Manly broke through for their first win in no uncertain terms with last week's demolition of the Warriors, highlighting how important Tom Trbojevic is to his team after he returned from an injury layoff.
The challenge now is to prove it was no fluke against one of the competition heavyweights.
Manly can play without pressure because they aren't expected to win and should be spurred on by a healthy home crowd after their emphatic victory in Christchurch.
The Bunnies looked like posting a cricket score last week against the Titans before dangerously easing off the gas in the second half.
Wayne Bennett will want an 80-minute effort on Saturday afternoon.
Match: Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs
Round 4 -
Venue: 4 Pines Park, Sydney
Sea Eagles: The Sea Eagles will line up 1-17 as named. Brendan Elliot has replaced Moses Suli (disciplinary reasons) in the centres, with coach Des Hasler on Friday refusing to divulge the reasons behind Suli's demotion. Reserves Lachlan Croker and Taniela Paseka were omitted on Friday, while Trent Hodkinson and Kelepi Tanginoa were cut an hour prior to kick-off.
Rabbitohs: George Burgess will come off the bench, despite initially being named to start. Junior Tatola will start in the front row as he did in the first three rounds. Greg Inglis's return will be delayed by at least a week, with Jacob Gagan called into the starting side to replace Inglis. Rhys Kennedy and Connor Tracey were the last players omitted, while Bayley Sironen was cut from the squad on Friday.
Match: Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs
Round 4 -
Fullback for Sea Eagles is number 1 Tom TrbojevicFullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Alex Johnston
Winger for Sea Eagles is number 2 Jorge TaufuaWinger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Corey Allan
Centre for Sea Eagles is number 3 Brendan ElliotCentre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Dane Gagai
Centre for Sea Eagles is number 4 Brad ParkerCentre for Rabbitohs is number 21 Jacob Gagan
Winger for Sea Eagles is number 5 Reuben GarrickWinger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Campbell Graham
Five-Eighth for Sea Eagles is number 6 Kane ElgeyFive-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
Halfback for Sea Eagles is number 7 Daly Cherry-EvansHalfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam Reynolds
Prop for Sea Eagles is number 8 Addin Fonua-BlakeProp for Rabbitohs is number 10 Thomas Burgess
Hooker for Sea Eagles is number 9 Apisai KoroisauHooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
Prop for Sea Eagles is number 10 Martin TaupauProp for Rabbitohs is number 14 Tevita Tatola
2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 11 Joel Thompson2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 John Sutton
2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 12 Curtis Sironen2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Sam Burgess
Lock for Sea Eagles is number 13 Jake TrbojevicLock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 14 Manase FainuInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 8 George Burgess
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 15 Jack GosiewskiInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Mark Nicholls
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 16 Corey WaddellInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Ethan Lowe
Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 17 Toafofoa SipleyInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Kyle Turner
- Referee: Grant Atkins
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Senior Review Official: Jared Maxwell
Damien Cook has been in good early-season form with his ability to get the Bunnies moving forward and timely darts from dummy-half. Apisai Koroisau has also been impressive despite Manly's patchy start to the season and his duel with Origin hooker Cook will be one to watch.
For the Sea Eagles to win
Another five-star display from 'Turbo Tom' won't hurt, while Daly Cherry-Evans should be keen to back up his best game of the season with another striong showing. But the Sea Eagles need to make a few defensive adjustments if they are going to overcome the unbeaten Bunnies.
For the Rabbitohs to win
They never really looked like losing last week but things got a bit uncomfortable in the final 20 minutes and the Rabbitohs shouldn't have allowed it to get that close. With Braidon Burns and Greg Inglis sidelined, Wayne Bennett will have to remind all his outside backs to be on their toes defensively after Manly put 46 on the Warriors.
Brett Kimmorley says
Tom Trbojevic was the star for Manly last week. He gives them so much confidence. Both Manly front-rowers (Addin Fonua-Blake and Martin Taupau) can lay the foundation for the Se Eagles. I’m loving watching Damien Cook play. Now he is linking up with players when he runs as well as just darting out of dummy half. Cook’s game is going to than next level. Rabbitohs by 6
Sea Eagles Stat Attack
Cherry-Evans' 20-point haul against the Warriors from two tries and 6/8 goals rocketed him to top spot among NRL point-scorers. DCE leads with 30 points, with Adam Reynolds (28) second.
Rabbitohs Stat Attack
Souths' good early-season form reflects in the numbers they're putting up. The Bunnies lead the competition in points, tries, goals, try assists, support play and line engaged.
And another thing ...
There's an old adage in team sports that the best players have a knack for making those around them better. Just look at Cameron Smith and how Melbourne are always in title contention, regardless of who's around him. Tom Trbojevic is no Cam Smith but he has the same effect on the Sea Eagles if their dominance of the Warriors is any guide. He looms as a huge danger man to the Rabbitohs and the Sea Eagles can't be dismissed when 'Turbo' is humming.