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News: Manly Sea Eagles preview from FoxSports

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

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

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    <p>Manly Sea Eagles preview By Sean Miller of Foxsports.com.au </p><p>EVERYTHING you need to know ... </p><p>Strengths: Manly know what it feels like to reach the summit. The confidence and belief gained from last year’s experience will be a pivotal factor in their quest to go back-to-back. Captain Matt Orford finally has the monkey off his back and will approach this season an inspired leader. Cult hero David ‘Wolfman’ Williams is also back for an encore although he will miss the start of the season through injury. </p><p>Weaknesses: Steve Menzies departure could have a long-lasting negative effect on the club. Sydney Roosters fans can attest to the void left when Brad Fittler decided to hang up his boots. The Beaver may not have been as pivotal to the Sea Eagles’ fortunes as Fittler was to his team, but losing a 16-year veteran, who is the heart and soul of the club, is never going to be easy. There will be no flying under the radar for Des Hasler’s men. E</p><p>very team will be gunning for the Sea Eagles, who have managed to hold onto the majority of their stars. Menzies and Steve Bell are the major exceptions to that rule, but Manly have enough big names to cover their loss. Player to watch: Hooker Matt Ballin has already stepped out from the shadow left by former Sea Eagles captain Michael Monaghan. There were plenty of questions being asked about the No.9’s credentials in 2008, with Ballin silencing the critics following his try-scoring heroics in last year’s decider. With Heath L’Estrange pushing him all the way, Ballin will again establish himself as Manly’s go-to man up the middle. Biggest question?: </p><p>Will the Sea Eagles suffer a premiership hangover? Last year was such an emotional time for the club, fuelled by Menzies’s farewell. It’s always tough being the hunted, and Manly will have the added pressure of losing more troops around Origin time. Complacency is something the Sea Eagles will need to monitor. </p><p>Wazza's prediction: 1st Okay, okay, it’s hardly going out on a limb predicting that the reigning premiers will make it back-to-back titles, but teams who win grand finals as impressively as the Sea Eagles did usually go on to give the defence of their premiership a red-hot go. The Menzies magic may be gone, but the work ethic remains, as long as the co-owners don’t kill each other and their team’s chances at the same time.</p>

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