Date: Friday June 6
Venue: Brookvale Oval
Sea Eagles: Brett Stewart, Jorge Taufua, Jamie Lyon, Steve Matai, Peta Hiku, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Josh Starling, Matt Ballin, Brenton Lawrence, Anthony Watmough, Justin Horo, Jamie Buhrer. Interchange: Jesse Sene-Lefao, Dunamis Lui, Tom Symonds, Jason King, Jack Littlejohn
Bulldogs: Sam Perrett, Mitch Brown, Chase Stanley, Timoteo Lafai, Krisnan Inu, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis, James Graham, Josh Jackson, Tony Williams, Greg Eastwood. Interchange: Dale Finucane, Tim Browne, David Klemmer, Sam Kasiano
Perhaps the game most Manly fans look forward to at the moment thanks to the treacherous actions of Des Hasler and his former boss Todd Greenburg and the stories which followed. These two teams have met fives times since Hasler jumped ship with the Bulldogs holding a 3-2 advantage, they have also won both games played at Brookvale Oval, ensuring Des Hasler’s success at the ground continues even after leaving the nest.
Both teams have been heavily affected by State of Origin. Daly Cherry-Evans (knee/hip) and Anthony Watmough (biceps) are both in doubt for Manly and Josh Morris (knee) is out for Canterbury. Of the healthy Origin combatants, Josh Reynolds amazingly escaped suspension for his tackle which resembled a WWE move more than anything else, and two players who made their names at Manly in Tony Williams and Trent Hodkinson return to the Bulldogs line up.
Manly are going through a bumpy period at the moment, there have been injuries to key players, rumours of unrest and a few terrible performances in the recent past they are trying to put behind them. Yet they are still sitting inside the top four and winning games regularly. Canterbury on the other hand is the form team of the competition at the moment, their forwards seem almost unstoppable and their ability to win tight games this season has been uncanny.
The Bulldogs are coming into this game off a bye, they will be well rested and welcome back some some New South Welshman full of confidence, on the other hand the Sea Eagles limp in with some injuries and just four days rest since their last outing in Brisbane and looking to redeem their recent poor performances.
Manly have been down on form at times this season yet have still found a way to lift for the big matches, games against the Storm, Rabbitohs and Roosters are evidence of that and there’s little doubt that this match is anything but big. This match should be a tight, tough and defence focussed match.
Manly by 1
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