2009 NRL FINALS SERIES - 1st QUALIFYING FINAL - VERSUS For a full Game Review of Melbourne 40 def. Manly 12 which includes notes Tweeted during the contest - click here.
The Grand Finalists from the past two seasons will face off in the opening game of the 2009 NRL Finals Series. Melbourne clinched 4th spot on the ladder with a comprehensive 30-0 win over the Warriors, while the defending premier's Manly-Warringah were even more impressive in their 38-4 drubbing of the Gold Coast Titans. News Update 11/09/09: In tragic personal news Glenn Hall will not play tonight against Melbourne, he has flown back to Sydney to be with his wife. Still waiting for official word on Jeff Lima for Melbourne and Jamie Lyon for Manly - but it is pretty safe to assume both will play tonight. Kieran Foran and Ben Farrar remain the players most likely to make way for Lyon, while Hep Cahill is a near certainty to drop out for Lima. News Update 10/09/09: Adam Blair cleared at NRL Judiciary and will play. Jamie Lyon considered a good chance to play despite not being named, as is Jeff Lima who has trained with a guard on his injured thumb. One of Kieran Foran or Ben Farrar are likely to make way for Lyon's return. Hep Cahill is the man most likely to be replaced by Lima. > For some great analysis on the Finalists by Phil Gould, Benji Marshall and Johnathan Thurston download the audio from their segment on The Footy Show here. Video Preview below and here are the teams announced on Tuesday. =============================================== The best way to follow the 2009 Finals Series is to follow NRL_Finals_2009 on Twitter. On the first day of operation alone, we produced 30 Tweets - with some great nuggets of information in there, as well as news as it breaks. For the Finals Games themselves, regular Tweets will be uploaded giving you an instant evaluation of how the game is being played out and what to watch out for during the match. If you don't want to miss a thing - subscribe right now or follow it on the main page of wdnicolson.blogspot.com on the right side column. =============================================== FRIDAY NIGHT @ Olympic Park 7:30pm Referees: Shayne Hayne & Gavin Badger Sideline Officials: Steve Chiddy & Jeff Younis Video Referee: Bill Harrigan #4 MELBOURNE STORM v #5 MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES Melbourne Storm: Starting Lineup: 1. Billy Slater 2. Steve Turner 3. Will Chambers 4. Greg Inglis 5. Dane Nielsen 6. Brett Finch 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Cameron Smith (c) 10. Brett White 11. Adam Blair 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Dallas Johnson Reserves: 14. Ryan Hinchcliffe, 15. Hep Cahill, 16. Ryan Tandy, 17. Wairangi Koopu, 18. Jeff Lima. Coach: Craig Bellamy Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles: Starting Lineup: 1. Brett Stewart 2. Michael Robertson 3. Ben Farrar 4. Steven Matai 5. David Williams 6. Kieran Foran 7. Matt Orford (c) 8. Brent Kite 9. Matt Ballin 10. Josh Perry 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Chris Bailey 13. Glenn Stewart Reserves: 14. Heath L'Estrange, 15. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 16. George Rose, 18. Jamie Lyon. Coach: Des Hasler Last 6 Games Head to Head (MEL 4 MAN 2) MAN 20 def. MEL 16 - Round 24, 2009 MEL 22 def. MAN 8 - Round 8, 2009 MAN 40 def. MEL 0 - Grand Final 2008 MEL 16 def. MAN 10 - Round 22, 2008 MEL 26 def. MAN 4 - Round 5, 2008 MEL 34 def. MAN 8 - Grand Final 2007 VIDEO PREVIEW BELOW:
Who do you think will win between the Storm and Sea Eagles? wdnicolson.blogspot.com Qualifying Final Predictions: SEA EAGLES 22 def. STORM 16 Man of the Match: Matt Orford, Sea Eagles First Tryscorer: David Williams, Sea Eagles