Monaghan happy at Manly

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Reserve Grader
Celebrations at Manly are about to get a lot louder.

The rejuvenated Sea Eagles already sit second on the NRL ladder and are vying for eight straight wins at Brookvale Oval against lowly South Sydney.

But the once long suffering Manly faithful will soon have plenty more to cheer about with captain Michael Monaghan confirming he wants to stay at Brookvale.

Monaghan said he hoped to re-sign for another three years "in the next few weeks", ending speculation that the classy halfback was bound for England.

His manager Jim Banaghan represented the Manly skipper in England last weekend but Monaghan said he wanted to stay and help "build something special" with the Eagles.

So far, so good - Manly is equal on 10 points with ladder leaders Canberra after six rounds in a dream start to the season.

The platform for their success has been laid by their sizzling home form which continued with an impressive 36-14 win over Canberra last weekend.

"It's something we spoke about at the start of the season, making Brookie a fortress again," Monaghan said.

"We wanted to win all our home games. If you can do that it's a pretty good platform for making the semis."

Despite its success, Manly is still the NRL's quiet achiever - which sits well with Monaghan.

"We're pretty happy with it. Everyone is talking about how the lesser teams have come up this year but still expecting the more dominant teams to come to the top," he said.

"It will probably take a little bit longer if we keep plugging away but there's no reason why we can't stay where we are - we've beaten three of the top six teams already."

But the NRL's topsy turvy nature also has Monaghan worried.

"Anyone can beat anyone, that's what makes sure you are not complacent against guys like Souths," he said.

"We've been travelling pretty well, beaten some quality opposition so far but I guess it (upsets) is the nature of the competition at the moment.

"It really doesn't matter who is the premiership favourite - where people are expecting you to finish doesn't matter."

The difference between the Manly side which missed the 2004 finals altogether and the heavyweight 2005 version was simple, according to Monaghan.

"It's definitely our defence. We won six of our last nine games last year, we won those by just outscoring the opposition in high scoring games," he said.

"But this year we are really winning games with our defence. If you are going anywhere in the competition that's what you have to do.

"We are committed with defence this year. We've still got a fair bit of improvement but definitely it's encouraging."

Manly's backrowers Anthony Watmough and Ben Kennedy - who is backing up from Friday night's Test - laid the platform for last weekend's win which finally broke Canberra's 2005 winning run.

"I still don't think Anthony (Watmough) is anywhere near where he can get to," Monaghan said.

"He's an improving young player, fairly inexperienced. But I think he's still a fair way away from his best, considering how well he is playing at the moment, that's a pretty scary thought."


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
he is a champion and has come a long great guns over the last year. Hope he does re-sign

Canteen Worker

First Grader
Good article C. What is the source?

Monas has been very good for us. There is still talk of chasing another topline half and playing him at hooker but that wouldn't seem needed at the moment!
Team P W L PD Pts
10 9 1 124 20
11 8 3 75 18
10 7 3 70 16
10 7 3 69 16
11 7 4 59 14
11 6 5 -9 14
10 6 4 -10 14
12 6 5 36 13
11 6 5 107 12
11 5 6 47 12
12 6 6 2 12
11 5 6 -88 12
11 4 6 -7 9
10 3 7 -103 8
10 2 8 -91 6
11 2 9 -95 6
10 1 9 -186 4
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