The best game to watch this weekend, and how to watch it
This week's selection might just promise the most Australian day ever: sunshine, surfing, beer and some good old rugby league south-north rivalry.
If this sounds like your kind of thing, then make your way to the heartland Saturday. Yep, we’re talking Manly. It'll be the 'battle of the beaches' as the Manly Sea Eagles take on the Gold Coast Titans at 7.30pm at Brookvale Oval.
Hot tip for the unfamiliar: "Brooky" is actually about ten minutes from Manly's centre, but the vibe is much better by the beach than near the ground. You can catch a bus out from the West Esplanade or simply grab a cab.
The experts are tipping good weather, so an arvo surf is certainly on the cards. Alternatively, you can get straight on the beers. We recommend 4 Pines Brewing Company on the East Esplanade. Beer lovers will have no doubt tried one of their brews somewhere about town, but nothing quite beats tasting one from the source. Sip on a pint of Kolsch or the Pale Ale in this shrine to the craft of brewing.
Who to watch
Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans continues to grow in stature and should be all the more potent with sidekicks Keiran Foran and Brett Stewart back from injury. This trio will be primed to run amock, but the real contest will be up front as Manly props Jason King and Brent Kite go head to head (literally) with Titan's enforcers Luke Bailey and Luke Douglas. This is a front row clash for the ages.
The Sea Eagles haven't lost a game at Brooky in over a year and don't expect that record to change. After a slow start to the year, the reigning champs hit some form last week and thumped the Panthers. Manly's newfound confidence should see them to a comfortable win over the Titans who are staring down the barrel at five straight losses. Poor sods.
Did you know…
Sea Eagles captain Jason King will play his 200th first-grade game on Saturday. Whilst the veteran played through the Des Hasler golden era, his early days at the club weren't so rosy. On April 14, 2002, exactly ten years prior to this Saturday, King was part of the publicly loathed and hapless 'Northern Eagles' side that was thumped 68-10 by the New Zealand Warriors.
See Manly nightlife in full flight at Shore Club. The three levels of this waterfront joint crank long into the night and the beautiful people of the beaches are there en masse. Also, the Steyne’s been reborn – and we love it.
Best of the rest of the codes
Last time the Waratahs played the Western Force they were booed off the field. Can our boys save their season, and some face? Friday, 9.10pm on Fox Sports.