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Manly travel to play Canberra Raiders with less turmoil surrounding them this year

The last time Manly played at Canberra Stadium, their then boss Joe Kelly made the extraordinary move of appearing at their post-match press conference as the NRL club became embroiled in allegations of match-fixing.

While the Sea Eagles return there to face the Canberra Raiders on Friday after back-to-back losses - and have a new chief executive in Tim Cleary - they come to the ACT courting a lot less controversy.

Despite the saga, they fought back from 30-6 down to score two tries in four minutes to give the Green Machine a slight scare at the end of the game.

Nothing has come of the allegations, which centred on two Manly games in 2015, and Raiders chief executive Don Furner was happy for Manly the turmoil seemed to have ended.

But the Green Machine boss would also be happy if his Ricky Stuart-led side can knock off the Sea Eagles.

"I'm happy for them, [Manly coach] Trent Barrett's a really good fella and all clubs in all codes go through tough times," Furner said.

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"They did have that, Wests [Tigers] are having it this year, we've had it. You've just got to have good people in there.

"Happy for Manly, happy if we beat them, but it certainly won't be the same as last year."

Raiders star hooker Josh Hodgson said he didn't know much about the saga, but he was expecting a tough contest from the Sea Eagles.

He said they are "threat players" and a couple of good halves, in Daly Cherry-Evans and Blake Green.

They boast the much-talked-about Trbojevic brothers, fullback Tom and lock Jake, as well as centre Dylan Walker.

"I'm not too sure of the ins and outs of that, but they're playing good footy," Hodgson said.

"They're a pretty good attacking team, they've got threats across the park and we need to be good defensively to make sure we're coping with what they're going to throw at us because I'm sure they'll be coming down here and really testing us." 

Stuart said Manly's ninth position on the ladder wasn't a true reflection of how they've played so far this season.

Like the New Zealand Warriors, he was expecting another tough contest against the Trent Barrett-coached Sea Eagles.

He said Manly were good offensively, similar to the Raiders in their ability to play off-the-cuff football, and was confident Barrett would have tightened up their maligned defence.

Stuart wasn't concerned about whether knocking them off for a fourth-straight win would send a message to the rest of the NRL.

"I think they're a better football team than where they are sitting on the table at the moment," he said.

"I'm not too worried about sending messages. I said last week before the game I was really worried about the Warriors and they came here and proved me right.

"That was their best game of football for the season and I thought we played really well to handle them and beat them.

"Manly are another football team that create a danger for you, they really do."

Barrett said the Raiders were one of the form teams of the competition whose forward pack was a "huge challenge".

That challenge becomes a bit tougher for the Sea Eagles with prop Darcy Lussick ruled out due an elbow injury - although they have experienced prop Nate Myles as a possible replacement.

"Their pack's a huge challenge, but you'd probably say their back five is a huge challenge for us as well," Barrett said.

"They've got some really big bodies there who all enjoy running the ball. Defensively we're going to have to be very good."

NRL ROUND EIGHT

Friday: Canberra Raiders v Manly Sea Eagles at Canberra Stadium, 6pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.

Raiders squad: 1. Jack Wighton, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Jarrod Croker (C), 4. Joey Leilua, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Blake Austin, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. Junior Paulo, 9. Josh Hodgson , 10. Shannon Boyd, 11. Josh Papalii, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Joe Tapine. Interchange: 14. Adam Clydsdale, 15. Luke Bateman, 16. Dunamis Lui, 17. Sia Soliola. Reserves: 18. Dave Taylor, 19. Jordan Turner.

Sea Eagles squad: 1. Tom Trbojevic, 2. Jorge Taufua, 3. Dylan Walker, 4. Brian Kelly, 5. Akuila Uate, 6. Blake Green, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (C), 8. Brenton Lawrence, 9. Apisai Korisau, 10. Martin Taupau, 11. Frank Winterstein, 12 Curtis Sironen, 13. Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14. Lewis Brown, 15. Jackson Hastings, 17. Addin Fonua-Blake, 18. Nate Myles. Reserves: 20. Matthew Wright, 21. Shaun Lane

*The Canberra Raiders are urging the bosses to let staff off early this Friday afternoon so they can catch the kick-off with the #FridayFreePass. Click here to get yours.