Friday Night Brookvale Oval will host a blockbuster match up when the Sea Eagles take on the Bulldogs. Both sides are equal on form, with each side enduring a shaky start to 2015 but enjoying welcomed results in round 2.
The match up between these two has become a fiery rivalry since former Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler moved to the Canterbury Bankstown side back in 2012.
Since 2012, the clashes between these two teams have been tense affairs. Only twice have the two sides been separated by more then eight points in eight games.
The Bulldogs have had the recent run of results against the Sea Eagles, most notably; the one point win in last years semi final clash, which was ironically dispatched by former Manly halfback, Trent Hodkinson.
Last weeks it was Manly’s first half performance that got them the result over the Storm. The energy and speed of their front men was productive and having Feleti Mateo at five eighth allows Manly’s quicker second row to pounce on any available offloads he can produce.
The Bulldog’s however, are a fast finishing team. Scoring 30 of their combine 50 points in the last 15 minutes of the game, where as the Sea Eagles are still to post a second half score in their first two games, which may play in the favour of a rampant Bulldogs comeback. Something Head Coach, Geoff Toovey, will need to address.
The Sea Eagles will be glad they’re back at the Fortress this week, with the return to Brookvale injecting some free flowing football into the side. One young man who got his first run in two years, Ligi Sao, was looking forward to getting back out in front of the Brookvale faithful.
“I enjoyed every minute of it. They're a great crowd,” Sao said.
“I was really happy with last week, a win against the Melbourne Storm is always good.”
Also retaining his spot in the first team is, Jake Trbojevic, who Sao has played many games with in NSW Cup. The Kiwi prop was delighted to have his teammate join him in the step-up to the top grade.
“I was very happy to have Jake playing alongside me. It was really special win and moment for both of us.”
With only a point sepearting the sides last year, expect another great tussle between the two sides.