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2GB 2008 Preview: Manly Sea Eagles

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +2,097 / 13
    2008 Preview: Manly Sea Eagles


    Warrick Nicolson | 07/02/08

                        VIDEO - Pay Back Time: All the goss from Brookie

                        STATE OF PLAY
    The Sea Eagles were the best of the rest in 2007 but got blown away by the Melbourne Storm in the second half of the Grand Final.

    They face a tough battle to retain their place at the top end of the table given the improvement and return to full health of other sides.

    Additionally they must overcome the disappointment of losing the decider and make that a motivating force in 2008 rather than dwelling on it negatively.

    Last 3 Finishes:
    2005: 8th
    2006: 6th
    2007: 2nd

    Losing playmaking hooker Michael Monaghan to the UK is a significant loss for the Sea Eagles as they try and build on last year’s relatively successful season.

    Monaghan’s departure places a great deal of pressure onto the shoulders of five-eighth Jamie Lyon who must step up his level of involvement outside skipper and chief organiser Matt Orford.

    Lyon has a worrying tendency to go missing in big games and with the reliable Monaghan no longer around, the boy from Wee Waa must become a man for the Sea Eagles offence to flourish.

    Acquiring Josh Perry and Heath L’Estrange, from the Knights and Roosters respectively, should shore up the depth chart; but Manly can’t rely on Perry to harden up to realise his potential and are expecting Matt Ballin to step up in Monaghan’s absence at hooker, so neither player is a key addition at this stage.

    Glenn Stewart was arguably the find of the 2007 season for any club as he was a standout in his first full NRL campaign – stepping into the huge shoes left by Ben Kennedy in the backrow.

    With Anthony Watmough and Steven Menzies rounding out the backrow, Manly will once again have a big advantage over other teams with their top backrowers capable of playing the full 80 minutes.

    Young forwards Jason Wells, Jack Afamasaga and defensive specialist Luke Williamson provide the backup.

    Late-season bloomer Adam Cuthbertson needs to have a big pre-season to solidify his place in the front row rotation, given veterans Brent Kite and Jason King have the two starting spots wrapped up already.

    Mark Bryant and Glenn Hall offer depth, while two reclamation projects Perry (lack of form) and George Rose (injury) could come into calculations during the year.

    In the backs the Sea Eagles have just the one spot on the wing to fill heading into Round 1.

    Australian incumbent fullback Brett Stewart will wow the crowds with his breathtaking speed and tryscoring ability and he could be joined by another excitement machine if Michael Bani can win the battle with Shane Neumann and former Eel David Vaealiki for the opening on the wing.

    Steven Bell had a down year in terms of tries scored but he’s too good a player to only score seven in a backline also featuring Steve Matai and Michael Robertson.

    1.    STEWART, Brett
    2.    ROBERTSON, Michael
    3.    BELL, Steven
    4.    MATAI, Steve
    5.    BANI, Michael
    6.    LYON, Jamie
    7.    ORFORD, Matt
    8.    KING, Jason
    9.    BALLIN, Matt
    10.    KITE, Brent
    11.    WATMOUGH, Anthony
    12.    STEWART, Glenn
    13.    MENZIES, Steven
    14.    CUTHBERTSON, Adam
    15.    PERRY, Josh
    16.    BRYANT, Mark
    17.    L’ESTRANGE, Heath

    Manly deserve a lot of credit for turning the corner in the last five or six seasons.

    Considering the club was in the cellar as recently as 2004 when they finished 13th; three consecutive Top 8 finishes and a Grand Final appearance later should point to another season of premiership contention for the team everybody loves to hate. A Top 4 result looks very achievable.

  2. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    +5,437 / 74
    5th ha ha they have been reading my predicitons

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