The Sea Eagles return to 4 Pines Park on Saturday after two weeks on the road and will be desperate to get back in the winner's circle against a Wests Tigers side on the rise.
Manly were gallant in defeat to South Sydney last start given they played majority of the game with only 12 men, but their overall slide in the past fortnight has coincided with injuries in the backline, none more so than Tom Trbojevic.
The Wests Tigers will take plenty away from their six-point defeat to the Dragons, particularly around the key stats areas they were able to win during the match without being able to ice the moments when it mattered.
With a four-point gap already appearing on the ladder between Michael Maguire's men and the top eight, Saturday's game is shaping as an imperative one for the visitors if they are to stay in touch with the competition contenders.
Recent results between the two clubs are in the Sea Eagles' favours with Des Hasler's side scoring 84 points in two games against the joint venture last year, but recent results in the past fortnight suggest it's anyone's game on Saturday.
Sportsbet Betting preview: Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers
Sea Eagles: Changes on game day with Morgan Harper moving into the starting side at centre, Ben Trbojevic shifting to the seond row and Haumole Olakau'atu dropping out due to illness. Josh Aloiai will start at prop with Martin Taupau moving to the bench. Kurt de Luis has joined the interchange bench.
Ethan Bullemor was promoted to the starting line-up in place of the injured Josh Schuster (calf) when the squad was trimmed to 19 players 24 hours before kick-off. Tom Trbojevic (knee) is on track to make a return. Brad Parker (knee) and Jason Saab (toe) were casualties out of last week's loss.
Wests Tigers: The Tigers are 1-17 with no late changes. Jock Madden is 18th man. Luciano Leilua (hamstring) and David Nofoaluma (concussion) are out, replaced by Alex Seyfarth and Ken Maumalo in the starting side. Jake Simpkin (ankle) is back at hooker in place of Jacob Liddle. The big boost for Michael Maguire's men is the return of Stefano Utoikamanu, who is confirmed to return from his knee injury ahead of schedule.
Fullback for Sea Eagles is number 1 Tom TrbojevicFullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Starford To'a
Winger for Sea Eagles is number 2 Christian TuipulotuWinger for Wests Tigers is number 2 Asu Kepaoa
Centre for Sea Eagles is number 4 Tolutau KoulaCentre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Oliver Gildart
Centre for Sea Eagles is number 19 Morgan HarperCentre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Luke Garner
Winger for Sea Eagles is number 5 Reuben GarrickWinger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Ken Maumalo
Five-Eighth for Sea Eagles is number 6 Kieran ForanFive-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Luke Brooks
Halfback for Sea Eagles is number 7 Daly Cherry-EvansHalfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Jackson Hastings
Prop for Sea Eagles is number 8 Sean KeppieProp for Wests Tigers is number 8 James Tamou
Hooker for Sea Eagles is number 9 Lachlan CrokerHooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jake Simpkin
Prop for Sea Eagles is number 16 Josh AloiaiProp for Wests Tigers is number 10 Zane Musgrove
2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 3 Ben Trbojevic2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Kelma Tuilagi
2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 15 Ethan Bullemor2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Alex Seyfarth
Lock for Sea Eagles is number 13 Jake TrbojevicLock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Joe Ofahengaue
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 10 Martin TaupauInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Tyrone Peachey
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 14 Dylan WalkerInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Alex Twal
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 17 Toafofoa SipleyInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Thomas Mikaele
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 18 Kurt De LuisInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Stefano Utoikamanu
Replacement for Sea Eagles is number 20 Kaeo WeekesReplacement for Wests Tigers is number 19 Jock Madden
- Referee: Adam Gee
- Touch Judge: Nick Beashel
- Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins
Daly Cherry-Evans v Jackson Hastings: It's no secret Hastings' exit at the Sea Eagles in 2018 had a fair bit to do with his spat with DCE, but it's also to be noted the pair has since settled their differences with the Sea Eagles captain only recently commending Hastings for his return to the NRL. Regardless, Hastings' return back to 4 Pines Park will be a special one and if we've seen anything from the Tigers playmaker in the past month, this one might mean a little bit more.
Both sides have been very good at engaging the defensive lines this season, with the Wests Tigers ranked second behind the Roosters on 182 while Manly sit fourth on 165. Kieran Foran ranks second behind Ben Hunt in the competition in this area with 59 alone while Jackson Hastings, who missed three weeks due to suspension, is eighth on 45. Hastings ran the ball 24 times against the Dragons last week and isn't afraid of taking on the defence.