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Manly Sea Eagles - 2008 Preview NRL.COM

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Manly Sea Eagles - 2008 Preview


    Find Out What the Coaching Staff Think:
    Manly Sea Eagles (assistant coach Dennis Moore)

    DYNAMIC Des Hasler won’t need to change too much from 2007, a season in which Manly went all-but.

    They won 18 of 25 in the season proper, were 2nd in points-scored and 2nd in defence (only the Melbourne juggernaut bested them in both departments), and fed Brett Stewart enough ball in the opposition’s red zone that the lightning-fast, all-running fullback scored 19 tries, taking his career tally to 71 from 89 games – an astonishing strike rate considering Manly legend Graham Eadie took 233 games to notch the same number.

    Behind Stewart’s brilliance, Matt Orford’s kicking, running and passing, an under-rated pack and pace in the backs, Manly made Brookvale a fortress and played a brand of football that lit up the joint.

    Yet in outgoing halves Michael Monaghan (you can’t call him a “hooker”) and Travis Burns they may lose some direction around the park, particularly if Orford gets injured.

    But Hasler has enough weapons and enough nous, and has ingrained his own bloody-minded training ethic into his players, that the Sea Eagles will again give the Telstra Premiership a mighty shake.

    How They’ll Play It
    With Orford controlling things, Brent Kite and Anthony Watmough making their usual big impacts and the ubiquitous helmet of Steve Menzies making star cameos off the bench, Manly should be a top-four team for most of the year.

    In Luke Williamson and Glenn Stewart they have a pair of backrowers who’ll do the hard and dirty yards all day (or at least when they’re not on the bench) and in Steve Matai and Steve Bell a pair of tough and speedy centres.

    They will miss Monaghan but Orford is a proven performer over a long term who’ll throw the ball wide, feed his own forwards, dart at the opposition line, kick across the face of goal for leaping wingers and grubber into the dead ball when required.

    He’ll take the ball one off the ruck at least twice per set of six and use his long kicking game – that driving drop punt – to give Manly field position and keep opposition fullbacks deep, perhaps opening a gap for a grubber or chip – and a certain flying fullback.

    Keep An Eye On
    Michael Bani, who grew up in the Torres Strait islands hunting dugong and turtle and then scored 32 tries for Bundaberg ATW in 2006, will be a better player after his debut season in the NRL.

    And after nearly tossing away a football career for alcohol, looks set for big things in 2008.

    “[In 2005] he was on the drink and had a real attitude about him,”

    Bundaberg ATW coach Tat Whalebone told the Manly Daily.

    “Bundy’s got a pub on every corner and the little white bear everywhere and Michael could have gone either way. But he really turned things around.

    He’s one of the best players this town has seen in a long time. He’s quick with natural ability. He’s a jewel in the rough.”

    Hasler agrees:

    “He looks very good and could really develop into something. We will bring him along slowly but there is no doubt the kid has plenty of ability.”

    They’ll Really Miss
    Manly didn’t lose much with Michael Monaghan in the No.7. They’ve lost plenty now that he’s wearing the jersey for Warrington.

    Time To Stand Up
    After a tumultuous youth in which he ran away from Parramatta to Wee Waa and then England, Jamie Lyon is now a 25-year-old Origin-standard five-eighth who’ll notch 100 first grade games this year.

    He looks settled at Brookvale under the stewardship of Hasler and inside a halfback who drives play as much as Orford.

    A free-running five-eighth who when playing at his best looks to be enjoying himself, Lyon is a prodigious talent – it’s his headspace that’s always been under question.

    Time for him to answer fans who rated him “most over-rated”.

    Coach Watch
    Des Hasler has a safer reign on power than North Korean madman Kim Jong Il.

    They’re All The Better For
    In 26-year-old backrower Josh Perry Manly have signed a disaffected former Knight looking to make the most of a lifeline.

    Perry comes from Newcastle bitter about Brian Smith’s rampage through the ranks of Newcastle “incumbents”, eager to thank his new benefactors. Lui Toimoana is a strong, free-running 22-year-old centre or backrower from the Auckland Lions who can offload in the tackle.

    Heath L’Estrange comes from the Roosters, Tom Browne comes from the Rabbitohs while Jared Waera-Hargreaves comes from the Waratahs rugby union.

    Predicted Finish
    Top 3-4.

    The Sea Eagles NYC team has plenty of kids from the bush, Queensland and across the Tasman to mix with some Sydney kids and if they can come together they may just leave a mark.

    Halfback Daly Cherry-Evans comes from Redcliffe on the back of being named the Best and Fairest in the Brisbane Colts competition but he will have competition from young Kieran Foran, a Kiwi kid still eligible for SG Ball.

    Others to watch include prop Inoke Tapaatoutai and the grandson of former Manly great Fred Jones – Jai Jones-Wiegold.
  2. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +516 /14
    Menzies' helmet making star cameos off the bench?  I thought that was Robertson's job?
  3. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

    +1,324 /37
    Looks like they'll be right on Bani if the trial is much to go by.

    He showed some fantastic ball skills in his few games last season and for mine stepped right up to NRL level from the first second he took the field.

    Should he play that well for us this season I would say he's an adequite replacment for chris hicks.

    Who i might point out has scored 4 tries in 3 games in the SL so far.

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