What chance a 'Brooky barney' when Manly host Parra? Picture: Getty Images/abc.net.au
Manly v Parramatta
Sunday, March 23 – 14.05pm (AEST)
Things you need to know:
Glenn Stewart appears to have recovered from the groin strain that kept him out of Manly's gutsy 14-12 win over South Sydney last weekend. His return sees Jamie Buhrer drop back to the bench. Winger Jorge Taufua (shoulder), forward Tom Symonds (back) and star number one Brett Stewart (hamstring) could all be available again in coming weeks. Parramatta coach Brad Arthur will give the side that were embarrassed by 50-points against the Roosters a second chance to prove it was a one-off. Hooker Nathan Peats returns following a club-imposed suspension, while fiery prop Darcy Lussick misses the clash with his former club after copping a four-game ban for trying to decapitate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. The Eels have won just three of their last 13 games against Manly and conceded a whopping 90 points in their two meetings last season.
Reason to watch:
He played a key role in the last Sea Eagles team to win a premiership but Will Hopoate returns to Brookvale for the first time now in Blue and Gold. After an impressive outing in round 1, Hopoate was horribly exposed by the rampant Roosters last weekend and will be keen to atone against his former team-mates and in front of family and friends. Eels prop Mitchell Allgood and Manly centre Steve Matai almost took matters to the carpark last time they side's met at Brookie and hopefully they will cross paths again.
Reason to turn away:
The Eels were woeful last week, drudging up memories of their struggles of the past two seasons. If they are that bad again, this could get ugly. Manly put 50 on Parra on their last visit to the Peninsula and the home side love nothing playing in front of their home fans on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
"There is a bit of a rivalry with every club - everyone seems to want to beat Manly. There's something weird about it. It's uplifting and something that you want to disprove I guess. Everyone seems have that gripe against Manly. One of the best signs in the crowd is 'Guess What? Manly hates you too!!!'. It's good to be a part of that and we always want to beat Parramatta. This week is no exception." – Sea Eagles prop Brenton Lawrence
These two club's share a long and passionate history and have been rivals ever since they entered the competition together back in 1947. But even with all that hate it's hard to mount an argument for the Eels to stand up to Manly. Parra might go with the home side early as they look for redemption from last weekend but the home side's class should come to the fore soon after that. Sea Eagles by 22