Canterbury Bulldogs v Manly Sea Eagles
A re-match comes early this week: just a month after a gritty Bulldogs team outlasted an injury-hit Sea Eagles side at a rainy Brookvale Oval in Round 3, these two old rivals will be back at it – this time on the Homebush turf.
The Bulldogs could certainly use a repeat of that effort – their season was ticking along quite nicely until a dramatic final two minutes against the Rabbitohs two weeks ago which saw three props suspended, fullback Brett Morris suffer a long-term injury and two competition points sail out the window.
The depleted Dogs were soundly beaten by the resurgent Dragons last week and now sit in 10th, although they could so easily have been much higher on the ladder.
Coach Des Hasler has largely stuck with last week's side, again naming Josh Reynolds to start, this time with Moses Mbye on the bench, and with Tim Browne starting and Antonio Kaufusi reverting to an extended bench that also features Danny Fualalo and Herman Ese'ese.
Meanwhile it's desperate times already for the northern beaches club, enduring the equal third-worst start to a season in the club's almost-70-year history. Only twice (once in their debut season of 1947, the other in 1999) have they lost their first six games – 2015 is one of just six years they have gone 1-5.
The club certainly isn't panicking and has a huge in this week with captain Jamie Lyon named to return in the centres. It's doubly timely given their injury woes have hardly eased up; young-gun Tom Trbojevic has been ruled out with an ankle injury so Brayden Wiliame pushes from centre to wing. James Hasson comes on to the bench in place of the injured Jesse Sene-Lefao.