Manly Sea Eagles vs Brisbane Broncos Predictions: Hosts to make erratic Manly pay again

 | Thursday 16th May 2024, 12:50pm

Thursday 16th May 2024, 12:50pm

Kotoni Staggs Brisbane Broncos 2023

Magic Round game two in the NRL Premiership sees hometown heroes Brisbane Broncos face the Manly Sea Eagles at the Suncorp Stadium on Friday (kick-off 11:05 BST, 20:05 local).

It pits a Broncos side with four wins in their last five matches against perhaps the most unpredictable bunch in rugby league, with countless lead changes and tight finishes having punctuated the Sea Eagles’ 2024 campaign so far. My Manly Sea Eagles vs Brisbane Broncos predictions account for more of the same happening at Lang Park.

Manly Sea Eagles vs Brisbane Broncos Tips

  • Double Result: Sea Eagles-Broncos @ 7/1
  • Broncos to win by 1-12 points @ 13/5

Team News

Manly coach Anthony Seibold has changes to make to the side which threw away a 16-4 first-half lead and a 24-20 second-half edge to lose 30-24 to the Dolphins last week.

Tom Trbojevic’s sixth hamstring injury in six seasons will rule him out of not just the Sea Eagles’ foreseeable fixtures but also the entire State of Origin series. Elsewhere, Nathan Brown’s quad issue sees him miss out, while Jason Saab is a longer-term absentee due to shoulder trouble and Lachlan Croker is unavailable after failing a concussion test.

Haumole Olakau’atu returns after suspension though, with the losses of Trbojevic and Saab resulting in a reshuffle of the back division which will see Tolutau Koula switch to full-back and Jaxson Paulo and Raymond Tuiamalo Vaega come in on the wings.

Broncos boss Kevvie Walters has his own full-back trouble, with Reece Walsh a late scratch from the 22-player squad due to a knee complaint. The Queensland number one is hoping to be back for round 12 but misses the Magic Round, with Selwyn Cobbo switching from the centres to cover him and Josiah Karapani taking Cobbo’s initial slot.

Billy Walters is out with a wrist injury, Jesse Arthars’ broken jaw will keep him out for another five weeks, and Adam Reynolds remains sidelined for a period of some months with a ruptured bicep. Tyson Smoothy steps up in the absence of Walters.

Double Result: Sea Eagles-Broncos @ 7/1

As mentioned earlier, the Sea Eagles’ matches have been chaotic to say the least. The loss of two leads to the Dolphins last week was typical of their season so far and came hot on the heels of a dramatic round-nine loss to the Canberra Raiders after having held a 24-6 lead going into the final half-hour. There was also that round-six collapse against the New Zealand Warriors in which their 16-0 lead was reduced to 22-14 late on before a dramatic finish saw the ‘Wahs’ score a converted try then slot a penalty after the hooter to earn a share of the spoils.

In total, Manly have led in six of their 10 games going into the sheds, but they have only won three of those fixtures. Moreover, four of their last five matches have seen the team leading at half-time fail to see the job through.

Only in their second-round win over the Sydney Roosters has the lead not changed hands at least once, and I fancy a similar sort of story here. With Manly having lost a half-time lead in 30 per cent of their games thus far and the 7/1 odds implying a probability of 12.5% for the same thing to happen at Suncorp, I’m taking that as a boost.

Sea Eagles-Broncos double result @ 7/1

Broncos to win by 1-12 points @ 13/5

Speaking of boosts, Betfred’s Price Boost offer sees the -18 handicap against the Broncos pumped up from 7/4 to 2/1. But while that’s tempting, I don’t think the ‘Broncs’ will have quite that much on Manly despite the absence of ‘Tommy Turbo’.

I can see Brisbane pulling through from a deficit, and an edge of the final result is on offer at 13/5, which seems on the generous side to me.

Broncos to win by 1-12 points @ 13/5

You can read all our latest Super League Tips at our dedicated Betfred Insights Super League content hub.

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