Manly, Souths get key men back - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly, Souths get key men back

David Beniuk 09/07/2011 01:49:49 PM Comments (0)

Manly and South Sydney will welcome back key forwards looking to finally get their NRL seasons underway when they clash at Brookvale Oval on Sunday.

Sea Eagles pair Shane Rodney and Brent Kite will take their places after long injury lay-offs, while the Rabbitohs' Ben Lowe will play his first game since round one.

Rodney passed a fitness test on Friday and will take his place on Manly's bench for his first NRL game of the year.

The former Penrith backrower dislocated his shoulder playing in the NSW Cup in round one and required surgery.

That game was supposed to have been Rodney's comeback from a serious knee injury suffered late last year.

Kite will start in the front row after overcoming a rib problem that has sidelined him since round 12.

NSW State of Origin representatives Glenn Stewart and Anthony Watmough will also back up after Wednesday night's loss to Queensland.

Souths' pack has been decimated by injury again this year, and Lowe was one of the first to go down when he suffered a fractured foot in the opening round loss to the Sydney Roosters.

His expected return to the Rabbitohs' bench will be cause for a double celebration after he this week re-signed with the club until the end of 2014.

The outsiders face a mountainous task in a match they need to win to stay in touch with the top eight.

Souths were smashed 26-4 by Cronulla last week and have lost 10 of their past 11 games at Brookvale.

But Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler is wary of the unpredictable Rabbitohs, who notched a 32-30 victory over Manly at Gosford's Bluetongue Stadium in round four.

"That was probably one of their best games of the year up there," Hasler said.

"Coming off last week they'd be a little bit disappointed after the game they had against the Sharks but for some reason they always come ready to play against us and we're expecting a pretty hard game.

"They've got good individuals - the way Greg Inglis played (on Wednesday) night, (Chris) Sandow is very good, Issac Luke is his country's (New Zealand's) hooker, John Sutton is always an unknown quantity ... and a fairly willing forward pack."

Manly will slip behind St George Illawarra into third place if they lose, with the Dragons having the bye this round.

Suspended centre Steve Matai's place has been taken by speedster Michael Oldfield.

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