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Round 3 in the NRL will conclude on Sunday evening when the Manly Sea Eagles look to pour more misery on the hapless Canterbury Bulldogs. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 6:30pm (AEST).
The Sea Eagles came into the new season as one of the premiership favourites, and while they lost to a dominant Storm outfit at Brookvale in Round 1, they proved their worth with a one-point victory over the Roosters before the shutdown.
It was that win which proves exactly what the Sea Eagles can do. Not only hang with the top contenders in the attacking sense, as they proved on multiple occasions last year, but they are more than happy to do the dirty work and defend their own line.
It’s a team with Des Hasler’s trademark coaching style all over it, and they will look to make a fast start to the resumed season in order to take any pressure off.
While they have proven they can hang with the top contenders, the biggest risk this week is being dragged down to the Bulldogs’ level.
That’s not a knock on the blue and white either. They know how to defend with the best of them and put teams off their usual free-flowing attacking game. They did it to the Eels in Round 1, and while their own attack is almost the worst in the competition, their defence gives them a chance of scaring teams.
Unfortunately, they look all over the shop, with Brandon Wakeham dropped and a backline that has been patched together. It means they will spend most of this game against a strong Manly team on the back foot and have to rely on a low-scoring, physical encounter, as well as making the most of whatever chances they do get.
The likelihood of that happening is slim. Manly are blessed to have one of the best kicking games in the competition through Daly Cherry-Evans, and when combined with the running game of Dylan Walker, it gives defensive teams too much to watch for.
If Manly are on song up front, with Martin Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake leading the way, they could run up a cricket score.
This should be all one-way traffic. The Sea Eagles are a premiership contender. The Bulldogs are a wooden spoon contender, and that’s all there should be too it, despite the defence of the men in blue and white.
Sea Eagles by 24.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this match from 6:30pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 6:30pm (AEST)
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
TV: Live, Fox League 502
Online: Live, Foxtel Now, Kayo Sports, NRL Digital Pass,
Betting: Sea Eagles $1.33, Bulldogs $3.30
Overall record: Played 129, Sea Eagles 66, Bulldogs 58, drawn 5
Referee: Matt Cecchin
Manly 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
Interchange: 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Corey Waddell 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka 18. Morgan Boyle 19. Jack Gosiewski 20. Tevita Funa 21. Brendan Elliot
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
Interchange: 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