Barely six months after that “ridiculous” match in Gosford, the Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs return to the Central Coast as modern day rivals.
A new rivalry established through brutality, aggression and a touch of controversy, Friday night’s showdown between these two title heavyweights shapes as a mouth-watering contest.
The last time these two sides met at Central Coast Stadium, Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey was left livid with a number of contentious referee decisions that perhaps cost his side on the night.
The Bunnies head into the match having climbed above the Roosters as Premiership favourites after Thursday’s victory over their traditional rivals.
It was as if they hadn’t missed a beat over the off-season. Greg Inglis, again, at his destructive best, scoring three tries, as his forwards dominated the game as they did so often last season.
The Sea Eagles, who are coming off a heartbreaking golden point loss at the hands of the Storm last week, will be looking to kick-start their season.
After an almost flawless first half, the Sea Eagles appeared on track for victory. Their attack was simply something to behold.
But an ordinary second half defensive effort saw their opposition trample all over them to claim victory at Brookvale Oval.
However, Captain Lyon has vowed that there won’t be a repeat of last week’s second half performance against the Bunnies on Friday night.
“It was a pretty poor second half from our standards,” Lyon said. “We’ve just got to move on. We just had a look at some video then, so we’ll turn it around this week and hopefully put in a good performance.
Manly Warringah will be without fullback Brett Stewart with a hamstring injury but welcome the return of David Williams and Jason King into the side.
The Sea Eagles have won five of the last seven matches between the two, including last year’s preliminary final,
The Sea Eagles will be expecting, even welcoming, a similarly brutal encounter to their three episodes last year.
MANLY WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES v SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Round 2 - 2014 NRL Premiership
Friday 14 March, 2014 – Central Coast Stadium
NRL Kick-Off 7:45pm
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