NRL Round 15 – Match 4 Preview: Manly Sea Eagles v South Sydney Rabbitohs

The second Saturday showdown for Round 15 should be a cracker as the Rabbitohs head to Brookvale to take on the Sea Eagles at home and with both teams blessed with the return of some big name players this is probably the most anticipated match of the season.

A real top eight treat, South Sydney and Manly are head-to-head on the ladder currently ranked fifth and sixth respectively with seven wins.

The Bunnies had a big 50 – 22 loss to the rising Broncos last week and will be hurting from the defeat. They never really seemed to show or put up much fight missing some of their main players due to suspension, Test and Origin duties. Giant Dave Taylor returns after a big game for the Maroons on Wednesday, lively hooker Issac Luke is back after his one-match ban last week, and Sam Burgess also returns with all three primed to make a big impact.

Origin had no effect on the Sea Eagles this year, the first time in a long time they had no Origin reps as both Jamie Lyon and Anthony Watmough missed the match due to injury. Both have been named to return this match and it will be a huge home game for these two if they can make it through the full 80 minutes without re-injury.

With their inspirational captain back in charge and the home ground advantage, Manly start as the favourites; Ladbrokes.com.au have the Sea Eagles as the $1.60 favourites while the Rabbitohs are currently paying $2.35 for a win.

However with Taylor, Luke and Burgess back, if the Bunnies can pick up their defence then they could cause an upset. We are going to pick the underdogs here and say that the reinforced Rabbitohs will bounce back from their thrashing last week and take down Manly at home.

The last time these two met back in Round eight, Manly beat the Rabbitohs 30 – 22, but we predict a turning of the tables. It is an important match for both teams as a loss could see them drop out of the top eight and being more than half-way through the season, this is something neither can afford.

Current Head-to-Head Odds:

Sea Eagles $1.60 – Rabbitohs $2.35 Ladbrokes.com.au

Round 15 Sea Eagles Team:

1. Ben Farrar 2. Michael Robertson 3. Jamie Lyon 4. Steve Matai 5. Tony Williams 6. Kieran Foran 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Jason King 9. Matt Ballin 10. Josh Perry 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Shane Rodney 13. Glenn Stewart

Bench: 14. Foe Galuvao 15. Brent Kite 16. Matt Cross 17. George Rose

Reserves: 18. Chris Bailey

Round 15 Rabbitohs Team:

1. Rhys Wesser 2. Nathan Merritt 3. Beau Champion 4. Colin Best 5. Fetuli Talanoa 6. John Sutton 7. Chris Sandow 8. Luke Stuart 9. Issac Luke 10. Roy Asotasi 11. Sam Burgess 12. Dave Taylor 13. Ben Lowe

Bench: 14. Garret Crossman 15. Shannan McPherson 16. Dave Tyrell 17. Jason Clark