Manly's 'Super Six' set for history
They're the Sea Eagles' "Super Six" – the men who will make history this Sunday by becoming the first group of six players to represent Manly together in four separate grand finals.
Jamie Lyon, Brett Stewart, Glenn Stewart, Brent Kite, Steve Matai and Anthony Watmough were there when the Sea Eagles lost the 2007 grand final to Melbourne and won the 2008 and 2011 premierships, and they'll be there again when the Eagles takes on the Roosters in Sunday's title decider.
The veterans form the basis of one of the most successful clubs of the modern NRL era, and the statistics show the Sea Eagles are at their best when all six are on the paddock.
Since 2007, Manly has won 121 of their 185 matches – a formidable winning percentage of 65.4 per cent.
But when Lyon, Watmough, Kite, Matai and the Stewart brothers are all in the side, that winning percentage shoots up to 79.2 per cent. The Sea Eagles win four out of every five games when their "Super Six" are in action.
By comparison, their grand final opponents Roosters are relative strangers. Key players Sonny Bill Williams, James Maloney and Michael Jennings only joined the club this season, and only Anthony Minichiello was there when the Roosters last won a premiership in 2002.
Nevertheless, they're expected to start the match as favourites, having already beaten Manly three times this year. (A fourth win would create history of their own – the tricolours have never defeated a single club four times in a single season).
But only once have the Roosters faced Manly's "Super Six" this campaign. The Eagles were without Brett Stewart when they lost to the tricolours in Round 9 and again in the first week of the finals, and with the star fullback back on deck only a brave punter would write off their chances in the season decider.
After all, grand final week holds no surprises for six of Manly's best.
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