Manly eye key returns for Storm match

Manly coach Des Hasler could miss injured duo Joel Thompson and Moses Suli for an extended spell.
Manly coach Des Hasler could miss injured duo Joel Thompson and Moses Suli for an extended spell.

Curtis Sironen and Brad Parker could return for Manly to slot straight back into the voids left by injured duo Joel Thompson and Moses Suli.

Manly's win over Canberra on Sunday was one of their best of the season, coming back from 8-0 down on the road with their spot in the top four on the line.

But the Sea Eagles were left counting the costs on their trip back to Sydney.

Thompson suffered a suspected broken forearm that threatens the second-rower's season, while centre Suli limped from the field with a syndesmosis injury.

Both were due for scans on Monday, but would be considered long odds to play in Saturday's crunch clash against Melbourne.

Working in Manly's favour at least is that Sironen and Parker play in the same positions and are due back from hamstring and knee injuries.

Regardless, Thompson and Suli's injuries did little to stunt the Sea Eagles' top-four push against the Raiders.

Down to 15 men and with only three interchanges left in the second half, they scored twice and held out the fast-finishing Raiders.

Manly have made a habit of such wins this year.

They also beat the Raiders after Daly Cherry-Evans limped off against them earlier in the season, while a win over South Sydney came after Tom Trbojevic played just half the game.

"You come this far and you find a way and battle away in the game and you get that close to the end," coach Des Hasler said of Sunday's victory.

"You want to walk away with the win.

"It's always a difficult place to play and the Raiders are a good footy side. So to be able to hang in there and get the points is good."

Manly now have Melbourne and Parramatta in their last two games, with a win in either likely to leave them in a good spot to finish in the top four.

It's a remarkable turnaround given at this point last year Manly's players had no coach for 2019 and were fighting to avoid the club's maiden wooden spoon.

"They've worked really hard and they really wanted to work hard as far as winning back the respect," Hasler said.

"But at the end of the day it's just been hard work, but it's not over yet."

Australian Associated Press