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Sea Eagles v Bulldogs: Aloiai to start; Wakeham replaces Lewis

Tom Trbojevic crossed for a hat-trick when the Sea Eagles thrashed Canterbury in round 16 and the Bulldogs won't be relishing the prospect of facing a refreshed Turbo in the rematch.

Memories of that 66-0 hammering won't have faded and the bad news isn't just limited to the prospect of more pain from Trbojevic, who was given the week off after suffering a minor facial injury against the Eels, given the multiple threats Manly present across the park.

Skipper Daly Cherry-Evans took command in Trbojevic's absence to get the Sea Eagles home against Canberra while wingers Jason Saab and Reuben Garrick are tied for third on the try-scoring table with 20 apiece, one ahead of their fullback. 

Manly will be intent on maintaining their challenge for fourth place so there is little chance of an easing in intensity.

For their part, the Bulldogs have had yet another wooden spoon confirmed and while they have consistently put in committed displays just don't have the cattle to get a result.

The rundown

Team news

Sea Eagles: Superstar fullback Tom Trbojevic is back on deck after missing the Canberra game due to a cheekbone injury and will play.

Brad Parker also returns after he was given a week off following a high shot.

In a minor change announced one hour before kick-off, Josh Aloiai comes into the starting side with Tofoafoa Sipley dropping back to the bench. Moses Suli will be the 18th man for the Sea Eagles.

Cade Cust and Jack Gosiewski dropped off the reserves list 24 hours before kick-off. Kurt De Luis was omitted on game day.

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

Bulldogs: Jake Averillo (foot) will not make his return with Brandon Wakeham replacing Lachlan Lewis at five-eighth. Wakeham finally earns a recall after joining the squad in Queensland for the first time since round 15.

Lewis, who has been stood down by the club due to an alleged off-field incident, and Watson Heleta were omitted from the playing squad on Saturday. 

Sione Katoa has been elevated to start at hooker with Bailey Biondi-Odo back on the interchange. Jackson Topine was promoted to the interchange after Wakeham went into the run-on side. Falkiko Manu will be the 18th man.

The Bulldogs have lost 14 consecutive games in Queensland.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Sea Eagles is number 1 Tom Trbojevic
    Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Nick Meaney
  • Winger for Sea Eagles is number 2 Jason Saab
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Corey Allan
  • Centre for Sea Eagles is number 3 Brad Parker
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Will Hopoate
  • Centre for Sea Eagles is number 4 Morgan Harper
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Aaron Schoupp
  • Winger for Sea Eagles is number 5 Reuben Garrick
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Jayden Okunbor
  • Five-Eighth for Sea Eagles is number 6 Kieran Foran
    Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 14 Brandon Wakeham
  • Halfback for Sea Eagles is number 7 Daly Cherry-Evans
    Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Kyle Flanagan

Forwards

  • Prop for Sea Eagles is number 10 Martin Taupau
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Ava Seumanufagai
  • Hooker for Sea Eagles is number 9 Lachlan Croker
    Hooker for Bulldogs is number 17 Sione Katoa
  • Prop for Sea Eagles is number 17 Josh Aloiai
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Jack Hetherington
  • 2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 11 Haumole Olakau'atu
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Matt Doorey
  • 2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 12 Josh Schuster
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Joe Stimson
  • Lock for Sea Eagles is number 13 Jake Trbojevic
    Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Josh Jackson

Interchange

  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 8 Toafofoa Sipley
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 9 Bailey Biondi-Odo
  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 14 Dylan Walker
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Ofahiki Ogden
  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 15 Karl Lawton
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Chris Patolo
  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 16 Curtis Sironen
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 20 Jackson Topine

Reserves

  • Reserve for Sea Eagles is number 18 Moses Suli
    Reserve for Bulldogs is number 19 Falakiko Manu

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Senior Review Official: Chris Butler

Last updated:

Key match-up

Jake Trbojevic v Josh Jackson: Two veterans who play the game the right way and never take a play off. Both are excellent defenders who set the standard in that department but the Sea Eagles lock has the edge in attack, acting as a link man who plays a key role in bringing Manly's attacking weapons into the game. 

Stat attack

Manly will be looking to extend a five-game winning streak against the Bulldogs which has seen them outscore Canterbury 166-42 for an average victory margin of a tick under 25 points.

 

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