Everyone can see that we need another play maker

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By James Hooper
September 3, 2005

MANLY icon Cliff Lyons has urged halfback Michael Monaghan to refrain from overplaying his hand as the Sea Eagles bid to secure their first finals berth in nine years tonight.

A desperate Manly need Monaghan at his creative best if the Sea Eagles are to upstage an injury-ravaged Canberra in the national capital to limp into eight place in the playoffs.

If Monaghan can reproduce the form that saw him rewarded with a new three-year deal in June then Manly are capable of qualifying for their first finals series since 1996.

But statistics obtained by The Saturday Daily Telegraph outline how the out-of-sorts Sea Eagles captain has been struggling to pierce the defensive line of opposition outfits.

The Manly skipper has failed to make a line break for the past 10 rounds, dating back to the Sea Eagles' victory over a depleted Knights side in Newcastle.

Since inking a new $750,000 three-year deal in June, Monaghan has made a measly four line breaks, all coming against a Premier League Newcastle outfit back on June 18.

In some well-timed advice, Manly legend Lyons has suggested Monaghan focus on controlling only one side of the ruck rather than running the Sea Eagles' entire attacking arsenal.

"I watched last week and saw him running from one side to the other trying to do everything," Lyons said.

"He needs to just concentrate on looking after one side of the ruck instead. I think Monaghan has got a bit too much pressure on him, he needs someone else on the other side of the ruck to take some responsibility.

"For the club's sake I'm hoping they win but over the last few years they haven't got a real good record down in Canberra.

"Another key thing will be whether or not Ben Kennedy plays, he gives them so much experience he is invaluable."

The Daily Telegraph

Captain calamity hasn't made a line break in 10 weeks! I didn't know that it was as bad as that. Why hasn;t Dessie had Cliffy giving Monaghan tips all year on how to play.

I reckon even Phil Blake today could make at least one line break a game. No wonder we can't win games. There is no pressure on the opposition's defence at all.

Canteen Worker

First Grader
Instead of giving advice, is Cliffy avaiable to play???? Or has he been told to GET LOST, similar to Zorba and co and their reaction to Max Krilich????


Journey Man
"He needs to just concentrate on looking after one side of the ruck instead. I think Monaghan has got a bit too much pressure on him, he needs someone else on the other side of the ruck to take some responsibility."

Maybe now Des will listen and give monas a 5/8


theres a great legend for ya. Great comments cliffy. 100% spot on about Monas too.

Everyone can see it except our coach. Great.
I rate Witt and think he has a big future but on the form he showed against the Sharks and in the next PL game Jason Smith would tear him apart. Beaver at least should be sound if not flashy.


Reserve Grader
I rate Witt also, but he's not going to get anywhere when everyone is bagging him and when he's playing PL. Sadly looking like he wont be at Manly next year also, unless Des and co have told him he'll be playing PL for the rest of the year and should get ready for next year, unlikely but it's a possibility.

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