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Beware the Dogs

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From the Manly Daily today!

JASON AVEDISSIAN
21jun05

MANLY captain Michael Monaghan has expressed genuine concern his team is off the pace as the Sea Eagles prepare to meet the revitalised Bulldogs at Brookvale Oval on Sunday.

With Test prop Mark O'Meley back, the Dogs ominously moved to within a point of the top eight following their convincing victory over Canberra on Sunday.

At the same time the Sea Eagles overcame a gallant Knights 48-26 to maintain their unbeaten streak at Fortress Brookvale, which now stands at 11 games.

It sets up a daunting clash for the Sea Eagles against the reigning champions, who are finding their feet after a slow start to the defence of their NRL crown.

``They are a dangerous team,'' Monaghan warned yesterday

``(But) it was always going to happen with a few of their players coming back.

``Mark O'Meley has obviously helped them out.

``They will also be better than when we played them last time . . we need to improve.

``If they can get into the finals they will be a massive chance to be in the big one (grand final).''

Monaghan was yesterday nursing a corked calf at a recovery pool session but said he should be fine to start against the Bulldogs.

The Dogs are likely to be without hooker Adam Perry (injured buttocks) for the round 16 meeting with Manly, joining the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, Willie Tonga and Reni Maitua on an extensive injury list. ``We just have to worry about ourselves,'' Monaghan said. ``Apart from the Roosters game, we haven't played some quality football for a while. ``Having players missing and injured hasn't helped. ``The type of football we are playing now won't win us games in the semis.''

Manly coach Des Hasler also warned against taking the Bulldogs lightly, despite their current position just outside the top eight. ``It looks like they are running into form with some players coming back, so we know it won't be easy,'' Hasler said.
 

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