Round 3 Key Match-Ups

Both win-less so far in 2018, the Sharks and Eels will be hoping to get one on the board tonight. Here's some of the key men that could help to break open the game

Josh Dugan v Bevan French

Having moved from right centre last week against his old side, Josh Dugan returns this week to the number 1 role for the Sharks after a solid showing.

Brad Arthur has said during the week that the Eels too will be moving their centre, Jarryd Hayne, into the Fullback role. He's set to share the duties with the live wire Bevan French.

Dugan was safe under the high ball, brought it back with vigour and defensively held his own during the Sharks last outing. Flanagan will be hoping for more of the same this week against the Eels who will be hungry for points.

Dugan is one of the biggest Fullbacks in the NRL, and although French has been sharp for the Eels so far in 2018, defensively he can struggle against the bigger bodies.

It will be interesting to see how the Eels use French and Hayne, but we know Dugan will again be ripping in to get the Sharks season kick started with their first win.

Ricky Leutele v Jarryd Hayne

Ricky Leutele has started the new season off on the right foot, but will be looking to take his game to the next level with another strong showing against the Eels.

The Eels star signing in Jarryd Hayne has been a little quiet so far this season, and Brad Arthur wants him to be more involved, hence the switch to sharing the Fullback role as well as his usual centre position tonight.

The Sharks left edge in Leutele and Feki likes playing the Eels, with Feki coming away with a try each time, usually off the back of a strong evasive run from Leutele.

The Sharks left edge will be looking to expose whoever slots in to the centre position when Hayne moves to the back, and if picked apart, the Sharks left side could have a bit of fun tonight.

Matt Prior v Tim Mannah

In order for the backs to work their magic, the go-forward needs to begin in the engine room up front. These two big boppers will be looking to lay the platform for that magic to happen.

Prior has been one of the more consistent performers for the Sharks in the opening two rounds, running hard and strong in defence. He will need to shoulder some more of that responsibility tonight in order to get his halves the space they need to get some points on the board.

This match is much more than just a 'round 3' clash for Tim Mannah, as the Eels skipper looks to honour his late brother and bring home the Johnny Mannah Cup.

The match holds extra significance for both sides though, as they look to honour their friend's memory, and this one will prove to be a big battle up front for both Mannah and Prior.

Whoever can lead their pack forward from the get-go will go a long way to helping their side claim their first two competition points.

 

The Eels v Sharks clash kicks off at 7.30pm at ANZ Stadium, you can pre-purchase your tickets here.