The Bulldogs travel to Melbourne to take on the Storm at 4.05PM AEST this Sunday afternoon, after a valiant effort against the Sea Eagles last weekend.
The northern beaches weather made life difficult for all players on the field, yet after a quick start and an early lead for the visitors, some astute game management by the Sea Eagles, saw the Dogs placed under pressure and eventually fall just short.
The Storm will provide a similar challenge this week, with defensive discipline and professionalism in all areas certain to demand the full attention of the blue and whites.
Against Manly, the Dogs were again able to compete well through the centre of the field, despite falling behind in possession and territory.
Much of the same will give the Storm a decided advantage on their home deck, meaning a quick start will once again be critical for the visitors.
Fullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan PapenhuyzenFullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Matt Dufty
Winger for Storm is number 5 Xavier CoatesWinger for Bulldogs is number 2 Braidon Burns
Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis SmithCentre for Bulldogs is number 4 Brent Naden
Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin OlamCentre for Bulldogs is number 20 Jake Averillo
Winger for Storm is number 19 Nick MeaneyWinger for Bulldogs is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron MunsterFive-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Matt Burton
Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome HughesHalfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Brandon Wakeham
Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse BromwichProp for Bulldogs is number 8 Luke Thompson
Hooker for Storm is number 9 Harry GrantHooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-SolomonaProp for Bulldogs is number 10 Paul Vaughan
2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Corey Waddell
2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Tevita Pangai Junior
Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh KingLock for Bulldogs is number 13 Josh Jackson
Interchange for Storm is number 14 Brandon SmithInterchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Bailey Biondi-Odo
Interchange for Storm is number 15 Alec MacDonaldInterchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Chris Patolo
Interchange for Storm is number 16 Trent LoieroInterchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Max King
Interchange for Storm is number 17 Tepai MoeroaInterchange for Bulldogs is number 21 Joe Stimson
Replacement for Storm is number 23 Tyran WishartReplacement for Bulldogs is number 19 Reece Hoffman
- Referee: Adam Gee
- Touch Judge: Nick Morel
- Touch Judge: Darian Furner
- Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein
Round 4, will see Brandon Wakeham given another opportunity to help steer the Bulldogs team around the park, and he will look to build on the partnership he formed for the first time with Matt Burton against the Sea Eagles. Burton’s kicking game was again immense at 4 Pines Park, and will be a test for the back three of every team the Bulldogs face this season.
Jack Hetherington looks likely to miss the rest of the season after a shoulder dislocation against the Sea Eagles and subsequent surgery, meaning Luke Thompson and standout performer, Paul Vaughan, will start up front against a strong Melbourne forward pack, with Corey Waddell slotting into the second row.
Much pre-game talk will surround the return of Josh Addo-Carr and Max King to Melbourne, with both players looking for big performances against their former team. The Bulldogs will also look to build on a strong defensive effort this season that has seen them concede just 33 points across the opening three rounds,
Melbourne enter this match after their first loss of the season against the Eels, whilst the Bulldogs will be looking to take their defensive effort against Manly into this clash.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona v Tevita Pangai Junior: Two aggressive props who sometimes find themselves on the wrong side of the 'controlled aggression' equation will meet in the middle on Sunday and frankly, who knows what's going to happen.
The Storm big man is arguably lucky to be playing this while Pangai has also tested the referees' patience as early as the trial matches. Both are powerful runners and offloaders when channeling that aggression so we could just as easily get fireworks of the good or bad kind.