run for their money before the bye.
They lost 28-26 but can take confidence from it as they prepare to face Melbourne.
Their biggest job will be trying to shut down a Melbourne side that has scored 77 tries already this season, compared to the 55 that Manly have scored.
Reuben Garrick is leading the way for Manly with 11 this season and the Sea Eagles will need a big game from the fullback on Thursday.
Manly can take a huge sigh of relief as both Jake Trbojevic and skipper Daly Cherry-Evans came through State of Origin unscathed and have been named to play.
However there is no Josh Aloiai after he suffered concussion while playing for Samoa on Thursday night. With that in mind Sean Keppie has now moved to the starting starting side.