Manly's Monaghan having a ball at No.9 Melbourne captain Cameron Smith might be the Australian Test hooker, but statistics reveal Manly's Michael Monaghan is the most damaging rake in the NRL. Monaghan has emerged as the No.1 attacking weapon for the Sea Eagles ahead of Sunday's grand final against the Storm, with his ability to break the line and set up teammates key to Manly success. The 27-year-old former halfback was knocked out early in last Saturday's preliminary final but rose from his incoherent state at halftime to star in Manly's dominant 28-6 win over North Queensland. Monaghan ranks second in the NRL for linebreak assists, behind the world's best player Johnathan Thurston, and fifth for try assists behind four halfbacks. His stats for those key attacking areas are close to quadruple Kangaroos and Queensland hooker Smith, although Monaghan did enjoy six fruitful games at halfback in 2007. Despite his good form, Monaghan believes his transition from half to hooker hasn't been as successful as he imagined. "It probably took me a little bit longer to adjust than I thought it would," he said. "I probably thought I would jump straight into it and be good at hooker. "It is a lot of work, especially dealing with fatigue. "I've got to the point now where I've adjusted to hooker and am enjoying my time there." It didn't always seem Monaghan was happy at hooker. The arrival of Matt Orford last year, which prompted his positional change, led to rumours Monaghan was to be punted from the Eagles. Earlier this year Monaghan signed a deal to join Warrington and play halfback next season, but he denies ever having a problem playing second fiddle to Orford. "I've enjoyed my time here but obviously I've made the move to go back to halfback but I've never had a drama playing hooker and I've never had a drama playing with Ox," said Monaghan. "He is one of my best mates and we love playing footy together. "(But) if I wanted to stay at the club (last year) I had to make the move (to hooker). "All my mates are here and I love the club too much to give it up easily. "At hooker it's probably the best footy I've played (in my career). I have enjoyed my footy and it helps when you've got a good team around you. "I'm certainly going to leave here with some good memories and hopefully with a premiership." Manly coach Des Hasler praised Monaghan for his ability to make the switch from halfback to hooker. "I reckon he's adapted really well to that role," said Hasler. "He's a real good student of the game. He reads the game really well and prepares really well for the game. "He's had to make changes and he's worked really hard in the off-season to build himself up a little bit. I think he's done a great job." But the job isn't finished yet for Monaghan. With one more game to go, the former Manly captain is dreaming of a fairytale end to his NRL career. "Going out in a grand final is great but it'd be a hollow feeling obviously to lose," said Monaghan. "We're still hungry for more success and we think we are good enough to win."