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First Grader
UNHERALDED Manly forward Matt Ballin is emerging as a shock challenger for the Sea Eagles' hooking job with coach Des Hasler giving him a crack at the position in this month's trial against the Melbourne Storm.

Young Ballin's impressive summer of training is putting incumbent Michael Monaghan and 2006 five-eighth Travis Burns both under pressure for the number nine jumper this year.

With Jamie Lyon to be given first crack at five-eighth, Burns will join Monaghan and Ballin in tangling for the hooking role.

Experienced utility Shayne Dunley is also in the mix, but Ballin continues to push his cause with a strong off season.

Hasler yesterday confirmed Ballin will play in the Sea Eagles opening trial match against Melbourne at Quad Park on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

``He's shaping up very well,'' Hasler said yesterday of the 23-year-old who has played Premier League the past two seasons.

``He will put pressure on for the number nine role.

``Obviously with Monaghan and Dunley also there it's a handy situation to be in from a club perspective.

``But while Matt has been impressive on the training paddock it will really come down to trial form.''

The Queenslander, in his third season at Brookvale, said he is determined to make his top grade debut this year.

``That's the goal,'' Ballin said.

``Hopefully it's achievable this year.

``I'm an 80-minute player but it doesn't worry me, I'll play anywhere as long as it's in first grade.''

Ballin said yesterday he needed to work on his speed if he wanted to cement a place in Manly's NRL squad.

``I need to be a bit faster out of dummy half,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Sea Eagles CEO Grant Mayer yesterday said off-contract Bulldogs prop Mark O'Meley will not be considered for 2008.

``We are more than happy with our existing front-rowers,'' Mayer said.

``Having spent some time with him (O'Meley) at the Bulldogs, Mark's a tremendous player to have around any club.

``We've got depth behind Brent Kite and Jason King and are pretty well covered.''


Does anyone know if this game will be televised , either on Free to air or Fox?

IF there is depth behind King , it musnt be very deep if he is keeping them of the paddock.


First Grader
If we are not chasing Mark O'Meley they must be confident of Kite staying for the 4th year of his contract !pray: I can understand that with the salary cap it would be hard to have 2 international front rowers on the books, this can be seen with departure of Bailey from the Dragons and Astosi and more than likely O'Meley from the Dogs.


Journey Man
well its not very deep.

bryant - good first few games then nothing much
Rose - crap early on then a few good games towards the end, promising for this year
that other bloke - challenged willo for least metres in a game regularly
Sounds like the Camels days are numbered

It would also not be wise to come out saying we are after another prop before this season has even started.

Would not instill much confidence in the current players.

Behind the scenes negotiations are another story.

Stuey Davis’s Socks

Premium Member
Tipping Member
[quote author=Crusher Cleal]
I can't believe Meyer said the words \"more than happy\" and \"existing front rowers\" in the same sentence......

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

JK :clap: :clap: :clap: JK :clap: :clap: :clap:


I'm sure that was a typo - drop the 'S' from existing and you get the true meaning ;)

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