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Will "The Mad Scientist", as Manly coach Des Hasler is known, show any mercy to his former club which he took to two grand finals in five years?

The quick answer is "no" since he has no intention of stopping the freight train that the Sea Eagles have now become as they railroad themselves up the NRL ladder – from 15th spot to sixth in 10 weeks.

The coaching merry-go-round finds Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett up against his old club for the first time as head coach – he spent three years at Brookvale before Hasler returned for his second stint.

Barrett had a win two weeks ago against the club he played 154 games with – St George Illawarra – and will be trying hard for another sentimental victory.

The rundown

Team news

Bulldogs: The Bulldogs will line up 1-17 with no late changes.

Corey Allan (shoulder) returns on the wing for his first game since round nine and is part of a new-look backline which also features debutant Falakiko Manu in the centres and Kyle Flanagan at five-eighth.

With Adam Elliott sidelined by a cheekbone injury, Jackson Topine comes into the side.

Dylan Napa, Brandon Wakeham, Aaron Schoupp, Corey Waddell and Sione Katoa's immediate futures are under a cloud after they breached biosecurity protocols by visiting a pub in Eastern Sydney on the weekend.

Joe Stimson also gets a recall on the bench alongside two more debutants in Bailey Biondi-Odo and Christopher Patolo.

Ofahiki Ogden and Watson Heleta were omitted from the squad on Friday. Renouf Atoni was the last man cut on game day and Lachlan Lewis is 18th man.

Jake Averillo has scored four tries in his past three games at Stadium Australia.

Sea Eagles: Winning form is good form and Des Hasler has the luxury of naming the same 17 that produced a devastating second-half display against the Titans. No late changes on game day with Cade Cust the last man cut and Moses Suli 18th man.

Origin stars Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans will play but Tom's brother Jake remains sidelined with a glute injury.

Jack Gosiewski and Tevita Funa were dropped when the squad was trimmed to 19 players 24 hours out from kick-off.

The Sea Eagles have won five of their past six games against the Bulldogs.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Nick Meaney
    Fullback for Sea Eagles is number 1 Tom Trbojevic
  • Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Corey Allan
    Winger for Sea Eagles is number 2 Jason Saab
  • Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Will Hopoate
    Centre for Sea Eagles is number 3 Brad Parker
  • Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Falakiko Manu
    Centre for Sea Eagles is number 4 Morgan Harper
  • Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Tuipulotu Katoa
    Winger for Sea Eagles is number 5 Reuben Garrick
  • Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Kyle Flanagan
    Five-Eighth for Sea Eagles is number 6 Kieran Foran
  • Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Jake Averillo
    Halfback for Sea Eagles is number 7 Daly Cherry-Evans

Forwards

  • Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Jack Hetherington
    Prop for Sea Eagles is number 8 Taniela Paseka
  • Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
    Hooker for Sea Eagles is number 9 Lachlan Croker
  • Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Luke Thompson
    Prop for Sea Eagles is number 10 Martin Taupau
  • 2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Jackson Topine
    2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 11 Haumole Olakau'atu
  • 2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Matt Doorey
    2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 12 Karl Lawton
  • Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Josh Jackson
    Lock for Sea Eagles is number 13 Sean Keppie

Interchange

  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Bailey Biondi-Odo
    Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 14 Dylan Walker
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Joe Stimson
    Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 15 Ben Trbojevic
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Ava Seumanufagai
    Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 16 Kurt De Luis
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Chris Patolo
    Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 17 Toafofoa Sipley

Reserves

  • Reserve for Bulldogs is number 19 Lachlan Lewis
    Reserve for Sea Eagles is number 18 Moses Suli

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Key match-up

Nick Meaney v Reuben Garrick: The Bulldogs have lost two fullbacks in the past week after Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (to the Warriors mid-season) and Nick Meaney signed with other clubs, but at least Meaney doesn’t move to the Storm until 2022.

He’s scored four tries in 10 games this year and is deceptively fast, which will test the reflexes and reaction times of Reuben Garrick who is likely to be filling in again for Tom Trbojevic.

Stat attack

The Bulldogs stand proudly at the head of the NRL in set completions with 81 per cent - pipping both the Storm and the Panthers (80%). They also lie equal fourth for intercepts (6) behind the Rabbitohs (8), Sea Eagles and Roosters (7).

 

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