Battle of Brookvale II looms for Manly

In the run to the NRL finals, Manly will face Melbourne next weekend in a blockbuster at Brookvale.
In the run to the NRL finals, Manly will face Melbourne next weekend in a blockbuster at Brookvale.

Ding ding ding.

Here comes the Battle of Brookvale II.

Manly's rousing come-from-behind 18-14 NRL win over Canberra on Sunday has set up a blockbuster clash next weekend with ladder leaders Melbourne.

All season, coach Des Hasler and his men have played down their side's top-four potential but must be considered the real deal after an eight-point try to Reuben Garrick gave them a thrilling victory over the Raiders.

There will be plenty on the line when the Sea Eagles meet their arch-rivals the Storm on Saturday afternoon at Lottoland.

The Storm will wrap up top spot with victory, while the Eagles are desperate to hold onto fourth place.

In 2011, the two sides played out a classic at the same venue where Adam Blair and Brett Stewart came to blows, setting off an all-in brawl.

"Melbourne is always a big game on your agenda," Hasler said.

"That's the sort of club they are and it's a credit to them.

"It'll be no different and the boys love playing at Brookie. There's always intrigue around these guys."

On Sunday, the Storm were handed a few nervous moments as they were forced to come from behind against last-placed Gold Coast to win 24-8.

After a horror first half in which they were on the wrong end of an 8-3 penalty count and made nine errors to three, they were down 8-0 at the half-hour mark before showcasing their class.

They would have to lose their final two games to Manly and North Queensland for the Sydney Roosters to be any chance of catching them.

The Roosters reinforced their status as the premiership favourites in Saturday's resounding Cooper Cronk-inspired 34-12 defeat of St George Illawarra.

The Wests Tigers stayed within two points of the top eight with their 46-4 thumping of a disappointing Newcastle, just five days after Nathan Brown announced his impending exit.

Cronulla moved into seventh spot and crushed the Warriors' finals ambitions with a 42-16 thrashing at PointsBet Stadium.

On Friday, despite having two of his players sin-binned, South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett had the laugh last against Brisbane rival Anthony Seibold with a 22-20 victory.

Despite being out of the running, North Queensland dealt Penrith's finals chances a big blow with a 24-10 win to leave the Panthers three points behind the eighth-placed Broncos.

Canterbury's top-eight hopes are remarkably alive after continuing their giant-killing ways with a 12-6 win over Parramatta, thanks to a Nick Meaney penalty try.

Australian Associated Press