June 9, 2013. Six years ago. 2,252 days ago. This was the last occasion the Warriors beat Manly at Mt Smart Stadium.
- 0 – Not one of the Warriors players from that victory are with the club anymore. Warriors centre Peta Hiku lined up at fullback for Manly on that occasion.
- 10 – Manly have won 10 of the 13 encounters to be played at Mt Smart Stadium.
In that time players like David Fusitu’a, Ken Maumalo and Jake and Tom Trbojevic have come onto the scene, played Test football for their country and played State of Origin. Yet the Warriors still chase that elusive home victory against their nemesis from Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
- 3 – The Warriors have only beaten Manly three times in the last 11 years.
Apart from four straight wins between 1999-2004 (Manly disbanded for three seasons – 2000-2002) it has been slim pickings for the Warriors with Manly dishing out some pretty convincing defeats over the years.
- 27% – The Warriors have only won nine of their 33 games against Manly in the history of this fixture, a win rate of just 27 percent.
- 14 – Manly have won 14 of their past 16 games against the Warriors.
A visit from the much-improved Sea Eagles could really not have come at a worse time. With all five remaining games against current Top 8 sides to finish their season, things couldn’t be more difficult for the Warriors if they tried.
- 1 – The Warriors have only won one game from eight attempts against the current Top 8 sides in 2019.
- 4 – The Warriors have won four of their five Friday night games in 2019.
The fifth-placed Sea Eagles have been a real surprise package this season under returning coach Des Hasler.
- 7 – After winning just seven games all season in 2018, they have completed a remarkable turnaround by nearly doubling that mark by Round 20. They are currently sitting on 12 wins for 2019.
The Warriors will be out to avoid a club record seventh consecutive defeat at home, but you’d be a brave man to bet against their quality opposition.
- 6 – The Warriors are currently equal with an unwanted 20-year-old club record for the most consecutive defeats at home. They also lost six straight from Round 24, 1998 through to Round 9, 1999.
In a strange coincidence Manly won the earlier clash between these two sides in March by the same scoreline that the Raiders inflicted on the Warriors last week.
- 46 – The Sea Eagles beat the Warriors 46-12 in Round 3, their second-highest score and winning margin in their history against the Warriors.
- 46 – The Raiders’ 46-12 victory last week was also that club’s second-highest score and margin in matches against the Warriors.
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has made several injury-enforced changes with Kodi Nikorima and Karl Lawton ruled out, though at this stage the only player dropped from last week’s dismal showing against the Raiders is debutant Josh Curran.
- 200 – Warriors prop Leeson Ah Mau will play his 200th career game in the NRL.
The Warriors will no doubt be relying heavily again on their two metre-eaters at the back, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Ken Maumalo, to get them on the front foot. Both players are still competition leaders across multiple metrics this season, encapsulating their outstanding form.
- 9,117 – The Warriors lead the NRL for post-contact metres in 2019, and are placed fourth for the most offloads (217). Turning this into points often enough is proving a hurdle, though.
- 200 – It goes without saying that Roger Tuivasa-Sheck ran for over 200 metres again last week, for the mind-boggling seventh straight week and 10th time this season.
- 200 – And not to be outdone, the ever-reliable Ken Maumalo clocked over 200 run metres for the sixth consecutive game and also his 10th time for the season.
- 328 – Defensively the Sea Eagles are the fourth-best defensive side in the competition, conceding only 328 points so far this season.
Chanel Harris-Tavita has looked the goods since coming back into the top side, and valiant efforts from , Leeson Ah Mau, Agnatius Paasi and the tenacious Jazz Tevaga over the past few weeks are all worth mentioning. It’s not quite all doom and gloom.
- 68 – Jazz Tevaga reeled off 68 tackles last week. He has now topped 50 tackles in four of his last six games.
- 96% – Yet another comprehensive defensive effort from the industrious Leeson Ah Mau last week. He made 32 tackles without a miss, to take him to 10 games this season with a perfect tackling record. He has missed only 10 of his 548 tackles this season, a 96 percent defensive efficiency.
In comparison, the Sea Eagles have had a very settled line-up in 2019 and have named the same 17 that overwhelmed Newcastle last weekend. Fullback Tom Trbojevic has been instrumental for the maroon-and-whites this season; Manly has an inferior 4-7 win-loss record without the fullback in the side in 2019.
- 10 – Tom Trbojevic has not lost any of the 10 games he has played in in an injury-interrupted 2019 – eight for Manly and two for New South Wales.
- 5 – Five of the Manly forwards ran for over 100 metres last week, compared to the Warriors’ one. Overall, the Sea Eagles are trailing only the Storm and the Roosters for metres run in 2019 with 31,380.
- 58 – Defensively the Warriors were woeful last week, missing 58 tackles. The chief culprits were debutant Josh Curran (eight missed tackles), Blake Green and Jazz Tevaga (six each).
- 245 – Manly leads the NRL for offloads in 2019, so the Warriors will need to keep on their toes defensively around the ruck. Curtis Sironen leads the way for the Sea Eagles with 40.
Nothing to lose, everything to gain should be the mentality going into this one for the Warriors. Hopefully they can break the shackles that have hindered them too often this season and keep the minor miracle that is a place in the finals.