Bring it on- Warriors

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First Grader
Bring it on say Eagles

The New Zealand media and the public have loaded enormous pressure on the Warriors to wipe the floor with the Sea Eagles at Ericsson Stadium tomorrow.

All week and even after Manly arrived in Auckland yesterday it has been a question of how far the Warriors.

Manly's forward pack has been called ordinary; our off-season buying uninformed and the Warriors coach has been quoted as saying his side will win clearly ``if they turn up.''

We are saying absolutely nothing.

But we are ready to go to war if we have to ... and we expect to.

No one but people close to us know the hard work that has been put into the rebuilding of the Sea Eagles.

The spirit is excellent and they will spill blood for one another.

And while we will treat the Warriors with respect they don't scare us in any way.

They have some champions in their side but so do we.

They have great experience with Ruben Wiki and Steve Price but we are happy with Steve Menzies, Ben Kennedy and Terry Hill. I believe Manly have some of the best young up- and-comers in the game in Brett Stewart, Jason King, Anthony Watmough and Sam Harris.

What's more they are now well versed with the pace and power of the NRL.

They have been on the end of some hidings in their short careers but they have learned their trade well.

Stewart simply sizzles at the back and the quietly-spoken 20-year-old from the South Coast is a match-winner.

King is signed until 2008 and has a couple of influential selectors saying he will play City and maybe State of Origin this season.

Watmough has that burner gear when it comes to speed and has latched himself to Ben Kennedy's hip to learn the art of backrow play. This tough youngster from the Narrabeen Sharks won't let a Maori haka worry him one bit.

Sam Harris has taken a while to blossom back in league but has worked his backside off in the off season to earn his starting spot tomorrow.

A couple of the Warriors should wear targets on their jerseys tomorrow.

They are their match-winners Stacey Jones and Lance Hohaia who, if allowed to run, can tear any opposition apart.

In defence they can be plasticine men and they will have plenty of big men in maroon and white running at them wide of the ruck area.

The Warriors carry the weight of a nation on their broad shoulders tomorrow.

Humiliated in the one dayers in the cricket they are looking for success on the footy field.

The pressure from outside will build up to a peak at kick off time.

The longer the Sea Eagles can stick with the Warriors the better it will be.

The only promise I will make is that we have the legs to run out a full 80 minutes.

Our scouts tell us the Warriors are much improved in this area - leaner than they have been in recent seasons.

They will need to be. Bring on the real thing ... the off season has been too long.

WHAT does Steve Menzies have to do to receive some official recognition in the game of rugby league?

On the field and off it this humble champion remains an ornament to professional sport.

At last week's official launch of the NRL plenty of players received recognition for their performances in the last season or two.

Not a word about Menzies - to my knowledge he wasn't even invited.

Last season he became the greatest try scoring forward in the history of the game ... busting a record which has stood since 1922!

He starts his 14th season in first grade with the one club tomorrow just two tries short of becoming only the fifth player in the history of the game to score 150 tries.

Beaver has scored 148 meat pies in 266 first grade games.

Only Ken Irvine, Andrew Ettingshausen, Terry Lamb and the legendary Harold Horder have reached the 150 landmark.

Menzies doesn't look for headlines and throughout his magnificent career has only got them for his deeds on the field.

But off it he is a model citizen.

Just ask six-year-old Jasmine Holliday, a beautiful little local girl who suffers from cancer!

Jasmine has recently had three ribs removed to help in her recovery. Like a lot of local kids she admires the beaver and had a smile bigger than Luna Park when he popped into a Dee Why restaurant on Wednesday night to present her with an autographed Sea Eagles ball.

Together with team captain Michael Monaghan, Menzies stayed and talked to the youngster for a half an hour and promised to take her to an upcoming game at Brookvale Oval.

Another ill youngster Mitchell Bradbury was too sick to attend the function but his footy will be delivered.

Menzies does hundreds of such things every season and does it with sincerity.

Soo too does Monaghan who wants to work with sick and handicapped children after his football days are over.

These are the stories the public should get to hear about before pigeon holing all football players on the pathetic behaviour of a few.

NOT all the Kiwis will be cheering for the Warriors at Ericsson Stadium against the Sea Eagles tomorrow.

Kylie Leuluai comes from one of Auckland's most famous rugby league families and a group of 30 (I kid you not) will be in the hitman's corner with as much maroon and white as they can muster.

Sam Harris has a big group of family members attending while John Hopoate seems to have relatives all over the Pacific.
"...while John Hopoate seems to have relatives all over the Pacific."

:D :D :D

<span class='smallblacktext'>[ Edited Sat Mar 12 2005, 11:43AM ]</span>
<span class='smallblacktext'>[ Edited Sat Mar 12 2005, 11:43AM ]</span>

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