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Nic Ladds 26th Feb 2009 - 18:49

Sea Eagles backed to prove Super League "second tier"

William Hill, official Super League bookmakers, can’t separate Leeds Rhinos and Manly Sea Eagles ahead of the 2009 World Club Challenge, but punters are deserting the home side in the run up to Sunday’s showdown, with the Australians carrying over ninety percent of the money so far staked on the match.

We’re not sure if it’s the Leeds injury concerns or the fact that Manly’s chief exec has branded Super League second tier, but the betting public only have eyes for one team at present. It looks increasingly likely that Manly will be  clear favourites on game day, but we’re keeping the faith at Hills and backing the Super League over the NRL.

Leeds and Manly are both priced at 5/6 to lift the trophy and 10/11 to win in 80 minutes, with the draw quoted at 16/1.

Rob Burrow is 8/1 second favourite to make a sensational return from injury by winning the Man of the Match award in the World Club Challenge. The only player more likely than Burrow to have the biggest influence on the outcome is Manly's Dally M Medal winner Matt Orford.

The sides look extremely closely matched from 1 to 17, so the two brilliant and unpredictable number 7s could well hold the key to victory.

Official Man of the Match: 7/1 Orford; 8/1 Burrow; 10/1 Peacock, Stewart, Lyon; 12/1 Sinfield; 14/1 McGuire. others on request.

Despite the Rhinos having conceded only two tries in three Super League matches this season, Hills make Manly just 5/4 to score 4 or more tries in the World Club Challenge – and Leeds are 14/1 to keep the Sea Eagles at bay for 80 minutes.

With the weather set fair it’s hard to see the Rhinos keeping this Manly side at bay.

Leeds Rhinos v Manly Sea Eagles betting odds

How many tries will Leeds concede to Manly? 14/1 None; 8/1 One; 4/1 Two; 2/1 Three; 5/4 Four or more. (80 minutes only).

What will Leeds Rhinos win in 2009? 5/6 World Club Challenge; 11/8 League Leader’s Shield;  13/8 Grand Final; 5/2 Challenge Cup.

How many trophies will Leeds win? 9/2 None; 6/4 One; 15/8 Two; 5/1 Three; 16/1 Four.

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