Home » Tips: Blunt wake-up call for Manly young guns

Tips: Blunt wake-up call for Manly young guns

Brad Fittler has put a big question mark on Manly’s ability to convert their hot form in the back end of the regular season to a finals win, with the NSW coach putting the heat on the Sea Eagles’ inexperienced core to learn quickly about the higher intensity of the playoffs or bow out in straight sets.

Manly were humbled by the Storm in last week’s qualifying final, with superstar Tom Trbojevic completely blunted and several other attacking weapons failing to fire a shot.

Scroll below for the current leaderboard and week two finals tips by Johns, Fittler and all Nine’s expert tipsters!

Previewing tonight’s semi-final clash with the Roosters for Wide Word of Sports’ Freddy and The Eighth, Fittler put rising stars Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu and Morgan Harper in the crosshairs, saying they were exposed in the biggest game of their careers.

“The thing you’ve got to learn is experience. A lot of those blokes, the Schusters and Olakau’atus and Morgan Harpers and all these fellas, this is their first semi (the Storm game) so hopefully they can go back and go ‘wow, I need to be a little bit fitter, I need to think faster, I need to work harder’, and if they can do that they’re a dangerous team,” Fittler said.

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Despite the Sea Eagles’ heavy favouritism with the bookmakers to win tonight’s sudden-death clash, Fittler said he has no faith in that result due to the fact that the Roosters boast several proven big game performers, headlined by James Tedesco, Jared-Waerea-Hargreaves and Victor Radley.

He tipped Trent Robinson’s men for a big upset, scoffing at Andrew Johns’ prediction that Manly would win by a big margin.

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“There’s a lot of inexperience there, and when you look through the Roosters side there’s some big game players,” Fittler said.

“Once again, Teddy, Jared [Waerea-]Hargreaves, Victor Radley, he was incredible (against the Titans). So there’s a lot of players who have won grand finals and on the Manly side, although their form was pretty awesome coming into the semi-finals, there’s a lot of blokes there who haven’t had any success at the next level.

“Outside the halves, Turbo obviously, at State of Origin level and some of the things he’s been able to do there, but you’ve got to say, you know, they don’t know… well they’ve most probably got an idea of what it took to win those games on the weekend but they haven’t done it yet, so I still think the Roosters are still the favourites.”

Brad Fittler: Roosters, Panthers

Andrew Johns: Sea Eagles, Eels

Wally Lewis: Sea Eagles, Panthers

Paul Gallen: Roosters, Panthers

Darren Lockyer: Sea Eagles, Panthers

Ruan Sims: Sea Eagles, Panthers

The Mole: Sea Eagles, Panthers

Billy Slater: Sea Eagles, Panthers

Peter Sterling: Sea Eagles, Panthers

James Bracey: Sea Eagles, Panthers

Mat Thompson: Sea Eagles, Panthers

Peter Psaltis: Sea Eagles, Eels

Tim Elbra: Sea Eagles, Eels

Ben Glover: Sea Eagles, Panthers

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