Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler and Nine experts pick their winners
Phil Gould has tipped Manly to put the split in the dressing room aside and roll the Eels to get back into finals contention and end a horror fortnight for the club.
Speaking on Wide World of Sports’ Six Tackles with Gus podcast, Gould said both sides had plenty to prove, with the Eels putting in a dismal second half performance against 12 men in their win over the Panthers, while an undermanned Sea Eagles line-up were no match for the Roosters after plumbing the depths of their roster due to the pride jersey boycott by the ‘Manly Seven’.
The Friday night match-up between the traditional rivals comes at a pivotal time for both clubs, with the Eels pulling within reach of a top four berth and Manly needing to win at least four of their last five games to make the finals.
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To make things more interesting, the Eels are without their most dominant player, injured halfback Mitchell Moses, with coach Brad Arthur’s son Jake getting another crack at a starting berth just weeks after he was booed by his home fans.
While many have already written off the Sea Eagles due to the disharmony within their ranks, Gould said there was no coach better than Des Hasler to calm the storm and get the Sea Eagles back on track.
Martin Taupau talks to Reuben Garrick during the Sea Eagles’ round 20 against the Roosters. (Getty)
“It’ll be a big test for both these teams,” Gould said. “Firstly for Manly, bringing these players back in that stood down last week, and whatever disharmony that has caused or dissension, but we don’t know, we’re not on the inside.
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“That’s a man management job for Des Hasler and there’s no one better to handle that.”
Gould added that the Sea Eagles’ performance against the Roosters “was very meritorious” considering the circumstances.
Sea Eagles put player split behind them
“The spirit with which they played was tremendous,” Gould said.
“I’m going to back Des Hasler. I’m going Manly.”
Scroll below for the current leaderboard and Round 21 tips by Andrew Johns and all Nine’s expert tipsters!
Nine’s NRL tipping leaderboard. (Nine)
Andrew Johns: Roosters, Storm, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Sharks, Cowboys, Knights
Brad Fittler: Roosters, Storm, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Sharks, Cowboys, Tigers
Darren Lockyer: Broncos, Storm, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Sharks, Cowboys, Tigers
Billy Slater: Roosters, Storm, Eels, Rabbitohs, Panthers, Sharks, Cowboys, Tigers
Ruan Sims: Roosters, Storm, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Dragons, Cowboys, Tigers
Paul Gallen: Roosters, Storm, Eels, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Sharks, Bulldogs, Tigers
Peter Psaltis: Broncos, Storm, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Sharks, Cowboys, Tigers
Mat Thompson: Broncos, Storm, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Panthers, Sharks, Bulldogs, Tigers
Dave Middleton: Roosters, Storm, Eels, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Sharks, Cowboys, Tigers
The Mole: Roosters, Storm, Eels, Rabbitohs, Panthers, Sharks, Cowboys, Knights
Ben Glover: Roosters, Storm, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Sharks, Cowboys, Tigers
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