MATCH PREVIEW | Manly Sea Eagles vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Cormac Pearson previews this Saturday’s clash between the Sea Eagles and the Bulldogs at Lottoland.

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Manly Sea Eagles

The comeback of Coach Des Hasler has seem to revive Manly’s after a strong start to the year and a win against the Raiders last weekend. The Raiders who have been in good form came up against a determined and precise Manly outfit who simply outscored the green machine. They will have to do it again this week without Daly Cherry-Evans, which will be a tough task.

Canterbury Bulldogs

The Bulldogs are proving the doubters wrong after grinding a win against a poor Cowboys outfit. The Bulldogs forced the Cowboys to play the game at their pace and ended up running away with it, helped by a man of the match performance from Corey Harawira-Naera.

SQUAD NEWS

Manly Sea Eagles

Two big losses for Manly this weekend as Daly Cherry-Evans (ankle) and Jorge Tafua (calf) will be replaced by ex-Titan Kane Elgey and debutant Abbas Miski respectively. In the forward pack, Addin Fonua-Blake returns from suspension to start at prop.

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Manly Sea Eagles squad: 1. Brendan Elliott 2. Abbas Miski 3. Moses Suli 4. Brad Parker 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Lachlan Croker 7. Kane Elgey 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14. Manase Fainu 15. Jack Gosiewski 16. Corey Waddell 17. Toafofoa Sipley. Reserves: 18. Morgan Boyle 19. Zach Dockar-clay 20. Kelepi Tanginoa 21. Taniela Paseka

Canterbury Bulldogs

The Bulldogs have named an unchanged 17 but star players Kieran Foran and Dylan Napa have been added to the extended bench. Kieran Foran will be rested for one more week while Origin forward Napa is expected to return for the Bulldogs.

Canterbury Bulldogs squad: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Jayden Okunbor 3. Kerrod Holland 4. Will Hopoate 5. Reimis Smith 6. Jack Cogger 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Ofahiki Ogden 11. Josh Jackson 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Rhyse Martin. Interchange: 14. Fa’amanu Brown 15. Danny Fualalo 16. Adam Elliot 17. Michael Lichaa. Reserves: 19. Kieran Foran 21. Marcelo Montoya 22. Renouf To’omaga 23. Dylan Napa

HEAD TO HEAD

Two of Sydney’s prestigious NRL clubs will come together again and you can be sure it will be a contest. The two have a 72-year-old history with their first game being played at Belmore in 1947. Since then these clubs have had a strong rivalry and will be keen to get into each other on Saturday. Last year, Manly beat the Bulldogs 18-6 but the sides looked very different then.

While Manly are quite undermanned they will be playing with heart, much like the Bulldogs have been in 2019. Both teams are coming off of strong wins will mean confidence will be up, especially for Lachlan Croker. The Manly pivot returned from an ACL injury and had an extremely positive game, scoring twice and running for over 100 metres. Meanwhile young Bulldog Jack Cogger continues to improve after another solid game alongside Lachlan Lewis. Corey Harawira-Naera had a career best game scoring twice, making the most tackles with 43 AND the most run metres for his team with 149 metres. The game will be won with ball control and with both sides completing over 85% last week, this will be a game to watch.

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KEY BATTLE

With Cherry-Evans out, the game will be decided in the forward pack, more importantly in lock position. Jake Trbojevic and Rhyse Martin will line-up at the back of the scrum and will be battling it out all game. First to Jake Trbojevic who has worked his way into being one of the premier forwards in the competition. He is one of the most well rounded players in the NRL, with his ability to play the ball and get through a whole heap of work. With the starting lock Origin jersey calling his name you know what to expect from the Manly junior. Trbojevic will take on even more of a leadership role after the Cherry-Evans injury and personally I think he will relish in it. He is a threat with the ball, a strong defender and won’t give the Bulldogs and Martin in particular an inch.

 

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Martin on the other hand is relatively new to the NRL but has worked his way into the starting side. Martin offers a lot in attack and has that X factor that you can’t teach, not to mention his goal kicking prowess. Against the Cowboys Martin showed this off with a perfect cut-out offload to an open Jayden Okunbor to open the scoring for the Bulldogs. He ended up with 126 metres from 13 runs and 25 tackles in 65 minutes. Oh and four from four with the boot. He will be looking to back up again this week, using his size and skill to draw defenders in to create holes in the Manly defence.

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: 4th of May, 2019
Venue: Lottoland, Sydney
Kick-off: 5:30pm, AEST
Referee: Henry Perenara, Jon Stone.

WHO WILL WIN?

There is not a doubt this will be a tough contest but with the inclusion of Dylan Napa the Bulldogs will take advantage of a depleted Manly side and win away.

Bulldogs by 8.

 

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