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Media reports from Manly v Eels game

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Injury-ravaged Manly pip Eels
    By Todd Balym
    A depleted Manly outfit has risen from the dead to claim a memorable 20-16 comeback victory over fierce NRL rivals the Eels at Parramatta Stadium.

    The Sea Eagles played the final 20 minutes without a fit player on the interchange bench and trailed 16-14 when Luke Burt scored and converted on the hour.

    But somehow they managed to lift to the occasion with substitute hooker Heath L'Estrange sliding over for the winning try in the 74th minute.

    The Sea Eagles lost veteran Steve Menzies (hamstring - fifth minute), winger Michael Bani (neck injury - 40th minute) and lock Luke Williamson (concussion - 60th minute) to injury throughout the match.

    Mark Bryant also gallantly played on despite a knee injury.

    Yet despite the setbacks, Manly still managed to outscore the Eels four tries to two in front of 14,025 fans to claim their fourth win of the season.

    It was a heart-breaking defeat for the Eels, who now have just two wins from their opening six games after starting the NRL season as premiership contenders.

    Friday night was also their first game since halfback Tim Smith was granted indefinite leave midweek to overcome his battle with bipolar disorder.

    Manly led 10-4 at halftime. And when fullback Brett Stewart crossed just six minutes after the break the visitors looked like they could kick on with the match.

    Parramatta had thrown everything at the Sea Eagles defence in the first half without success and Stewart's early try could have easily deflated the home side.

    But the under-siege Eels responded, with Nathan Hindmarsh providing a desperate grubber in the 55th minute that Matt Orford fumbled in goal allowing lock Chad Robinson to pounce and score.

    Williamson was then sent to Disneyland when attempting a tackle on Eels winger Eric Grothe, prompting Eagles officials to call Bryant back from the change rooms to sit on the empty bench.

    Seconds later makeshift five-eighth Feleti Mateo provided a perfect banana kick for Burt to score, the fullback's fourth goal giving the Eels a 16-14 lead.

    Manly coach Des Hasler rated the win one of the greatest in the club's history as the side also overcame a massive 7-1 penalty count against them.

    Although he couldn't find the right words to compare where the victory stood, he may described where the win came from.

    "That is what makes this job so enjoyable, you get experience and be part of a win and it will go down as one of the best wins the club has had," said Hasler.

    "It was very courageous. We certainly had some obstacles to overcome, three players out and only one left on the bench who was injured and we were probably on the wrong end of the penalty count.

    "We are all very proud of the way they performed tonight against some pretty formidable odds."

    Orford said the win was better than the Eagles 52-6 thumping of New Zealand in round three.

    "Ten times I would rather have this win than the Warriors (win) any day," said Orford.

    "Our middle men played the majority of the game with no changes. That was just guts. It mightn't have been pretty but geez it's a very important two points."

    Of the Eagles injury worries winger Bani was the biggest concern after he was rushed to hospital in a brace after a heavy tackle just 15 seconds before half time left him with neck tenderness and a tingling sensation in his fingers.

    Eels coach Michael Hagan was also left with a numb feeling after the loss, he was visibly shocked at the result and could barely find the words to explain where his talent-laden side is going so horribly wrong.

    "It is probably hard to know how to react to that one," said Hagan after several seconds of stunned silence to open his press conference.

    "I think the game was there to be won at the end. We gave ourselves a chance to win the game and I think we lost it more than they won it to be fair.

    "Defensively we dead set gave them 16 points in their 20 which I am not very happy about.

    "We have got the bye next week, that is a fair starting point (to recover). I don't think I could face up to it again next week with some of the things we're tossing up at the moment.
  2. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Hasler's one-liner a cracker

    By Josh Massoud

    April 19, 2008

    A side-career as a stand-up comedian has rarely beckoned for Manly coach Des Hasler, but he made a belated bid with a delicious one-liner last night.

    "I thought the refereeing was a bit loose actually - almost as loose as the shorts the referees were wearing," he wisecracked afterwards.

    Hasler was referring to the whistleblowers' baggy shorts and shirts, worn to commemorate this weekend's heritage round. It was rare glimpse of humour from a coach whose attitude is more straight-laced than a pair of Dunlop Volleys.

    Hasler, however, had a right to be jovial. His side had just pulled off an almighty win, one they will talk about at the Manly Leagues Club in summers to come when fans are hanging out for the start of a new season.

    When Parramatta edged to a 16-14 lead last night, Manly looked gone. Skipper Matt Orford, however, denied it was so. "There was always a belief that we could win," he said. "We just needed to get some ball down their end."

    Against a horribly out-of-sorts Parramatta side, Manly only needed one chance. With six minutes remaining, an Eels mistake gifted them the ball. Moments later hooker Heath L'Estrange crashed over to secure a deserved win.

    Orford had a hand in the try, and several others. He is the type of player that embodies the character of last night's win - resilient, tough, and prone to rebound. Just when they had written Orford off for a breakthrough Origin appearance last week, he bounced back to guide Manly home last night.

    "That was right up there," Orford said. "Just the guts. This team has plenty of character."
  3. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Finch: 'We were disgusting'

    By James Phelps

    April 19, 2008
    FRUSTRATED Brett Finch last night slammed Parramatta as "disgusting" after the Eels slumped to another heartbreaking Parramatta Stadium loss.

    The dejected No. 7 declared his side "woeful" with the Eels throwing away a late lead against a heavily depleted Sea Eagles side.

    "The pathetic tries we are letting teams score, we are just letting teams stroll over the line," Finch said.

    "Their first two tries were awful. We just can't let them do it. We are just having to crawl our way back into games. We did a great job to get back into the game."

    After a dramatic week at Parramatta, Finch took aim at those who criticised Tim Smith last week. Smith stood down from the club on Monday, revealing he was struggling to cope with bipolar disorder.

    "The thing that s . . . . me is we had a No. 7 who got hammered from pillar to post because we were not winning," Finch said.

    "He got driven out of the game but with defence like we had tonight how can you attack? Especially in wet weather against a team like Manly.

    "We worked our arses off to get back in front in terrible weather and then tossed up absolute rubbish in the last seven or eight minutes."

    The Saturday Daily Telegraph can reveal some Eels players were privately fuming with the defensive effort of Test centre Jarryd Hayne. The No. 4 missed two crucial tackles during the match.

    Coach Michael Hagan was a shattered man when he fronted the press after the club's fourth loss of the year.

    "I don't think I could face up to it next week if we didn't have the bye," Hagan said.

    "Based on some of the things we are tossing up at the moment, I can't explain and I certainly can't understand it.

    "It is probably hard to know how to react to that one. I think the game was there to be won at the end and I think we lost it more then they won it, to be fair. I don't think the importance of the match was lost on anyone. I am sure Manly would be thankful for the two points. They needed the win, as we did. In the context of the loss, I am extremely disappointed."

    Finch said the Eels would work hard to come up with a fix for the team's defensive lapses.

    "It is just attention to detail," Finch said.

    "We watched footage on that all week. It is just very disappointing. We worked so hard to claw ourselves back in and we just gave it up. I hate losing and this is as bad as it gets. I think our effort and attitude is better. There is no easy way out of it. We just have to put our heads down and work hard."

    Hagan said he would refrain from making mass changes in the wake of the loss.

    "I think there is some decent effort in that team," Hagan said.

    "We were good enough to fight our way back into the lead so you can't be too disappointed with the effort. I think we are running with the players who we think can get the job done. We knew it would take some time for the team to settle down with the week we have had. But then again, that is not an excuse."
  4. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Manly beat Parramatta

    By Josh Massoud at Parramatta Stadium
    WHEN it comes to judging the quality of a Manly win, there aren't too many better-credentialed panels than Des Hasler, Geoff Toovey and Steve Menzies.

    The legendary Sea Eagles trio don't wax lyrical without a compelling reason, but found one last night as Manly posted one of their bravest wins ever to defy Parramatta 20-16.

    Injury-ravaged Manly somehow finished with three less men but four more points than their fully-fit opponents after losing Steve Menzies (hamstring), Michael Bani (neck) and Luke Williamson (concussion).

    When Williamson wobbled off in the 59th minute, the Sea Eagles bench was more deserted than Freshwater beach on a flat day. The fourth casualty, prop Mark Bryant, was nursing a corked thigh in the dressing room but was summoned to return just so Manly could field 13 men.

    His resurrection, however, looked to be in vain. Although Parramatta were woeful, the home side's fresher legs delivered a 16-14 lead after they had trailed by 10 points shortly after halftime.
    But the Sea Eagles weren't content with finishing the game intact. Manly felt they deserved the two points, and justice prevailed in the pouring rain when replacement rake Heath L'Estrange crashed over with six minutes left.

    Coach Hasler, who played 255 games for Manly, could not recall a more courageous feat in the club's 61-year history.

    "It will go down in the annals as one of the best wins the club has had," he said. "It typified all things courageous."

    The Sea Eagles' dressing room resembled an igloo afterwards - such was the quantity of ice on hand to treat injuries. Centre Steve Matai had his troublesome shoulders covered with the stuff, while Brett Stewart and Brent Kite were also struggling.

    The only man not bathed in ice was Bani, who taken from the field in a neck brace with pins and needles in his hands after being buckled over 12 seconds before halftime.

    The winger was undergoing scans at Westmead Hospital, where he was cleared of any serious injury while his teammates carved out victory.

    Sitting in the corner cooling his left thigh, Menzies could not recall a more satisfying win in his 329-game career. "I can't remember ever winning a game with no one on the bench," said Menzies, who left the field after just four minutes.

    Toovey - the team's runner - was also lost for words. "I've got a terrible memory mate - but all I can say is that it was a bloody ripper," the former halfback cried.

    On the opening match of heritage round, Parramatta again lived up to their new-found tradition of starting matches slowly.

    Manly scored the first half's only two tries to lead 10-4 at the break, and looked safe in the testing conditions when Brett Stewart crossed five minutes after halftime.
  5. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Wounded Manly make Hasler proud

    Glenn Jackson and Greg Prichard | April 19, 2008
    Manly coach Des Hasler rated last night's 20-16 victory over Parramatta as one of the best in the club's history, after the Sea Eagles rallied despite losing three players to injury.

    And skipper Matt Orford declared the result to be "10 times better" than the Sea Eagles' round-three 52-6 win over the Warriors. After losing Steve Menzies, Luke Williamson and Michael Bani to injury, the Sea Eagles fought back to win even after the Eels took the lead midway through the second half.

    "It'll go down in the annals as one of the best wins the club has had," Hasler said. "It just typified the character that's in this side."

    Bani was taken to hospital for precautionary reasons. Menzies (grade one hamstring strain) and Williamson (concussion) at least were able to watch the closing stages from the interchange bench, which included just one fit player for most of the second half.

    Orford said the victory was "right up there just under the circumstances" when it came to courageous performances.

    "It was all guts," he said. "It mightn't have been pretty but, geez, it was a pretty important two points. This team's certainly got character. To our credit, we just never gave in. It was a never-say-die attitude. I'd rather have this win than the Warriors [win] any day, just to see the character that's in this club."

    Injuries were not the only obstacle thrown in front of the Sea Eagles, according to Hasler. The coach felt the refereeing of Shayne Hayne, in Heritage Round garb, was "a little bit loose - a little like the clothing".

    "I'm very proud," Hasler said. "Certainly we had some obstacles to overcome. We were probably on the wrong end of a penalty count as well."

    The Parramatta players will be on the wrong end of their coach for some time, judging by his stunned reaction to a loss that was "there to be won".

    He hinted next week's bye was coming at an opportune time, saying: "I don't think I could face up to it again next week based on some of the things we've been tossing up. I can't explain and I can't understand.

    "It's probably hard to know how to react to that one, in fact. I think the game was there to be won and we gave ourselves a chance to win the game, but I think we lost it more than they won it."

    Orford admitted he was puzzled by the Eels' tactics in the first half, when they refused several shots at goal in wet conditions and continued to turn the ball over while deep in attack. The halfback said he thought penalty goals would be the "trend" of a tight game.

    "The night wasn't good to throw the footy around but they persisted," said Orford, who produced a performance to cling to some hope of a State of Origin jumper.

    "They might look back and wish they'd changed what they'd done."
  6. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    No-win situation as Parra find themselves strangers in own home

    Greg Prichard | April 19, 2008
    Parramatta are a shadow of their former selves. They have forgotten how to win. Not even Manly losing two players, lock Steve Menzies and winger Michael Bani, to injury in the first half, and a third, five-eighth Luke Williamson, midway through the second - leaving them with just one fit player on the bench - was enough to get the Eels home.

    Once again, Parramatta couldn't get their act together for anything like 80 minutes, and the Sea Eagles must be congratulated for showing enough guts to get the glory.

    The signs weren't good for Parramatta even before Manly players began leaving the field for good. Their decision-making when awarded penalties during the first half suggested their state of mind quickly went from calm to jittery after Manly scored their second try.

    When the Sea Eagles led 6-0 and were penalised for delaying the play-the-ball close to their own line, the Eels took the shot at goal and fullback Luke Burt landed it to cut the deficit to four points. After the Sea Eagles had extended their lead to 10-2, the Eels were awarded a penalty 33 metres out and almost straight in front in the 25th minute, but kicked for touch.

    They did the same off a penalty from an albeit much tougher kicking angle in the 27th. And when they received another penalty 10m out and 10m to the right of the posts in the 28th, they took a tap. It was like they were terrified at having fallen behind yet again this season and thought they had to score a try in a hurry if they were to get back into the game. But on each of those three occasions the subsequent set broke down because of a Parramatta mistake.

    Heavy rain was falling. Points were at a premium. Manly had not come to Parramatta to dazzle us. They were in the same situation as the home side, with a win-loss record of 2-3, so they were keeping it fairly tight, trying to avoid mistakes and hoping the opposition would come up with a couple. That's what the Eels should have been doing.

    Sanity finally prevailed in the 39th minute, when the Eels were awarded another penalty within kicking range and this time they took the shot to cut Manly's lead to a converted try going to half-time.

    Parramatta winger Eric Grothe came up with the mistake that led to Manly's first try. You often get a mixed bag from Grothe - irresistible power running combined with tendencies to want to throw the pass that isn't on or to get caught out of position in defence. He was up and down again last night. Grothe did well to stop a Manly movement that threatened a try by blocking a pass and then picking up the loose ball inside his own 20m area, but instead of heading back up the centre of the field to settle things down, he ran left and tried to link up with centre Jarryd Hayne. But the pass was awful. Hayne couldn't handle the ball and Bani picked up the scraps to score.

    In the lead-up to Manly's second try, Grothe didn't show enough urgency in a race with Sea Eagle Michael Robertson following a chip kick from Matt Orford, and Robertson beat him to it.

    But a six-point lead when you are down to 15 men is nothing, and even after Manly had gone 10 points up with fullback Brett Stewart's try six minutes into the second half you knew there was still a big chance of a twist in the tail of this game - if the Eels could finally start playing smart.

    Not surprisingly, it took the calm head of Nathan Hindmarsh to provide the spark. Hindmarsh improvised with a kick into the in-goal on the last tackle, and after the Sea Eagles fumbled the ball, Eels lock Chad Robinson scored the try, in the 55th minute.

    Five minutes later, after Williamson had wobbled off and Burt had scored a try and converted, the game had a very different look about it. The Eels were finally in front. Under the circumstances, that should have been the end of it, but the Eels keep finding a way to lose.
  7. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Glorious Sea Eagles' show of steel worthy of heritage beer anthem

    Glenn Jackson | April 19, 2008
    Parramatta 16 Manly 20

    Here we go again, indeed … different jerseys, and vastly differing fortunes. Parramatta took themselves back not to the glory days, but the slightly more gory days.

    Manly were about as brave as it gets, losing three players to injury during the match, and they showed the type of steel spoken of by the Tooheys commercial shown on the big screen before games in the 1980s - but has been lacking somewhat so far this season.

    The Sea Eagles lost two players in the first half - leaving as many on their bench for most of the game - and then another in the second half.

    First Steve Menzies, then winger Michael Bani and finally Luke Williamson were sidelined. Bani, who scored a first-half try, fared the worst. He was taken to hospital as a precaution after suffering numbness in his fingers following a tackle in which he was hit awkwardly by Eels debutant Kristopher Keating. Play was held up for several minutes as Bani was stretchered off the field late in the first half.

    Menzies damaged his hamstring after just six minutes, and Williamson was ironed out by Eric Grothe's hip midway through the first half … talk about Pump 'em, thump 'em, pick 'em up and dump 'em.

    In the midst of it all, Parramatta staged a comeback. Down 14-8 just after half-time, they scored two tries in five minutes to take the lead by the hour mark; first Chad Robinson scored, even though the ball appeared to flick Nathan Hindmarsh's forearm just before he touched down, and then fullback Luke Burt crossed the stripe.

    Then the twist. Just as it looked like Parramatta were powering home, the visitors evoked another line from the Tooheys ad - Manly's comin' back, a good try'll do it. Heath L'Estrange scoring didn't quite have the same ring as Crusher keeps on comin', but it was wonderful viewing still. A remarkable win.

    That's not to say Manly showed all the courage. While they faced the adversity during the game, it was a different story during the week. On Monday, Eels halfback Tim Smith hopped on a plane to the Gold Coast, suspending his first-grade career indefinitely after revealing he suffered from bipolar disorder. And so four years after losing a key player so early in the season in Jamie Lyon, history repeated itself.

    Back then, the Eels responded with a victory over the Broncos in Brisbane, with Lyon admitting during the week that he watched the game on TV from Wee Waa.

    Last night he watched from second receiver in the defensive line, and he certainly felt more at home than he did at Parramatta in 2004.

    Not so Grothe, the enigmatic Parramatta winger. He was heavily involved in the first points of the match for all the wrong reasons. First, he took on Sea Eagles fullback Brett Stewart and lost - dragged over the sideline. Then he cut off a speculative ball from Menzies on the burst, only to undo that good work by sliding across field and slipping a horrible ball to Jarryd Hayne.

    Bani, the former fisherman from far North Queensland, caught the wayward pass and crossed for an easy try.

    Two significant things then happened: Menzies walked up the tunnel shaking his head after tearing his hamstring, and the rain began to fall, leaving most in the ground shaking their heads.

    After Manly halfback Matt Orford kicked through in the 17th minute, Grothe was slow on the turn in the slippery conditions and Michael Robertson showed more urgency to score. Grothe has been found out several times this season, with opposition coaches continuing to target him regularly. Here we go again, the Eels fans must have thought.

    Paramatta threw everything at their opponents for the rest of the half, however, their attack was as awkward as it had been for much of the season. For all the talk of playing for each other, they did not even look like they knew on another.

    The home side finished the half with only two penalties to show for all their pressure, trailing 10-4 at the break. Parramatta's only consolation was that Manly's troops kept falling.

    MANLY 20 (M Bani H L'Estrange M Robertson B Stewart tries M Orford 2 goals) bt PARRAMATTA 16 (L Burt C Robinson tries L Burt 4 goals) at Parramatta Stadium. Referee: S Hayne. Crowd: 14,025

  8. byso

    byso Well-Known Member

    +85 /0
    Great stuff BE. Maybe these reports should go up in the main menu as its own category, Named as "The gutsiest win ever"
  9. Dan

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

    +7,753 /120
    sensational....Now I have to put all these on the main news ack!
  10. Dan

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

    +7,753 /120
    Just added them all to the site. The second last one By Greg Pritchard was one of the most disgustingly poor articles I have read and almost didnt add it to the site
  11. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

    +2,764 /88
    Thanks BE, saves me looking for them all - don't have the patience to do it with a hangover
  12. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

    +9,394 /402
    Anyone know who Greg Pritchard writes for (who he works for)
  13. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14

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