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2021 NRL Round 16 Preview, Bulldogs Vs Sea Eagles

Matt Attard previews the first game of Super Saturday: Canterbury-Bankstown vs Manly Warringah. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney Date: Saturday July 3, Time: 3pm

Bulldogs Team

1. Nick Meaney
2. Corey Allan
3. Will Hopoate
4. Falakiko Manu
5. Tuipulotu Katoa
6. Kyle Flanagan
7. Jake Avarillo
8. Jack Hetherington
9. Jeremy Marshall-King
10. Luke Thompson
11. Jackson Topine
12. Matt Doorey
13. Josh Jackson
14. Bailey Biondi-Odo
15. Joe Stimson
16. Ava Seumanufagai
17. Chris Patolo
19. Lachlan Lewis
20. Ofahiki Ogden
21. Renouf Atoni
22. Watson Heleta

Team Changes

IN: Bailey Biondi-Odo, Chris Patolo, Corey Allan, Falakiko Manu, Jackson Topine, Kyle Flanagan, Lachlan Lewis, Ofahiki Ogden, Renouf Atoni, Watson Heleta


OUT: Aaron Schoupp, Adam Elliott, Brandon Wakeham, Corey Waddell, Dylan Napa, Nick Cotric, Sione Katoa

Sea Eagles Team

1. Tom Trbojevic
2. Jason Saab
3. Brad Parker
4. Morgan Harper
5. Reuben Garrick
6. Kieran Foran
7. Daly Cherry-Evans
8. Taniela Paseka
9. Lachlan Croker
10. Martin Taupau
11. Haumole Olakau’atu
12. Karl Lawton
13. Sean Keppie
14. Dylan Walker
15. Ben Trbojevic
16. Kurt de Luis
17. Toafofoa Sipley
18. Moses Suli
19. Cade Cust
20. Tevita Funa
21. Jack Gosiewski

Team Changes

IN: Cade Cust, Jack Gosiewski, Moses Suli


OUT:
N/A

Referee: Gerard Sutton

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Bulldogs

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A cruel blow for Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett sees more than 15 players unavailable for selection as a result of injury and COVID-19 protocols. This will see the debuts of three rookies, two of whom are Jersey Flegg players yet to feature much in NSW Cup.

It will make their task against the red-hot Manly side even harder after what has been a promising few weeks that saw a big victory over St George Illawarra and a valiant effort against Parramatta.

Sea Eagles

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Never has a player had so much impact on a football team as Tom Trbojevic has. Everything he touches turns to gold and if he can overcome an ankle injury from Origin he will surely run rings around the Bulldogs, who are desperate for personnel.

Rookie forwards Taniela Paseka and Haumole Olakau’atu have been phenomenal while Daly Cherry-Evans will be up for a huge performance after a disastrous Origin series.

PREVIEW

Manly can do no wrong as they continue to rack up massive scores, with their forwards excelling in laying a platform for their dangerous outside backs. Des Hasler would have little to complain about as they’ve proven they can perform in big matches and when down on the scoreboard.

Barrett is rebuilding the squad nicely but this week nothing short of a miracle will stop a flogging. With 15 top squad members out, Barrett has turned to little known rookies to step up, as Jake Averillo has been doing in the halves.

Averillo is more at home in the centres or at fullback, but has performed really well in the number seven jersey, leading the club to a big win over the Dragons and controlling the first half against the Eels to lead at the break. He’ll need a huge game here if the Dogs are are chance of an upset.

KEY STAT

The Bulldogs have a 20-16 advantage since 2016. Manly Warringah scored 32 points in both their 2020 clashes: 32-20 and 32-6.

Of course, Bulldogs fans will have fond memories of their 1995 ARL premiership win (while technically they were the “Sydney” Bulldogs, they were still Canterbury-Bankstown at heart): they finished sixth in the brand new top eight finals series, and upset St George, Brisbane, and Canberra towards the grand final, when they beat the almost invincible Sea Eagles (who’d only lost two games to that point).

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PREDICTION

Not even the most hardened Bulldogs fan could tip them this week.

Manly by 30.

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