Sea Eagles v Broncos: Olakau'atu, Davey boost; Haas, Capewell return

The Sea Eagles travel to Suncorp Stadium on Friday night to host the high-flying Brisbane Broncos who have won three straight and are looking to knock off another prized scalp in the competition.

Manly are coming off an impressive win of their own against the Wests Tigers at 4 Pines Park with a dream starting debut for Ben Trbojevic alongside his brothers Tom and Jake. 

Both sides have only played each other once in the past three seasons for a 2-1 split in favour of the Sea Eagles. They pummelled the Broncos 50-6 in the corresponding clash last year with Tom Trbojevic scoring a double.

However, this Broncos side has proven with improved defensive performances and under the guidance of chief playmaker Adam Reynolds, they're a completely different side to the one that ran out onto Lang Park a year ago. 

The Rundown
Team news

Sea Eagles: Haumole Olakau'atu returns after withdrawing last week due to illness. Ben Trbojevic and Ethan Bullemor maintain their spots in the starting side with Morgan Harper listed in the reserves. Andrew Davey is the new man on the bench after overcoming a shoulder injury, in place of Kurt De Luis.

Josh Schuster (calf) was included in the extended squad on Tuesday but dropped out on Thursday when the squad was cut to 19.

Broncos: Payne Haas (shoulder) and Kurt Capewell (neck) are back, which means a reshuffle in the engine room with Patrick Carrigan moving to lock, Kobe Hetherington to the bench and TC Robati to the reserves. Brenko Lee remains 18th man. No changes when the squad was cut to 19 on Thursday.

Key match-up
Josh Aloiai v Patrick Carrigan: Both big men returned for their respective sides last week and didn't disappoint. With a couple of key forwards out through injury and illness, Aloiai and Carrigan were dominant in the middle to provide a platform for their halves to play off. Aloiai crossed for a try while Carrigan never missed a beat to lay on one for Adam Reynolds in the first half. 

Stat attack
The kicking games for both teams will be on full display with Adam Reynolds and Daly Cherry-Evans among the game's best with the boot. Reynolds has the Broncos sitting on top of the competition for most kick metres with a total 5,361 for the season while the Sea Eagles sit fourth with 4,998. If the game goes down to the wire, expect DCE and Reynolds to step up for the one-pointer with 47 field goals between them.


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