A report from Cairns

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First Grader
Premium Member
This was posted by a fan called Ant on the leagueunlimited forums (hope he doesn't mind me re-posting it)

well a couple of perhaps minor injury concerns first.
Watmough came to a dead halt when running the ball in the first 10 mins, clutching a right leg, hamstring, calf or knee I would assume. He was able to walk off assisted so I would suggest perhaps a muscle strain.
Monaghan, came off early after being smashed when surging for the line, seemed dazed, probably nothing to worry about for round 1.
Orford seemed hurt after scoring his try, once again a bit of a limp.
Menzies was smashed after his got a hospital ball from Lyon, limped off, perhaps a cork.

1. Brett Stewart, little chance, but as usual dangerous chasing kicks.
2. Robertson, was solid, leapt high and good knock back for last Matai try.
3. Bell looked dangerous, went looking for ball, made a lot of half breaks, without getting through. Had good battle with Henry.
4. Matai, was strong, scored 2 tries, but wasn't outstanding.
5. Hicks, thought he was good, went looking for the ball and made a couple of half breaks in the middle.
6. Lyon, was dangerous with his running game/pace of edge of ruck. But his passing game is not that of a top 5/8th.
7. Orford, was the reason for Manly's lead early on, he was their best half. Didn't play much in 2nd half (injured?).
16. Rose, was very good with the ball in first half, made a great break and general handful, slowed down as game wore on.
9. Monaghan, was perhaps Manly's best in 1st quarter, punishing in defence, and great in attack. Smashed from side and behind a metre out from scoring after making 20m bust. Never returned.
10 Kite, was strong all night, without being amazing. Just a good prop.
20. Hall, didn't do anything to suggest he deserves a spot in the 17, but wasn't terrible.
12. Watmough, suffered injury in first 10 mins, had done little in attack till then, but smashed someone in defence.
13. Williamson, was solid, usual Luke, at times looked likely in attack.
8. King, was good when on, probably shaded by kite and rose.
11. Menzies, looked good when he came on. But smashed in 2nd half didn't return.
14. Burns, didn't do much to suggest he should be in number 6. Solid.
15. Ballin, Solid, nothing to really tell.
17. Bryant went quite well, should be in 17.
18. Bani, only came on late, nothing to tell.
19. Solid, nothing to tell.

- orford is the key
- lyon seems a more dangerous choice at 5/8th.
- hicks and bell are a dangerous right side combo.
- Rose looked pretty fit, and was good in opening exchanges.
- goaline defence and defence in general was good, because cowboys probably looked better in attack.

The game was a tough one and a close one. I thought the main props from both sides were very good with ball. Orford, Thurston, Monaghan, Payne and Smith were the danger men. Lyon has to some kicking skills, but needs to work on passing.
Team P W L PD Pts
12 9 3 83 22
13 10 3 80 22
13 9 4 110 20
12 7 5 64 18
12 7 5 -37 18
13 7 6 133 16
13 7 6 81 16
13 7 6 47 16
13 7 6 -34 16
13 6 6 27 15
13 6 6 26 15
14 7 7 -26 14
13 6 7 -47 14
13 4 9 -111 10
12 3 9 -123 10
12 3 9 -136 10
12 2 10 -137 8
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