2023 NRL Preview Round 1: Sea Eagles Vs Bulldogs

Matt Attard previews the Saturday afternoon clash between Manly Warringah and Canterbury-Bankstown.



Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Vs Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs
Venue: 4 Pines Park, Sydney
Date: Saturday March 4, 3:00pm (AEDST)


Related: NRL Team List Tuesday

Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Christian Tuipulotu 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Cooper Johns 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Jake Trbojevic 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Sean Keppie 14. Kaeo Weekes 15. Ben Trbojevic 16. Ethan Bullemor 17. Josh Aloiai 18. Toafofoa Sipley 19. Ben Condon 20. Ray Tuaimalo-Vaega 21. Morgan Harper 22. Gordon Chan Kum Tong.

Bulldogs: 1. Hayze Perham 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Jake Averillo 4. Paul Alamoti 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Ryan Sutton 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Fa’amanu Brown 14. Jayden Tanner 15. Corey Waddell 16. Franklin Pele 17. Jacob Preston 19. Braidon Burns 20. Josh Reynolds 21. Andrew Davey 22. Jackson Topine 23. Jayden Okunbor.

Referee: Grant Atkins.

Embed from Getty Images


Both teams have new coaches, the Bulldogs have several new players, but all eyes will be on returning Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic.

While the hype has been around Cameron Ciraldo and his Bulldogs rebuild, Manly have had quite the pre-season under Anthony Siebold.

Not only did they impress in the trials, taking home the Pre-Season Challenge competition, they did so without some big names including Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans.

They will be at their spiritual home – where the visitors have not won since 2016 – and will be looking to make amends for their dreadful end to last season. They have named a strong side which includes their rejuvenated fullback after a trip to the United States for rehab.

They’ve lost some key forwards but second rower Kelma Tuilagi could prove dangerous and one of the most underrated signings of 2023.

The Bulldogs will roll out Viliame Kikau and Reed Mahoney but question marks remain over the fullback and halfback positions. No doubt they should improve drastically but with such a new team it will take time to gel.

Adding to that, the club lost star forward Luke Thompson for the season after a freak training accident on Tuesday afternoon. He joins Tevita Pangai Jnr and Chris Patolo on the sidelines.

This will be a battle of the forwards no doubt, but when it comes to creativity and attacking prowess in good territory it’s hard not to see Cherry-Evans outplaying his counterpart.


Sea Eagles 8 Bulldogs 2.


Sea Eagles by 10.

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