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Matt Orford Articles

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Orford still coming to terms with win

    October 6, 2008 - 7:13AM

    Manly skipper Matt Orford says it could take some time for his NRL club's first title in 12 years to sink in following Sunday night's 40-0 thumping of Melbourne.

    Celebrations are set to continue on Monday on Sydney's northern beaches with Orford finally silencing the numerous critics who questioned his ability to perform on the biggest stage with a superlative performance.

    The display may have been enough to confirm a spot in Australia's World Cup squad to be announced on Tuesday, but for now celebrating was all that was on the nuggety halfback's mind.

    "It really hasn't sunk in yet, probably because of the scoreline, I'm in shock," Orford said.

    "Going in at halftime 8-0, I thought it was really going to be like that, I thought they were going to really come out and it was going to be a tussle.

    "A few more beers and a bit more time back at the leagues club to celebrate with the boys, I'm really going to enjoy the moment."

    One man sure to be in demand with the fans is Steve Menzies, who capped a fairytale ending to his time with the Sea Eagles with a try in the dying stages of the eight tries to nil shutout.

    The scenes are set to be more sombre south of the border where the Storm will hold a lunchtime fan day function at their Melbourne training base.

    The Storm turned in their worst performance of the season, the loss the largest in grand final history and leaving retiring centre Matt Geyer with a sour taste in his final game.

    "I think the Origin period where we had a lot of players play Origin and we went out pretty hard after that minor premiership, perhaps we were a little bit leg weary," Storm coach Craig Bellamy said.

    "I'm not sure whether that was really a point or whether Manly were just that good tonight."

    © 2008 AAP
  2. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Re: Orford still coming to terms with win

    Orford the eye of the twister that trumped the Storm

    With a combination of guts, guile and glitzy play, a relentless Manly surged over the Melbourne side that looked like a savage storm that had already blown its last breath, the Sea Eagles reversing last year's grand final result in an emphatic display.

    Redemption surged across the ANZ Stadium field like an unstoppable maroon and white current, with Melbourne, drained by the loss of their captain, Cam Smith, and the recent controversies, unable to offer any counter.

    Manly captain Matt Orford, formerly of Melbourne, played like a toy tornado, a high-pressure cell twisting and turning and terrorising Storm defenders in the line, teasing them with multiple options to kick, run or pass.

    In terms of margin of victory, effort and variety, the game was a mirror reverse of last year's comprehensive win by Melbourne. The game was effectively over by the 51st minute, when left winger Michael Robertson scored his third try to make it 18-0.

    Manly always threatened with a greater range of options in attack, while their defence appeared to suck the passion from their disbelieving and shocked opponents.

    The Storm's sameness in attack, relying on moving relentlessly forward up the middle, presented little challenge, particularly with stand-in hooker Russell Aitken offering little subtlety and being too slow from dummy half.

    A team that kicks together sticks together and Manly's game with the boot far surpassed Melbourne's, both in tempo and territory gained. Melbourne, whenever in a try-scoring position, launched a kick for Israel Folau, he of the spring-loaded leap - but it yielded nothing.

    Manly, however, cleverly used halves Orford and Jamie Lyon, who seemed to have all the time to kick via the relentless go-forward of their hard working pack.

    Manly's forward pack made 651 metres; Melbourne's 396. The go-forward domination extended to team figures: Manly 1612 metres; Melbourne 1162.

    The entire Sea Eagles team played with heart and hustle, yet the head ruled often when opportunities opened out wide, such as long links or a kick to the flanks.

    The score was 8-0 at half-time, but a measure of Manly's method in ripping the game open in the second half were the line-break statistics. Overall, their line breaks were 9-2 - but the second-half figures were 6-1.

    Earlier in the day, Manly's No.1 ticket holder and the code's most eminent intellectual, Tom Keneally, said on TV - speaking the unadorned yet passionate language of the rugby league supporter - "I hope Michael Crocker gets sent off."

    As events transpired, Melbourne could have had two Crockers on the field and it would have made little difference to the shocking scoreline. The premiers were impotent. Perhaps a fortnight of defying dramas debilitated the Storm. The try that produced the highest winning margin in a grand final came three minutes from the end and demonstrated the majesty of Manly and the misery of Melbourne.

    Second-rower Anthony Watmough surged forward and unloaded to benchman Heath L'Estrange, who found Orford. He passed to Glenn Hall, who slipped a pass to Brett Stewart, who flicked it to Steve Bell for 40-0, surpassing the Roosters' humiliation of St George in 1975.

    Watmough played with a fire lit by an inner desire to atone for an ineffectual performance in the last year's grand final and persistently punched holes in the Melbourne line and intimidated in defence.

    There were times in the first half when the game turned to aerial circus. Storm fullback Billy Slater was placed under enormous pressure by a variety of kicks - high, short, low for the sideline - whereas Melbourne didn't enjoy the same field position to pepper Brett Stewart.

    The Storm's kicking battery missed Smith's left-foot grubber kicks from dummy half.

    The early forward exchanges were brutally tough but lacked the fiery confrontations anticipated. Rugby league is now a 17-man game and in terms of the effort from the bench, the 2008 grand final demonstrated that emphatically.

    Manly's replacements totalled 330 metres with the ball; Melbourne's 210.

    The Sea Eagles' bench included last year's starters; Melbourne's 2007 bench travelled the opposite direction - into this year's starting team.

    Manly lock Glenn Stewart has an amazing engine for someone who still looks roly-poly compared to his cut rivals - a little incongruous, like a boxer with a thin nose.

    Stewart made 38 tackles and ran the ball 17 times for 140 metres.

    Like his teammates, he trained tirelessly over the past 12 months to redeem for last year's loss and send the club's universally admired back-rower and equal first-grade games record-holder, Steve Menzies, out of the NRL with another premiership.

    Another forward, prop Brent Kite, played as if he were seeking revenge for being overlooked by NSW and Storm coach Craig Bellamy for this year's State of Origin series. Kite made 19 runs for 167 metres, together with 26 tackles, missing none.

    Orford, the Dally M winner, summed up the redemptive mood of the day and a year of hard work when asked whether the pain of 2007 had passed. "That's well and truly gone," he said.
  3. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Re: Orford still coming to terms with win

    League: Orford sheds choker tag in amazing fashion [NRL Grand Final: Storm vs Sea Eagles
    8:52AM Monday Oct 06, 2008
    Todd Balym

    The much maligned Dally M winner put his critics to bed last night, capping his brilliant year by leading his team to the greatest premiership win in rugby league history.

    Manly's 40-0 win over Melbourne at ANZ Stadium was not Orford's best game of the year, but it never needed to be.

    The Sea Eagles are a champion team and the only way they were ever going to win the title was if 17 players, not just Orford, all did their job.

    But when it really mattered, Orford came up with the three plays on either side of halftime that turned the game in Manly's favour.

    Firstly he hit prop Antonio Kaufusi, a man 14cm taller and 22kg heavier, so hard that he jolted the ball free inside Manly's attacking zone just seven minutes before the break.

    A few tackles later Orford ran to the left and set up a backline play which resulted in Michael Robertson scoring in the corner for a decisive second try and 8-0 lead.

    <a href="http://ads.apn.co.nz/accipiter/adclick/CID=00002a57a9c7017200000000/aamsz=300X250/acc_random=23559073929/pageid=23559073929/site=NZH/area=SEC.SPORT.STY/keyword=league orford sheds choker tag amazing fashion sydney manly halfback matt big game much maligned dally m winner put critics bed last night capping brilliant year leading team greatest premiership win rugby history manly win over melbourne anz"> <img src="http://adsfac.net/ag.asp?cc=DMC007.55049.0&bk=1&ord=" alt="Alternate Ad Image Text Goes Here!" width="width=300" height="height=250" border="0"> </a>

    "I don't think that was defining," he said of his tackle on Kaufusi.

    "I just had to put the small body in front of him and lucky for us they came up with an error."

    Seven minutes after halftime, Orford ran again to the left but this time grubbered perfectly for Robertson to touch down in the corner.

    Orford then made one of his best decisions of the game, handing the ball to Steve Matai for the sideline conversion attempt after he had twice missed in the first half.

    Matai's kick just sailed between the posts and with a 14-0 lead the Sea Eagles were never going to get run down.

    Robertson completed his hat-trick by the 51st minute and Manly were home.

    It was a brilliant victory for the Sea Eagles particularly after the dismal performance they all produced on the same stage last year.

    Orford was not Manly's best player, that honour was rightfully bestowed upon tireless prop Brent Kite who won the Clive Churchill medal.

    The medal could have easily gone to Robertson or hooker Matt Ballin.

    Manly coach Des Hasler praised the work of his entire side and said players like Orford deserved selection in the Australian World Cup squad on Tuesday.

    "He had to prove nothing tonight as far as I'm concerned," Hasler said of his captain.

    Orford said he was happy not to be the standout and didn't care what the critics thought of his performance.

    "Melbourne came out and publicly said they were going to target me so I just said if they want to target me then we have 16 other blokes that are very dangerous," said Orford.

    "We were very mature and controlled in what we did tonight and everyone played their role.

    "Who cares what people write about me. I'm happy to win a grand final."

    - AAP
  4. Dan

    Dan Kim Jong Dan Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +7,733 /120
    Re: Orford still coming to terms with win

    Manly were just better than the Storm, it wasnt like the Storm player badly Manly just played 1000 times better
  5. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

    +1,324 /37
    You could tell by the huddle that the boys were ready to rip in.

    Steve Matai in the anthem looked as though if the game didn't hurry up he was going to chew someones leg off or start chasing bikes. He looked almost maniacal.

    Top win, im just tired of the lowlife people in some media descibing it as a boring grand final. Obviously weren't in the right place when beaver went over to score. I almost gave myself a hernia and knocked myself out on the ceiling when he crossed the line.

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