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Alternate Preview: Adversity breeds character

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Dan, May 6, 2005.

  1. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    +5,437 / 74
    By Matabele 6th May 2005

    There's been a lot of high sounding nonsense written over the last two
    months about the resurgence of Manly and the new steel in the side. All of
    that will be as blaring brass and clashing cymbal in coming weeks should we
    start to see Manly succumb to the kind of weak capitulations that have been
    the hallmark of the past three seasons.

    There is no doubt that last week's flogging at the hands of the Broncos and
    the injuries that came out of it are large setbacks to our ambitions.
    However there should be no reason for these to be used as an excuse and
    allow the team to stumble their way through the next few weeks bleating
    about bad luck and waiting for players to return to the fold.

    The reality is that the true mettle of a side is found when it faces
    adversity and responds to it. If there really is steel in the side, as has
    been widely proclaimed, the only option is for the players on the paddock to
    dig deep and find the extra effort required to cover the losses in

    Let's have a look at some of the problems that have struck the side.
    Firstly, in some ways we are victims of our success. We have three players
    involved in the City Origin side on Friday night who will need to back up in
    less than 48 hours. Worse is that all three players are integral parts of
    our forward pack and will surely be feeling the bruises and bumps of what
    should be a torrid thumping from the Country side. So already we have half
    of our forward pack at significantly less than 100% going into Sunday's

    This scenario is further aggravated by injury and suspension to a further
    three players. Brent Kite has been our best forward this year but will miss
    the game with a shoulder injury. Heckenberg is gone for four weeks and we
    will surely miss him as he has been our hardest working forward over the
    past eighteen months, often leading both the hit-ups and tackle counts. We
    also have hit man Kylie Leuluai missing for two weeks after a high shot last

    So how will these problems be addressed? Losing three props would hurt any
    side. However, I have a gut feeling that Bryant is going to be something of
    a surprise packet and will not let us down. Sam Harris has lifted his game
    in recent weeks and will hopefully take the opportunity of more game time to
    show off his ability to take the ball up hard and pop the odd pass in
    traffic. This time last year he was donning a City jumper. Surely his
    exclusion this year will provide enough motivation to extract a big game.
    It is essential that King backs up and contributes more than he has in
    recent weeks.

    Williamson will move back into the second row and will need to play a lot of
    minutes and get through a lot of work seeing as Watmough and Menzies will
    already be fatigued from the City game. This opens the door for Randall to
    come back and press for a more permanent presence in the side. Randall has
    been extremely disappointing since his stand-out 2003 season and he needs to
    increase his commitment at the tackle and find some focus and concentration
    with ball in hand.

    Kennedy will need to be heavily involved, not only on the field but also by
    generating talk prior to and during the game. The lack of communication in
    the side in the first half last week against Brisbane was notable and we
    paid a high price for it. Kennedy will need to make sure that heads are
    screwed on as players take the field and that the talk, especially in
    defence, happens throughout the game.

    Our success this year has been built up front through dominant performances
    by our pack. However, last week the forwards were thrown around like rag
    dolls and the word 'decimated' could be applied to our stocks this week when
    injuries and fatigue are taken into account. They will need to dig deep if
    we are to win.

    There is no doubt that the Tigers have the advantage in the halves and their
    backline. In fact I'd contend that Manly fields the weakest combination of
    numbers 2-5 in the NRL. Therefore it is essential that our forwards shake
    off any complacency and the horrors of the past week and lay a disciplined,
    no mistakes platform for the side.

    If the planets align, our players play their hearts out and our three rep
    players back up and contribute some significant game time we can squeak home
    and win by two. If we take the field with heads bowed then Fortress
    Brookvale will crumble with the Tigers winning by twenty. A big crowd is
    essential to inspire our players as well as a lop-sided penalty count our
    way from the referee.

    Key match-ups:

    King versus Skandalis: Both players are in the City side and will be
    backing up. Skandalis gives 100% every time he plays whilst King has been
    ordinary in recent weeks in terms of involvement and effort. King needs to
    extract every ounce of his remaining energy and make 150 metres plus if
    we're to have a chance in this game.

    Moanaghan versus Prince: Prince is pressing for a Queensland State of
    Origin berth whilst Moanaghan has been given a reality check in the form of
    his snubbing for the Country side. Both players provide the attacking spark
    for their sides and will be hoping for big games and a few more notches in
    the try assists column.
  2. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

    +1,720 / 71
    Couldn't agree more, I hope we get away with this game but :blah: :blah: :blah:
  3. CliffyIsGod

    CliffyIsGod Well-Known Member

    +17 / 0
    Can you condense it to a size I could be arsed reading?

  4. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +466 / 6
    Summary - losing 4 props is a bugger but this is the sort of game you need to win if you want to be considered a contender.

    Look for a big game from Bryant.
  5. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    +5,437 / 74
    so are we now a contender?
  6. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +466 / 6
    We will know after the next 4 weeks.
  7. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    +5,437 / 74
    But I thought you and a few other were touting this as THE TRUE TEST!
  8. Volley

    Volley Well-Known Member

    +560 / 15
    No, the game against the Dogs is the "true test".

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