Brent Kite of the Sea Eagles pushes away from the defence during the round three NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Manly Sea Eagles at Skilled Park on March 23, 2013 in Gold Coast, Australia.
Brent Kite of the Sea Eagles pushes away from the defence during the round three NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Manly Sea Eagles at Skilled Park on March 23, 2013 in Gold Coast, Australia. Bradley Kanaris / Getty Images

Manly need to switch gears for round 4 match against Tigers


Sea Eagles v Tigers

History: Played 17, Sea Eagles 10, Tigers 7

Last met: Sea Eagles 22-18, round 2, 2012

Although unluckily beaten last weekend after scoring three tries to two, the Sea Eagles were below par.

They will need to find another gear against the Tigers who were quite impressive against the Eels, with big guns Farah and Marshall firing.

All things being equal, the Sea Eagles should be too strong at home.

And hopefully Daly Cherry-Evans has lost that absurd and distracting haircut.



Bulldogs v Rabbitohs

History: Played 145, Bulldogs 77, Rabbitohs 64, drawn 4

Last met: Bulldogs 32-8, preliminary final, 2012

This is undoubtedly the match of the round, and the return of Ben Barba not only assures a big Good Friday crowd, but will add some much-needed attacking starch to the 'Dogs.

The return of big Frank Pritchard is also timely.

But while the Rabbitohs have been criticised for clocking off last week, they always appeared to have another gear in them.

Presumably they subscribe to the theory that premierships are not won in March.


Broncos v Storm

History: Played 32, Storm 20, Broncos 11, 1 draw

Last met: Storm 19, Broncos 18, round 24, 2012

At season's start this looked to be a 'must do' Easter event for sports fans, a genuine entertainer.

But if the opening rounds of the premiership are an indicator, it could be embarrassingly one-sided.

The impressive defence of the Broncos will certainly be tested by the Storm, but if the locals mount the same toothless attack as last week, their poor 3-7 record against the Storm at this ground will become even more depressing.



Sharks v Dragons

History: Played 30, Sharks 15, Dragons 14, drawn 1

Last met: Dragons 18-10, round 19, 2012

Coach Steve Price is either a true believer or has nothing in his arsenal, because making only minor changes to his Dragons line-up after three successive defeats is difficult to decipher.

Their insipid halves are the real issue and on Saturday they come up against the in-form Todd Carney who is leading the Sharks brilliantly.

With Shane Flanagan back in charge the Sharks should romp this in, although local derbies are never predictable.



Panthers v Titans

History: Played 7, Panthers 4, Titans 3

Last met: Panthers 36-22, round 25, 2012

The flimsy Panthers can also score points, as evidenced by their 82/82 differential, and will present a formidable challenge in this.

But the stingy defence of the Titans - the best in the premiership at 26 conceded - will be the greatest obstacle for the home side, which never gave up against the Rabbitohs last weekend.

The battle of the classy big boppers up front will be the decider.


Knights v Raiders

History: Played 37, Raiders 20, Knights 16, 1 draw

Last met: Knights 36-6, round 21, 2012

If their two home performances is a yardstick, the Knights may well be unbeatable in Newcastle this season.

They haven't just won, they have thrashed their opponents - and looked the goods in doing so.

The return of Danny Buderus is a bonus and his leadership is invaluable.

Although the Raiders were much better last weekend, one swallow does not make a summer. Knights to win, again.



Warriors v Cowboys

History: Played 31, Warriors 16, Cowboys15

Last met: Cowboys 52-12, round 23, 2012

Who would have thought that heading to the play the winless Warriors - who have now lost 11 successive NRL matches - the Cowboys would be staring down the barrel of a 1-3 start after being one of the pre-season hotshots?

While the Warriors have been woeful, the Cowboys have been poor, conceding 66 points in their past two outings.

The home team has won 12 of the past 13 between these clubs, so an upset is on the cards.


Roosters v Eels

History: Played 123, Eels 60, Roosters 58, 5 draws

Last met: Eels 36-22, round 23, 2012

Despite their continued ill-discipline - on and off the field it seems - the Roosters look good under new coach Trent Robinson.

A work in progress admittedly, new buys SBW, Michael Jennings and James Maloney are delivering real value.

And while the Eels are certainly a much better side under Ricky Stuart, they lack the killer blow needed to win tight games and need much, much more from co-captain Jarryd Hayne.

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