Date: Friday 20th March, 2015.
Venue: Brookvale Oval
Sea Eagles: 1 Brett Stewart 2 Cheyse Blair 3 Jamie Lyon (c) 4 Steve Matai 5 Peta Hiku 6 Feleti Mateo 7 Daly Cherry-Evans 8 Luke Burgess 9 Matt Ballin 10 Willie Mason 11 Jamie Buhrer 12 Tom Symonds 13 Dunamis Lui. Interchange: 14 Jesse Sene-Lefao 15 Blake Leary 16 Jake Trbojevic 17 Ligi Sao 18 Justin Horo.
Bulldogs: 1 Brett Morris 2 Curtis Rona 3 Josh Morris 4 Tim Lafai 5 Sam Perrett 6 Moses Mbye 7 Trent Hodkinson 8 Aiden Tolman 9 Michael Lichaa 10 James Graham 11 Josh Jackson 12 Tony Williams 13 Greg Eastwood. Interchange: 14 Sam Kasiano 15 David Klemmer 16 Frank Pritchard 17 Tim Browne 19 Lloyd Perrett
The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles return to Brookvale for the second week in a row with a game against the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs on Friday night.
With both sides heading into the clash with a victory under their belt last weekend, confidence will be high. The Sea Eagles put the turmoil of the last fortnight to hang on against the Melbourne Storm, while the Bulldogs accounted for the Parramatta Eels with a late flurry.
In team news, Manly have officially named Feleti Mateo at five-eighth. Even though he played there against the Storm, he replaces Jamie Buhrer who shifts to his preferred second row spot. On the other hand, the visitors remain 1-17 with Josh Reynolds some way off.
A lot in recent times has been made of Daly Cherry-Evans moving to the Titans and a man linked to replace him is ironically the man Cherry-Evans replaced in the beginning, Trent Hodkinson. The NSW halfback incumbent has had an indifferent start to the year and is under pressure to retain his spot with Adam Reynolds and Mitchell Pearce starting the year strongly. Look for Hodkinson to step up this weekend against one of the best in the game and push for a new contract in 2016.
This is a huge game that has many sub-plots including the relationship of the two coaches, Geoff Toovey and Des Hasler, but where the battle will be won is in the forwards. All of Canterbury’s forwards are big and make plenty of metres. The Manly pack is not what it used to be and this will be the difference in this clash.
A tight one but Bulldogs by 2.