Monaghan "can't wait to get back to Manly that's where I belong,''

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First Grader
Monaghan "can't wait to get back to Manly that's where I belong,''


MANLY rugby league captain Michael Monaghan has revealed how he and a group of NRL players feared for their lives as hurricane Wilma threatened to destroy their makeshift shelter.

Monaghan with brother and Roosters winger Joel, Manly five-eighth Jye Mullane, new South Sydney hooker Stuart Webb and friends Simon Davies and Grant Trouville were trapped for four days as the category four storm hit the Mexican resort town of Cancun. The group stayed huddled together in pitch dark ness in a cinema as the hurricane reached its peak.

Worried the complex was going to be flattened, they shifted to a flooded underground car park to wait out the storm.

The cinema's roof was eventually blown off and the building collapsed.

After two days in the car park the group has now been shifted to safety at Cancun's Gran Costa Real Hotel.

Speaking about the terrifying ordeal for the first time, Monaghan told The Manly Daily last night he thought the hurricane was about to demolish the cinema in which they had sought refuge.

``Yeah, we were pretty worried, mate,'' he said.

``Five of the cinemas had already been evacuated because the ceilings had been blown away or were flooded and the cinema we were in didn't look like it would last much longer.

``One of the other cinemas was only evacuated about a minute before the roof blew off so at any time we were expecting ours to go.''

Describing the conditions as ``horrific'' Monaghan, dressed only in shorts for four days, said the group tried to keep spirits up by playing footy with fellow survivors in the cinema.

``We used a beach ball to play and the footy was on early the first day. We also played cards when we could find a torch,'' he said.

``We set up an Aussie embassy and tried to have a bit of fun.

``But most of the time we were just trying to stick together and not get separated.

``Once food ran out it got pretty crazy in there.''

``There were 500 people in the car park and at the end of the two days it was filthy from garbage and dirty water.

``Young kids were sleeping on top of garbage and walking in their own urine it was tough on the kids.

``People smashed windows of cars to find a place to sleep while the rest of the families slept on roofs and bonnets of cars.''

The footballers eventually escaped the car park to visit a supermarket, filling an empty suitcase with as much food as they could buy.

They then shared the groceries with fellow survivors amid reports shops were being looted and people robbed of their belongings.

With Cancun Airport closed, it's not clear when the players will be able to leave to start their journey back to Australia.

``I can't wait to get back to Manly that's where I belong,'' Monaghan said.

Sea Eagles football manager Peter Peters said the club was relieved to hear the players were safe and well and planning to return home soon.

``It's been a traumatic few days but the support network was superb,'' he said.

``Thanks to mobile phones, the families involved were able to keep in contact and get updates and find out they were OK. It sounds like hell over there and they'll be glad when they touch down at Sydney Airport.''


Journey Man
Monaghan "can't wait to get back to Manly that's where I belong,''

No-one can question where his heart is at. All power to him. He has been very Manly of late. I CAN give him that !!!

Plus, I worry about Jason King being in our team more than Monaghan.

I have watched various Manly wins on DVD of late, and Monnas is a consistent standout in hindsight.

I have no probs with him being at 5/8.

With Kite, Leuleuai, Heckenberg as our props, we are also strong there. My only concern is the other prop position.


First Grader
Monaghan "can't wait to get back to Manly that's where I belong,''

Ryan I only gave you the games we won :)

Monas generally looks good when we win.

The Wheel
Premium Member
Monaghan "can't wait to get back to Manly that's where I belong,''

When our forwards are on top (as per early in the year and late 2004) Monas goes well, no doubt, he breaks the line and can score a try. It is the other games he struggles but when he does generally he go poorly when that occurs.

Agree that King and/or Rose really has to stand up big time next year if we are to be a genuine contender.


Journey Man
Monaghan "can't wait to get back to Manly that's where I belong,''

I mean, and this is not an excuse to do a YART, but if our line up is something like this:-

01.Brett Stewart
02.Paul Stephenson
03.Steven Bell
04.Ashley Alberts
05.Chris Hicks
06.Michael Witt
07.Matt Orford
08.Brent Kite
09.Michael Monaghan
10.Daniel Heckenberg
11.Anthony Watmough
12.Steve Menzies
13.Ben Kennedy

14.Shayne Dunley
15.Luke Williamson
16.Kylie Leuleuai
17.Jason King

We would have a much better attacking arsenal than what we did in 05. We will have gone from Monaghan as the only attacking option to Orford, Monaghan & Witt as attacking options.

I like Monaghan at Hooker, because it strengthens our bench. We could have all 1st grade veterans, rather than Premier League players taking the step up.

We also worry about our props depth right. How would King feel knowing that:-

Kane Cleal
Jim Curtis
Phil Moorwood
Mailangi Styles
George Rose
Mark Bryant

Are all in the wings waiting/itching to get a start in fist grade. You’d think that is motivation enough for ANY 1st grade prop to try and excel consistently. Then you think, hmmm, what happens if a second rower goes down with injury or illness. Well, we have:-

Nathan Tutt
Adam Cuthbertson
Glenn Stewart
Kane Cleal

Who are all quite handy when required in this spot. And that’s wherein lies our main strength in 2006. Whilst our Jersey Flegg team might not have the superstars that The Roosters etc may have, we will have a tough Premier League side, with players that are finally edging their was to a 1st grade start, and EACH position is under pressure in 1st grade. I mean, look at Wingers for example:-

Steve Matai (if required)
Mitch Creary
Michael Robertson

The facts are that with the inclusion of Bell & Orford, there is an even spread of potential competition for each position. There are a few points that need to be re-said about the offerings of the club for next years intentions that have lead me to the above 1st grade team line up. They are:-

Peter Peters has confirmed on 2GB that Michael Witt will get an opportunity next to Matt Orford at the start of next year;
Michael Monaghan has consistently been linked with the Hooker position;
Des Hasler has said that Michael Robertson will make an immediate impact in 1st grade next year, but I believe he wouldn’t put him ahead of Stephenson at LEAST to start the season. My only thought though would be that if Mullane were released, then who would be in the centres in Premier League? A Jersey Flegg player? No, I’d say it would be Steppa & Matai in the centres, with Robertson playing wing in 1st grade.

It’s been many, many years since Manly has had a back line with speed & finesse in all positions. For the past many years we have always had one or two slower players that opposition team could try and take advantage of. Mind you, those players had power. With a back line like:-

01.Brett Stewart
02.Michael Robertson
03.Steven Bell
04.Ashley Alberts
05.Chris Hicks

I’d expect a crap load of line breaks to occur. Especially when you consider Matt Orford, Michael Monaghan AND Michael Witt will all be giving them quality ball.

Therefore, I reckon Monaghan will be cool at 5/8 or even better Hooker. It’s just that ONE last blasted prop spot that’s the worry. But a lot of people say, that with a full off-season of reconditioning & fitness, King might be the goods. Obviously the club see a lot in him if Sam Harris, who was very diverse, and a solid 60-70 minute player was released over him. So I will give him ONE year to prove himself.

The Wheel
Premium Member
Monaghan "can't wait to get back to Manly that's where I belong,''

Sean meaney will be in P/L next season in the centres


Journey Man
Monaghan "can't wait to get back to Manly that's where I belong,''

Meaney and Matai in the centres with Robertson & Creary on the wings?

The Wheel
Premium Member
Monaghan "can't wait to get back to Manly that's where I belong,''

Robertson I would say yes, not sure whether Creary would back up again.


Journey Man
Monaghan "can't wait to get back to Manly that's where I belong,''

Then who on the other wing with Taylor, Johnson goooorn?

The Wheel
Premium Member
Monaghan "can't wait to get back to Manly that's where I belong,''

Not sure, maybe some new paluka they have got from somewhere - Luchetti?


Journey Man
Monaghan "can't wait to get back to Manly that's where I belong,''

Is that a paluka in your pants or are you just happy to see me.

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