Manly Sea Eagles vs Canberra Raiders Predictions: Cherry-Evans boost to leave Raiders reeling

 | 2nd May | 

3 mins read

Daly Cherry-Evans 2023

Anthony Seibold’s high-flying Manly Sea Eagles look to continue their great start to the NRL season on Friday (kick-off 9:00 BST, 18:00 local) when they host a Canberra Raiders outfit looking for an immediate response to their humbling defeat to the Cronulla Sharks last time out.

Ricky Stuart saw his side beaten 40-0 on home turf at GIO Stadium last Sunday, and my Manly Sea Eagles vs Canberra Raiders predictions are slightly coloured by the record Stuart has in dragging the Raiders back up after setbacks over the last 10 years.

Manly Sea Eagles vs Canberra Raiders Tips

  • Manly Sea Eagles to win -14 @ 21/20
  • Total Points Under 37.5 @ 17/10

Team news

Manly received a huge boost on Tuesday when Daly Cherry-Evans’ charge for a dangerous throw in the win over the Parramatta Eels was downgraded to a grade-one offence, meaning the ace scrum-half has still never missed a single game through suspension in his 14-year, 313-game NRL career.

Haumole Olakau’atu is missing though, having submitted an early guilty plea on his own dangerous throw offence. He sits out this weekend’s game as well as the trip to face Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins next Thursday.

Ethan Bullemor starts in place of Olakau’atu, with Toff Sipley stepping up to the bench.

For the Raiders there are a number of changes, with the most notable being the dropping of 18-year-old full-back Chevy Stewart to the reserve grade. Coach Stuart has underlined his belief in the youngster despite his difficulties in the first half of the heavy defeat to Cronulla.

“If Chevy Stewart wasn’t a tough kid he would have crumbled… I know at 18 I wasn’t ready to play NRL,” said Stuart after the 40-0 loss. “At 18, how he handled that second half, he showed me that he has a future in the NRL.

“I don’t care about the dropped bomb or the try off it. I have just got to be patient because we are transitioning to a team of youth in very important positions on the field.”

Elsewhere, skipper Elliott Whitehead is back after a calf injury, Nick Cotric returns to the wing and Albert Hopoate steps in for Stewart at full-back ahead of the expected comeback of Jordan Rapana in the coming weeks.

Manly Sea Eagles -14 @ 21/20

The Sea Eagles are obviously favourites for this clash given the respective form of the two sides, and their 5-1-2 record speaks of a team who could well be in the conversation come finals time.

Cherry-Evans’ availability is a massive shot in the arm for Seibold, with Bullemor more than ready to plug the gap in the back row left behind by Olakau’atu.

I have Manly as the strong pick for victory here, and while there will doubtless be a response of sorts from the Raiders, Ricky Stuart’s talk of transition speaks to a club who don’t expect to go to Brooky and collect the two points right now.

The home side should have enough to cover the three-score handicap.

Manly to win -14 @ 21/20

Total Points Under 37.5 @ 17/10

While I have Manly down for the win, it shouldn’t be a runaway to the level that the Raiders faced at GIO last week.

This is the sort of bet I wouldn’t normally consider in a Raiders game, as for many years they have been known for competing in high-scoring matches, but I think there will be a greater emphasis on getting into the wrestle this week.

Going on the premise that they’ll front up early but then see the game get away from them late, I think the Raiders will be involved in a sub-38-point fixture for only the second time this season, with 17/10 implying a 37% probability.

Manly v Canberra Under 37.5 points @ 17/10

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

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