Matt Attard previews the Sea Eagles and Bulldogs’ return to action as the old rivals face off to end the round.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Des Hasler had his men in fine form, notching a one-point victory over the defending premiers before play was shut down. They have a very formidable forward pack who laid the platform over the chooks in round two. They’ve won three of the last four matches against the blue and whites.
A heavy defeat at the hands of the Cowboys in round two followed an impressive effort against the Eels in round one. Coach Dean Pay axed halfback Lachlan Lewis midway through their last fixture as they struggled desperately for points – a trend they must buck now.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Brad Parker 4. Moses Suli 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Corey Waddell 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka 18. Morgan Boyle 19. Jack Gosiewski 20. Tevita Funa 21. Brendan Elliot.
A couple of returning forwards slot into an otherwise unchanged squad. Taniela Paseka could be one to watch, with the prop having big wraps on him.
1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Nick Meaney 3. Reimis Smith 4. Will Hopoate 5. Christian Crichton 6. Lachlan Lewis 7. Jack Cogger 8. Sauaso Sue 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Dean Britt 13. Adam Elliott 14. Jake Averillo 15. Renouf To’omaga 16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 17. Ofahiki Ogden 19. Kerrod Holland 20. Aiden Tolman 21. Sione Katoa 22. Brandon Wakeham.
Pay has named Jack Cogger in the halves, hoping for more control as his side battles to score points. Aiden Tolman is battling injury, with Sauaso Sue in line to return from a serious knee injury.
The Bulldogs have won eight of the last 12 between the two, but the Sea Eagles have won three of the last four. The Bulldogs have scored just 16 points against the Sea Eagles in the past two matches.
BATTLE TO WATCH
Danny Levi v Jeremy Marshall-King
Danny Levi has a point to prove in the hooker role, while Jeremy Marshall-King wears the nine for the Dogs as he continues to hold out Tongan international Sione Katoa. Both players’ starting spots are not yet cemented, and both clubs have options should either fail to fire. It will be interesting to see if the attack-minded Levi will inspire Marshall-King to lift his offensive tactics.
It’s hard to see anything other than a big victory to the Sea Eagles. They have the power up front and the points out wide, along with established halves. The Bulldogs will struggle to score points until Kieran Foran returns. Sea Eagles by 18.
Date: Sunday May 31st, 2020.
Venue: Central Coast Stadium.