Sea Eagles Want 8 Rep Spots

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Canteen Worker

First Grader
Daily Telegraph

April 29, 2005

MANLY players claim they should have up to eight players in representative sides this year – a spin-off of the club's 2005 success.

The NRL competition front-runners – who play Brisbane in tonight's blockbuster at Suncorp Stadium – claim they could lose up to 8 players to NSW, City and Country.

For the first time in nearly a decade, Manly are bracing themselves to be crippled by the coming representative season.

Sea Eagle players were yesterday adamant Ben Kennedy, Anthony Watmough, Steve Menzies, and Brent Kite should be considered for NSW on the coming Origin series.

But the rep honours should not finish there, according to players.

Halfback Michael Monaghan, fullback Brett Stewart and forwards Jason King and Sam Harris should be under scrutiny for honours in the City-Country game in Lismore on May 6.

Monaghan's chances have improved after the ARL declared in-form Melbourne half Matt Orford a City player.

It is the first time since 1997 Manly is looking at losing numerous players to rep football. In that year, five Sea Eagles represented Australia.

Asked did the current side deserve recognition, centre Terry Hill said: "Bloody oath. They fully deserve it after all the hard work that has gone in.

"We are leading the competition so it would be fantastic to be given some rep honours.

"But there is still a long way to go and we have a big test against Brisbane away this Friday night."

King said the players will be rewarded if rep sides are chosen purely on form.

"If they are picking a side on form our blokes should be in the running," said King.

"Anthony Watmough has put his hand up.

"We should have a few guys there. We have been performing well and should be noticed."

Veteran Menzies backed King's comments.

"'Choc' (Watmough) has been awesome," Menzies said.

"If they go on current form we should have a few in there.

"They should be considered, definitely."

Monaghan, the Manly captain, added: "We are going pretty well so they'd have to be having a close look at some of our guys.

"The way Steve Menzies is going he'd have to be in there somewhere.

"Anthony Watmough has also got to be a chance for City-Country and if he goes well there then they'd have to look at him for Origin.

"Brett Stewart wouldn't be out of place in the Country side and obviously they'll be looking at Ben Kennedy and Brent Kite for the NSW side."

Under ARL laws, any players who represented in Australia in last week's Test will be unavailable for City-Country.

Kennedy will therefore not be considered but will push hard for an Origin spot.

"It is a long season and in fairness to the elite players, to have them play two big Friday night games and then back up for weekend rounds would have been considered a bit much," ARL chief executive Geoff Carr said last night.

"Those two weekends are close together too in this season's draw."

Hill and Kennedy will be back for Manly this evening against the Broncos after missing the game against South Sydney.

Meanwhile Brisbane has been forced to make two late changes to its side to play Manly.

Test forward Tonie Carroll has withdrawn with a rib injury while hooker Barry Berrigan has pulled out with a shoulder problem.

Coach Wayne Bennett has recalled veteran utility Darren Smith to play lock while another utility, Casey Maguire, will fill in at hooker.

Bennett has also handed young prospect Berrick Barnes a place on the interchange bench.
Don't know if this is good or not. I'd like the players to get there just rewards. But not if it will effect our season.

Lets hope the players can back up. If they're chosen.
Its a fair call, for the city country game, but yeah i agree it could hurt us a bit.

Id be suprised if we dont lose a few. It will be interesting if monas does get the country spot, now that orford is playing city.
Matt Head's my tip for Country half. Monas deserves it but I would prefer to keep as many of our blokes injury free for the Tigers game. King doesn not deserve a look in and IMO there are better options than Harris. I agree with the rest though. Maybe Hicks as well?
Harris is mentioned as he played last year. King is mentioned as he was in the 2003 blues squad. I would like to see Hecks get a run (if he is NSW) but agree that Hicks with another good game could get a thought.
If Monas plays city vs country and wins man of the match, it will do his confidence the world of good.
Seems he is odds on favourite now, with talkes that the only other option is barret changing position.

and with bozo floating around giving his opinion, and blocker a selector for city you can imagine there will be a few there.
Head for Country - Orford for City.

Monas can hope for a reserve position at best. Pit we don't have country 1st and 2nds like the old days. He would have been a chance!
Dont be too sure about Head being infront of monas, i certainly wouldnt have it that way. Certainly monas has been in much better form over the last 1/2 a season.

I wouldnt be suprised either way, but given a good game tonight monas will be in the box seat. Fingers crossed for him, kite and Stewy Vs beaver, watmough and Kingy
If Head gets in over Monas it is a massive injustice. Head is a good player and played well last week but Monas has been consistant and we are 1st, where are the Dragons? That has to help his cause.
Team P W L PD Pts
9 8 1 116 18
9 7 2 72 16
9 7 2 49 16
11 7 4 59 14
9 6 3 57 14
10 6 4 -10 14
10 6 4 115 12
10 5 5 -56 12
11 5 5 30 11
10 4 6 15 10
10 5 5 -13 10
10 4 6 -18 8
9 3 6 -71 8
10 3 6 -9 7
9 2 7 -69 6
9 2 7 -87 6
9 1 8 -180 4
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