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Schick Hydro Preview: Manly Sea Eagles v Cronulla Sharks
Brookvale Oval
Monday 7pm

The Sea Eagles head into their Round 3 clash with the Sharks in unfamiliar territory, having lost their first two games of the season for the first time since 2010. 

They'll be hoping a clash with their 'bunnies' ends that unwanted streak.

Meanwhile, the Sharks will be buzzing after demolishing the Dragons in a one-sided local derby that put the rest of the competition on notice. 

Manly will again be without fullback Brett Stewart (hamstring) with Tom Trbojevic retaining the No.1 jersey.

The Sharks have made one minor change to the side that took care of the Dragons, with Chris Heighington returning from suspension. Joseph Paulo has been named on a five-man bench.



Watch out Sea Eagles: The Sea Eagles' revamped roster was always expected to take time to gel, but coach Trent Barrett would have been hoping for more polish two rounds into the season. They rank 13th in attack in the NRL, and on Monday night will be tested by the competition's 4th best defence. With two members of last year's spine not at the club anymore - and Brett Stewart out through injury – much of the pressure has been on Daly Cherry-Evans, who will need a huge game to silence his critics. They'll need to be on their game, because the Sharks are looking ominous.

Watch out Sharks: While the rest of their attack might be sputtering, Manly's Martin Taupau has had no such problems settling into his new club. The former Tiger was at his brutal best against his former club on Monday, scoring a try, running for 159 metres, and breaking the line three times in an 80-minute performance that had NRL Fantasy coaches licking their lips. The bullocking back-rower has a good record against the Sharks, having scored against them in Round 14 last year. 

Key match-up: Wade Graham v Martin Taupau. It will be a battle of contrasting styles, with each back-rower crucial to their side's attack. The stand-in Cronulla skipper is one of the most consistent performers in the pack, and his time in the halves earlier in his career means he possesses slick ball-playing ability as well. The Manly enforcer, meanwhile, is coming off one of the most dominant displays by any forward this season against the Tigers on Monday night. If his teammates can follow his lead, Manly will be very hard to beat. 

The history: Played 86; Sea Eagles 61, Sharks 23, Drawn 2. The Sea Eagles have won nine of the last 10, including the past five clashes between the sides at the venue, with Cronulla's last win at Brookvale coming in Round 1, 2008. The Sharks lost both games in 2015, including a crucial Round 26 slip-up at home that cost them a spot in the top four. 

What are the odds: Manly are slight favourites but the steady stream of support for the Sharks would suggest the market may flip. Valentine Holmes and Jack Bird have been very well supported to be first tryscorer according to Sportsbet. Latest odds at

Match officials: Referee: Ben Cummins. Assistant referee: Adam Devcich. Sideline officials: Nick Beashel and Jon Stone. 

Televised: Fox Sports 1 - Live coverage from 6:30pm.

The way we see it: It's never fun to go against history, but if the Sharks ever want to end their woeful record against Manly, now's the time to do it. Both teams came into 2016 with new-look spines, but the Sharks seem to have settled the better out of the two. Manly will be desperate to get a win in front of their fans, but we think the visitors are due. Sharks by 2. 

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