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Sea Eagles must tough it out, says Toovey

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Mals, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Mals

    Mals Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +1,650 /39
    Sea Eagles must tough it out, says Toovey

    By Tom Wald, 14 Feb 2012

    New Manly coach Geoff Toovey has called on his battle-hardened troops to draw on their big-match experience in Friday night’s (Saturday AM AEDT) World Club Challenge clash against Leeds.

    The reigning NRL premiers are on a hit and run mission in northern England with this week’s match against the Rhinos coming only six days after their arrival.

    Toovey was confident his players were up to mastering the wintry conditions against the Super League champions in front of an expected full house at Headingley Carnegie.

    “They are very mentally tough and very experienced,” Toovey said.

    “Most of the players have played in those two grand finals in which we won (in 2008 and 2011).

    “A very stable unit, a very experienced unit and a very confident unit.”

    Manly have the benefit of nine of their 20-man squad having played in the club’s 28-20 victory over Leeds in the 2009 World Club Challenge at Elland Road.

    Even Manly’s relatively inexperienced halves combination of Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans played in the Four Nations competition in the United Kingdom only a few months ago.

    With milder weather forecast this week, fears of a frozen pitch have eased following a fortnight of freezing temperatures in Britain and Europe.

    The covers came off at Headingley Carnegie on Monday although the Sea Eagles had to find a synthetic grass pitch to train on a few kilometres away.

    The old-fashioned venue for Friday’s match, which is off the back of Headingley cricket ground, can provide one of the most intimidating atmospheres in rugby league.

    The 21,000 capacity ground has terraced stands and wooden seating but Toovey said the Sea Eagles were used to not feeling the love from opposition crowds.

    “Manly teams are used to hostile crowds against us,” he said.

    “We will rise to the challenge.”

    Toovey said that winger David Williams, who missed last season’s finals series with a neck injury, should be fit to return.

    He said the former Kangaroos flyer had come up well following Monday’s brief training session.

    “He’s got through training really well,” he said.

    “There was a bit of doubt whether he’d come over last week.

    “He had to pass a fitness test, not only for his neck but he had a foot injury last month.

    “It’s a big boost. David’s a very confident player.

    “It was a fairly serious injury and he’s really excited to be back playing football.”

    © AAP 2012[hr]
    Not expecting this to be a "pretty" game. Manly can out grind the best of them!
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