Manly Sea Eagles vs North Queensland Cowboys Live Streaming NRL Semi Final 2012 Friday 14 Sep Sea Eagles vs Cowboys
Manly Sea Eagles vs North Queensland Cowboys NRL Semi Final at Allianz Stadium this Friday 14 September at 7:45pm in week two of the NRL Finals.
Manly Sea Eagles vs North Queensland Cowboys
HEAD TO HEADS
Played: 19 – Cowboys 7, Sea Eagles 12
Head-to-head at Allianz Stadium: Cowboys 0, Sea Eagles 2
Last game: Sea Eagles 8 d Cowboys 6 at Dairy Farmers Stadium (Rd 22, 2012)
Biggest head-to-head wins: Cowboys 26 d Sea Eagles 12 (Dairy Farmers Stadium, 2009); Sea Eagles 46 d Cowboys 4 (Brookvale Oval, 1996)
Date: 7.45pm, Friday 14 September
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Referees: Shayne Hayne, Ben Cummins
Touch judges: Paul Holland, Jeff Younis
Video referees: Paul Simpkins, Steve Clark
There’s no tomorrow for one of these teams as the reigning premiers prepare to stare down the dark-horse Cowboys – with a date with the Melbourne Storm in a grand final qualifier awaiting the winner.
Manly have spent the past week regrouping after their uncharacteristically clumsy and rushed performance against the Bulldogs last week; leading 10-6 at halftime and seemingly in control they crumpled with an error-riddled second 40 that featured nine errors and a woeful 54 per cent completion rate that virtually handed control to the blue and whites.
Compounding matters, they’ve lost strike centre Steve Matai to suspension, while talismanic co-captain Jamie Lyon remains under an injury cloud after lasting just 23 minutes against Canterbury before limping off with a calf complaint.
The defeat, which severed a six-match winning streak, has certainly awoken their critics: they were Telstra Premiership favourites just a week ago but have now blown out to equal third in betting with bookmakers (alongside this week’s opponent), behind Canterbury and the Storm. And they are underdogs heading into Friday – remarkable, given their proven finals record (Manly have been bundled out in consecutive finals games only four times from 42 appearances) and record against the Cowboys (they average more points against North Queensland – 26 – than any other opponent and the visitors have only gotten the better of the maroon and white in Sydney on two occasions, in 2003 and ’05).
Meanwhile the Cowboys advanced via a dominant 33-16 win that ended the Broncos’ season last Saturday, extending their current victory streak to five. With the forwards laying a platform, fullback Matt Bowen and halves Michael Morgan and Johnathan Thurston cut loose; they raced across almost 450 metres more than their southern cousins, who conceded a whopping 250 metres more than their season average on the night.
Coach Neil Henry has invested in the 17 who got the job done against Brisbane, but also added hooker Anthony Mitchell and Joel Riethmuller to the squad. Mitchell is likely to start should veteran Aaron Payne fail to recover from his knee injury.
Manly coach Geoff Toovey has given linchpin star Lyon until Thursday afternoon to prove his fitness – although the mentor admits it will be difficult to omit him even should he not be 100 per cent, given the do-or-die status.
Matai’s one-week ban sees Dean Whare shift from wing to centre, with Roosters-bound Michael Oldfield rejoining the main team on the right wing (he’ll be no slouch – he bagged a hat-trick of tries filling in against the Dragons in Round 13).
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