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Manly Sea Eagles captain Matt Orford confident of WCC win over Leeds

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

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    Manly Sea Eagles captain Matt Orford confident of WCC win over Leeds

        By Valkerie Mangnall
        February 23, 2009

    Manly captain Matt Orford believes a 34-26 trial victory over Harlequins on Sunday will stand his side in good stead for next weekend's World Club Challenge (WCC) against Leeds.

    The Sea Eagles tested an inexperienced side in the first half against Quins at Twickenham's Stoop Stadium before fielding a near full-strength side, which overhauled a 20-0 deficit after the break.

    But it was the mechanics of the performance that has the skipper brimming with confidence.

    “There was no focus on the scoreboard; it was just about getting our timing,'' Orford said.

    “There were guidelines there that we wanted to try and meet to prep ourselves for the Leeds game and I think we went very close to achieving that.

    “It's a bonus to win that match but it wasn't a focal point of the game ... we're going to be so much better for that under our belt now against Leeds.''

    Despite arriving last Monday to give themselves plenty of time to prepare for their March 1 clash with the defending WCC champions, the Sea Eagles did not enjoy the best lead-up to the Harlequins match.

    Watch Manly play Leeds Rhinos in the World Club Challenge EXCLUSIVELY LIVE on Fox Sports 3 from 5am on March 2 (EDT).

    A number of players were struck down by a stomach virus during the week, but all recovered in time to take part in the warm-up game.

    Kick-off was delayed by about half an hour when a 17-seat mini-bus was sent to take the Sea Eagles 35-man touring party to the ground, prompting a mad dash for taxis to transport the rest of the group.

    But despite some loose defence and subdued contact to begin with, the Sea Eagles emerged from the game injury free and Orford was confident his team would be ready to face Leeds.

    “We're not just over here to have a run around,'' he said.

    “We want to do our best and they (Leeds) pride themselves on this trophy so they're going to be fired up to go back-to-back in this World Club Challenge.

    “We've got a few areas we need to work on and they're going to test us in different areas, but the preparation is going good so far and we will test ourselves there.''

    Lyon agreed there were still improvements to be made and said there were no big trade secrets he could share from his two seasons at English side St Helens in 2005-06.

    “The conditions are a big thing, the ball's not going to be as easy to throw around as it normally is in Australia, so we're just going to have to tighten some passes up and not play as expansive,'' Lyon said.

    “We were a bit rusty and even though we scored a few tries; we've still got to get down to the dirty stuff, the tackling and round the ruck and little short passes and that sort of thing.

    “We're in good stead at the moment, but we've still got a lot to work on.''


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