Fluffy's Preview

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Journey Man
Fluffy's Preview

Its round 2 and Manly fans are chomping at the bit for some live football action. On Sunday brookvale will come alive again for its first taste of Manly mania against the Cronulla Sharks.

The battle of the beaches is the only gmae this weekend with 2 teams that both won in round one. Cronulla pulling of a big upset against a team the finished 3rd in 2004 - the panthers and were far superior on paper. Manly a hard earned win over the more fancied warriors over the ditch in the land of the sheep enjoyer.

Both teams will be looking to prove that round one was not a fluke and they are genuine premiership contenders. Eearly in the week the sharks hit a major speed hump when both Brett Kimmorly and Danny Nutley were suspended for actions against the code in round ones win over the panthers. They also have former international prop Jason Stevens missing through injury. These players will be sorely missed and as such Manly have gone ahead in the betting. Beware the wounded beast though as the added responsibilities could be what the sharks need to fire themselves up. Also the young guns will be eager to grasp their chance as it may be the last one they get for a while.

Manly on the other hand will be starting with only one change to the side that nutted outed a victory over the warriors last weekend. Prop Jason King has an injured sternam and is not expected back until after the buy. His replacement will be Chad Randall with Manly playing a familiar bench to last year where they reached teh dizzying heights of 13th. Randall has finally had an injury free run and a full off season to prepare his body for the torments of league. He will need to step it up a notch if he is to keep his spot over a 4th forward on the bench. Randall will jump straight into the starting line up where he is better suited to Dunley who will be used as an impact player - a job he has made his own at the eagles in recent times. The loss of King will effect Manly's Forward strength but their game plan will still involve plenty of metres up the middle. Harris has moved to the bench with Watmough to start. Harris will be fired up after a very dissapointing performance last week where he made just 18 metres from 3 hitups and and only 9 tackles.

Both teams come off a week where ball handling was poor and errors where plentiful. The sharks making 20 errors and Manly 15 (6 by Monahan alone). Both teams showed a big improvement in defence missing just 15 tackles eaach team. Last year they were 2 of the worse missing 30+ a week on average.

A trimmed down Hutch Maivia played extremely well last week but without his partner in crime Nutley he will have to carry the team up and down the park. He should be easily shut down by the Manly pack who have much more widepsread talent than the sharks.

The battle of the halves leans towards Manly now that former Australian half back Brett Kimmorley has been suspended. Adam Dykes who had a blinder last week as 5/8th will be moved to half back - a position where he struggled last year whilst at parramatta. His outsider Greg Bird moves into a role that he wasnt overly comfartable with in the past. Manly will look to shut down Dykes' kicking game now that he has few back up options. For Manly there is no change to the halves, Witt and Monahan will continue moulding a combination that looks sure to fire sooner or later. Witt is gaining confidence with every game and both players kicking games were exeptional last week. They will settle down and not through as many stupid pases now the pressure and excitment of round 1 has passed.

The backs could go either way. Manly again have Hoppa and Hill on the same side of the field leaving them vulnerable to Mcgoldrick and Simmons pace. Simmons however is known as a poor defender and hoppas strength could see him run over the top numerous times throughout the match. McGoldrick is another hot head and will struggle to leave the bait alone that Terry Hill will not doubt be shoving in his face all game long., One the other side of the field we have Vagana on Stephensen. A complete mismatch. Look for menzies to defend out wide on this side to help stephensen out. The fullbacks look somewhat evenlyt matched. Peachy oon his way out after being one of the better fullbacks in the game and Stewart - the young gun. Stewart had a quiet game last week and will be looking to inject himself a little more in attack.

The ref - Manly have a poor record against Simpkins. This has been raised (possibly very cunningly) by the local rag this week. Simpkins will have the spotlight on him as will the ball boys.

The crowd - well after last years effort nothing less that 15,000 will be deemed satisfactory. The weather looks to be trying to spoil the party however. Those Manly fans that do make the trip will be at their most vocal

The ground - Cronulla have a poor record at Brookvale. Manly have won theor last 4 games and have quite openly stated they wish to make it a fotress again. No doubt the sharks will feel the pressure when they drive over the bridge on their way to brooky.

The result - well it depends on the weather. A dry track and i see manly's forwards running over the top in the second half and getting plenty of quick play the balls. It will also allow our backs a bit more room and more chance of the magic ball sticking. The later parts of each half will see Manly the dominent force. Manly will romp home in the last 20 to win by a hefty margin - cracking the 50. However a wet track will really prove the worth of Ben Kennedy in our side. He will force us to play wet weather footy and we will be in a much tighter match. 20 - 12

This match will give us all a chance to see the boys close up and see our team at the beginning of the up.

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Fluffy's Preview

Very comprehensive report Fluffy....Thanks and well done. :clap:

Hutch Maivia will be the danger man imo
Fluffy's Preview

Good to see everyone having a go at these. It makes for variety and provokes thought too.

Good effort Fluffy. I have a feeling this match was decided by the judiciary, or more specifically when Hill was freed to play against Vagana.
Team P W L PD Pts
6 5 1 59 12
6 5 1 20 12
6 4 2 53 10
6 4 2 30 10
7 4 2 25 9
7 4 3 40 8
7 4 3 24 8
7 4 3 -8 8
7 4 3 -18 8
7 3 3 20 7
7 3 4 31 6
7 3 4 17 6
6 2 4 -31 6
7 3 4 -41 6
7 2 5 -29 4
6 1 5 -102 4
6 0 6 -90 2
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