BULLDOGS PREPARE FOR SEA EAGLES' SWOOP
Canterbury v Manly
(ANZ Stadium, Friday 17 April, 5:15pm)
Although the Manly Sea Eagles have only one win so far this season, the Canterbury Bulldogs know they're better than their record suggests.
"[Manly] started sensationally against Penrith scoring the first two tries," Bulldogs coach Andy Patmore said.
"They played really well against one of the top sides in Penrith.
"We're expecting a very tough game at ANZ Stadium on Friday night."
The Sea Eagles led 16-6 against the reigning premiers before the Panthers stormed back to clinch a 24-16 win at Pepper Stadium.
Canterbury are coming off a shock 25-18 loss against the Wentworthville Magpies. While they were right in the contest, it was a lack of execution in dying stages that let the Bulldogs down.
"It's a lack of experience during crucial moments," Patmore said.
"That was the hardest thing in missing a couple of the older blokes like Antonio Kaufusi that led to some basic errors at certain times."
Manly prevailed 30-24 the last time the two sides met in Round 25 at Brookvale Oval last season and the Bulldogs are preparing for another tough contest despite club commitments to the first grade squad.
"We're working on it but again with the club situation with players out, it's going to be another tough week for us," Patmore said.
"We'll be a bit skinny but we'll be right in the fight."
LOOKING TO CUT BACK
Wests Tigers v Illawarra Cutters
(Campbelltown Stadium, Saturday 18 April, 10:45am)
The Illawarra Cutters will travel to Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday looking to get their season back on track against the seventh-placed Wests Tigers.
Illawarra's disappointing start to the season has them sitting at the bottom end of the VB NSW Cup ladder. Having only recorded the one win from their six starts this season, the Cutters' season is slowly fading.
Scott Logan's side came within eight minutes of claiming their second win last weekend against the Wyong Roos, however a lapse of concentration deep into the second half cost the Cutters, surrendering two late tries to go down by four points.
The Wests Tigers, who will also be looking to return to the winners' circle after falling short against the Warriors in New Zealand, possess a host of names that the Cutters will need to be wary of.
Halfback Josh Drinkwater has been impressive in the opening rounds of the season and will look to continue his good form on Saturday.