NRL Preview | Round 22 v Bulldogs

Both Manly and Canterbury have been out the top-eight race for a number of rounds, but both are doing their utmost to avoid 'winning' the wooden spoon by toppling finals-bound sides last week.

The hosts showed their trademark grit to beat Cronulla in golden point while the Bulldogs thrashed the Broncos in their best performance of 2018.

Canterbury have actually claimed back-to-back wins for the first time this season, having defeated Wests Tigers in round 20, and will be chasing a rare three-game winning streak against a rejuvenated Sea Eagles outfit.

Key match-up: Dylan Walker v Lachlan Lewis. The Manly pivot has endured an injury-plagued campaign, with Lewis impressing in his first season in the NRL. With Kieran Foran out for the year with a toe injury, he has filled the void in the halves for the Bulldogs with aplomb.

For the Sea Eagles to win: Give the ball to Shaun Lane. The back-rower bagged a double against the Sharks, making him Manly's leading tryscorer this season with eight. The Trbojevic brothers, Tom and Jake, both have four to their name.

For the Bulldogs to win: More of the same. The Belmore boys are striving for three wins on the trot, and watch for fullback Will Hopoate to dominate where it all began as a standout junior on Sydney's northern beaches.

Match: Sea Eagles v Bulldogs

Round 22 -

Full Time
Sea Eagles

Home Team

Sea Eagles

Scored 18 points
Bulldogs

Away Team

Bulldogs

Scored 6 points

Venue: McGrath Foundation Stadium

Match broadcasters:

  • Fox League
  • LIVE PASS

Sea Eagles Stat Attack: Marty Taupau (63) is king of the offloads, leading the way ahead of Sharks enforcer Andrew Fifita (61). Lock Jake Trbojevic (30) is the most penalised player in the competition.

Bulldogs Stat Attack: Despite sitting in 13th spot, Dean Pay's men boast the equal best set completion rate (79%) alongside the Knights, Tigers and Broncos. Canterbury also have the most post contact metres (10,540) and runs (3522) in the NRL.

And another thing: Both teams have the same win-loss record (6-14) in 2018, well below what both squads would have predicted in pre-season. With pride on the line but no finals, this should be a high-scoring affair.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Sea Eagles is number 1 Tom Trbojevic
    Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Will Hopoate
  • Winger for Sea Eagles is number 2 Jorge Taufua
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Brett Morris
  • Centre for Sea Eagles is number 3 Moses Suli
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Josh Morris
  • Centre for Sea Eagles is number 4 Brian Kelly
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Kerrod Holland
  • Winger for Sea Eagles is number 5 Brad Parker
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Reimis Smith
  • Five-Eighth for Sea Eagles is number 6 Dylan Walker
    Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 20 Matt Frawley
  • Halfback for Sea Eagles is number 7 Daly Cherry-Evans
    Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Jeremy Marshall-King

Forwards

  • Prop for Sea Eagles is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Aiden Tolman
  • Hooker for Sea Eagles is number 9 Manase Fainu
    Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Michael Lichaa
  • Prop for Sea Eagles is number 10 Martin Taupau
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 David Klemmer
  • 2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 11 Joel Thompson
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson
  • 2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 12 Shaun Lane
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Rhyse Martin
  • Lock for Sea Eagles is number 13 Jake Trbojevic
    Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Adam Elliott

Interchange

  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 14 Trent Hodkinson
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Fa'amanu Brown
  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 15 Kelepi Tanginoa
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Danny Fualalo
  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 17 Taniela Paseka
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Ofahiki Ogden
  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 18 Frank Winterstein
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 19 Greg Eastwood

Sea Eagles: Coach Trent Barrett has made one alteration to his original squad named on Tuesday, moving Frank Winterstein to the interchange bench in place of Jack Gosiewski. Matt Wright and Toafofoa Sipley were cut an hour before kick-off, while Tom Wright was omitted on Friday.

Bulldogs: Matt Frawley comes into the starting team for Lachlan Lewis, while Greg Eastwood comes onto the bench with Chris Smith dropping out. Jeremy Marshall-King returns at halfback. David Klemmer returns from suspension, pushing Danny Fualalo to the bench. John Olive was cut an hour before kick-off and Renouf Toomaga was omitted on Friday night.

Head-to-head: Played 127; Sea Eagles 64 wins, Bulldogs 58 wins, 5 draws
Previous result: Bulldogs won 30-16 at ANZ Stadium in round 24, 2017
Points per game: Sea Eagles 20.6; Bulldogs 17
Points conceded per game: Sea Eagles 25.2; Bulldogs 20
Televised: Live on Fox League

Petero Civoniceva's prediction: I have to give the Bulldogs a big rap for the way they played against Brisbane. It would have been easy for them to turn it up but they have dug deep in recent weeks. You could say the same about Manly as well after their gutsy win over the Sharks. Should be a tight contest and both sides will be confident coming off victories but Manly can win at home.

Tip: Sea Eagles by 4