Our resident Dragons fan is back, with his take on the Game of the Round for Round 8.
GAME OF THE ROUND: ROUND EIGHT – Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – Friday, ANZ Stadium 19.30 local time.
LAST WEEK: Canterbury Bankstown went down in a gutsy effort against the undefeated Melbourne Storm 12-6.
Manly Warringah were embarrassed at home losing to the Gold Coast Titans in an abysmal display 26-14.
THIS WEEK: This match will have all the media attention, with Des Hasler coming up against his old club for the first time since leaving them in the off season. The Bulldogs were be raring to go, and be disciplined and strong in the way only Des Hasler can coach a side. There will definitely be enough preparation under their belts with the bye due to the representative fixtures last weekend.
The Sea Eagles will really have a point to prove. To say that they no longer need Des Hasler. The extra week will have meant that there will be time to forget last week, and look to get up against the better side in the Bulldogs. This is going to be a mouth watering clash. Sea Eagles need to get their season back on track too, another reason that this game is extremely important.
WHAT TO EXPECT: A Canterbury side out to play football. They will not get sucked in to the occasion. Hasler is a great coach, and knows how to fly well under the media radar. They will outline their intentions early. A monster forward pack will pave way for their silky backs. If they can stick to their game plan, they will win.
Manly will need to be just that. Manly. For decades they have been the toughest of opponent to play, and have a style of football which they can only play. Their form in 2011 has been disappointing as a footy fan, but have the experience to make their way out of this slum. They need to be desperate, as two points on offer here is extremely crucial.
THE BATTLE OF: The fullbacks. Bulldogs custodian Ben Barba has been one of the most exciting prospects to emerge from the Toyota Cup and has a freakish ability to make something out of nothing. He will square off against Sea Eagles veteran Brett Stewart, who has been injury plagued in recent seasons, but is starting to make his way back to the player we all knew him as.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON: Steve Turner – Pressing for Origin selection, this slick winger has been in stellar form thus far.
Anthony Watmough – As tough as they come, his physical attributes are intimidating and game changing.
Sorry Manly fans, Hasler and the Doggies will prove too strong, in a 22-8 final score.