Benji Marshall v Todd Carney
In the battle of the playmakers, Benji Marshall goes up against Todd Carney in what is sure to be an exciting encounter at Allianz Stadium. Both five-eighths have plenty to play for as they look to bounce back into form this round.
Marshall's early return from a toe injury last week didn't go as planned, with the Bulldogs thumping the Wests Tigers 40-4. While Marshall will wear the number six on his back tonight, he will play a similar role to halves partner Curtis Sironen as they lead the team around the park. It may be a fair way down the track, but being picked in the New Zealand side for the World Cup will also be in the back of Marshalls mind.
Sharks pivot Carney is fresh from inking a new five-year deal at Cronulla and will now be focusing on pushing his claims for the Blues number six jersey. After missing the start of the year through injury, Carney has been slowly increasing his involvement alongside Jeff Robson. While Robson claimed the glory last week with a one-pointer to defeat the Knights, Carney is no doubt the danger man in the Sharks backline.
Marika Koroibete v Beau Ryan
What a battle this is shaping up to be. Former Wests Tigers winger Beau Ryan lines up against his old club for the first time and faces a tough task, marking up on flying Fijian Marika Koroibete.
Koroibete also returned from injury last week against the Bulldogs, with the speedster confident of being back to his best this week. After sharing the Wests Tigers rookie of the year award in 2013 with Curtis Sironen, Koroibete has emerged as one of the most exciting players in the NRL. With speed to burn, look out for his combination with Marshall during tonights game.
Beau Ryan will face plenty of familiar faces at Allianz Stadium but will have plenty of work to do in shutting down Koroibete. After impressing in the early rounds, Ryan travelled to Coffs Harbour with the Country team as 18th man. During his time at the Wests Tigers, Ryan scored 46 tries in 104 games.
James Tedesco v Michael Gordon
For the second time this year, Michael Gordon and James Tedesco will face off against each other after battling it out in the City v Country fixture in in Coffs Harbour.
In a disappointing team performance last week against the Bulldogs, Tedesco gained the most metres (160m) and claimed the Wests Tigers lone try. While Tedesco has played just six first grade games, his impressive form remarkably earned him selection as the City fullback.
Gordon turned in an impressive performance last week against the Knights, running 205 metres in the 21-20 win. The former Panther is in the mix for the NSW fullback position, even more so following the injury to Brett Stewart last week. With just three games to play before the teams are selected, Gordon will definitely be out to impress.