Thursday’s only NRL Round 5 match is between Manly Sea Eagles and South Sydney Rabbitohs. The opening bounce is set to commence at 19:05 local time with the game to be played at Brookvale Oval. The home team Manly Sea Eagles are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Manly Sea Eagles and South Sydney Rabbitohs.
When: 19:05 | Thursday 31/03/2016
Where: Brookvale Oval
Tip: Manly Sea Eagles at $2.52
Value Tip: First Try Scorer: Dylan Walker at $17.00
1 Brett Stewart, 2 Jorge Taufua, 3 Jamie Lyon, 4 Steve Matai, 5 Tom Trbojevic, 6 Dylan Walker, 7 Apisai Koroisau, 8 Nate Myles, 9 Matt Parcell, 10 Brenton Lawrence, 11 Martin Taupau, 12 Feleti Mateo, 13 Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14 Lewis Brown, 15 Josh Starling, 16 Darcy Lussick, 17 Siosia Vave, 18 Blake Leary, 21 Luke Burgess
Apisai Koroisau has been named to replace Daly Cherry-Evans at halfback. Marty Taupau and Brenton Lawrence return from suspension, pushing Lewis Brown and Josh Starling to the bench. Jamie Buhrer is out with a broken hand.
1 Greg Inglis, 2 Kirisome Auva’a, 3 Bryson Goodwin, 4 Hymel Hunt, 5 Aaron Gray, 6 Cody Walker, 7 Luke Keary, 8 George Burgess, 9 Cameron McInnes, 10 Samuel Burgess, 11 Christopher Grevsmuhl, 12 Kyle Turner, 13 Nathan Brown. Interchange: 14 Damien Cook, 15 Jason Clark, 16 David Tyrrell, 17 Thomas Burgess, 18 Paul Carter, 19 Michael Oldfield
Sam and Tom Burgess both return from neck and ankle injuries respectively, with Kirisome Auva’a elevated to the wing with Alex Johnston out.
They’ve spent the bulk of their careers playing in different positions and had just one training run together in the lead up to Thursday’s NRL clash with South Sydney.
But Manly coach Trent Barrett is maintaining his faith that the class of unlikely halves pairing Apisai Koroisau and Dylan Walker will shine through in the absence of star halfback Daly Cherry-Evans.
With Cherry-Evans expected to miss the next month with a high ankle sprain, much of the side’s fate will depend on Koroisau and Walker and their ability to fire the Sea Eagles’ attack.
After luring Walker from South Sydney late last year, Barrett is attempting to mould the former Test centre into a five-eighth and has had mixed results across the opening four rounds.
Koroisau, who won a premiership at hooker for Souths in 2014, started the year at No.9 but Barrett has backed his limited experience as a playmaker.
The 23-year-old played a handful of games in the halves during his time at Penrith last year, where Barrett served as an assistant coach, and has been used at five-eighth in NSW Cup over the past fortnight after being dropped.
He also ran there during the pre-season.
To make their task more difficult, Koroisau and Walker had just one training session together at Wednesday’s captain’s run due to Manly’s five-day turnaround after beating the Sydney Roosters last Saturday.
“We’ll iron out a few things and the big focus for us tomorrow night is defence,” Barrett said.
Thursday’s clash will be Walker’s first against his former club since his acrimonious split.
“In the back of his mind, that will always be there, but once that ball is kicked, it’s just another game of footy for Dylan,” Barrett said.
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change