1. GAME OF THE WEEK
WARRIORS v SEA EAGLES (Eden Park)
The marketing types have dubbed it Get Even At Eden but, strictly speaking, that's unlikely to happen.
For starters, it's hard to see Manly handing over their 2011 crown simply for losing a first-round match on the road.
Secondly, let's face it, Eden Park is a graveyard for league in this country.
There's always plenty of optimism that "this will be the time the curse is broken", but once the game kicks off the optimism lasts about as long as a jam donut at Kim Dotcom's mansion.
In a strange twist, both protagonists from the 2011 final head into the rematch with new coaches.
The Warriors are without senior props Sam Rapira and Jacob Lillyman and workhorse lock Micheal Luck, while boom centre Konrad Hurrell and bench forward Ben Henry make their debuts. Manly had a horror pre-season, getting smacked up by Cronulla in trial and then losing the world club challenge match to Leeds.
2. CASUALTY WARD
Where to start? Aside from the Warriors' well-documented woes, put a line through Jarryd Hayne (knee, indefinite), Lote Tuqiri (thumb, Rd 4), Ryan Stig (knee, Rd 4), Tariq Sims (leg, indefinite), Luke Burgess (foot, Rd 12), Jason Ryles (hamstring, Rd 3), Joe Galavao (Achilles, Rd 2), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (lacerated kidney, indefinite), Isaac Gordon (shoulder, Rd 3), Beau Champion (finger, Rd 3), Beau Falloon (pectoral, Rd 12), Kevin Gordon (knee, indefinite) and Dan Hunt (ribs, Rd 4).
3. REF WATCH
The Warriors have landed senior whistler Tony Archer and Ben Cummins.
Archer was one of the officials who missed some key Manly infringements during the grand final - most notably the blocking of Aaron Heremaia during the key try late in the first half.
The other (major) offender, Matt Cecchin, was due to make his season bow alongside Ashley Klein last night. That was the first match for Cecchin since publicly confirming during the off-season that he is gay. Cecchin is the first league figure (not counting Gareth Thomas' brief spell with Celtic Crusaders in Super League) since Ian Roberts to openly admit he is gay.
4. SAY WHAT?
"You always go into Round 1 with a bit of confidence, but you go in with a bit of apprehension as well. You always think, 'Did we do enough of this at training during the off-season, or did we do enough in the trial?' We are reasonably happy with the position we are in, but my opinion on Saturday night at eight o'clock might be different."
Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy sums up the great unknown heading into a new NRL season.
5. ROOKIE WATCH
All the noise across the Ditch is about Tigers newbie James Tedesco, who takes over the title-favourites No 1 shirt after Wade McKinnon's departure for Superleague and Tim Moltzen's switch to halfback.
Tedesco has been compared to Billy Slater by none other than, er, James Tedesco. "Slater's support play and his speed is what I base my game on," said the cocky teenage whippersnapper.
"I'm up there in the sprints at training and I've got pretty good agility off the mark."
Back in Godzone, all eyes will be on Konrad Hurrell and Ben Henry, who are yet to compare themselves to any of the greats.
Multiple development options including Retail, professional offices, restaurant, convenience shopping, fast foods, hardware, car sales and entertainment (subject...
With the market moving and homes selling quickly this quality low set brick home in Raceview is one for the buyers whether you are first home buyers, investors or...
This immaculately presented home is located in a fantastic neighbourhood, within minutes of shops, schools, public transport and highway access. * Perfect for...
This immaculate 3 year old timber home has all the charm of a character home but with all modern features and luxury feel of new home. - Situated on a fully...
The owners of this Brassall Hi Set are keen to sell and the property location of the property is one of its draw cards. The property has two street frontage so...
If you would like to get into the market and you're on a budget, then you have to make the time to inspect this property! - Perfect for first home buyers just...
If you enjoy entertaining whether indoors or outside, this immaculate family home has it all. Boasting modern, stylish sophistication and uncluttered...
This unique home will definitely excite you and your budget, simple but different and great buying with what it has to offer. Just needing a basic touch up but...
This impressive immaculate family home has it all. The large block, large home and fantastic outdoor area with a beautiful sparkling pool and all this luxury in...
Are you tried of the fast paced city living and you dream of that country living with the excitement of waking up each morning to the views of rolling hill sides...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.