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Shaving grace for Robertson as Manly open account in style

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Shaving grace for Robertson as Manly open account in style

    Glenn Jackson | April 1, 2008
    Sea Eagles 52 Warriors 6

    TWO things must happen this week: Jamie Lyon must be picked in the centres again, and Michael Robertson must decide whether to keep his beard.

    Before last night's clash with the Warriors, Robertson had informed his teammates that he would shave his Ned Kelly-style whiskers off today, after Manly officials complained the growth was becoming a bad luck charm. But after scoring a hat-trick, he is faced with a re-think.

    "It's going to last another week now," Robertson said.

    It is now up to Hasler to decide whether Lyon lasts another week at centre. Lyon admitted he played his best game in Manly colours last night and, while Hasler was evasive on the subject, the fact Lyon showed the same traits so often will make the coach's decision just as tough as Robertson's. "It's a possibility," Hasler said when asked if Lyon might be moved back to five-eighth.

    Up against a representative centre in Brent Tate, Lyon was simply superb, while Steve Menzies at five-eighth was an able deputy for halfback Matt Orford.

    While Lyon put the polish on some neat plays, it was Orford who bought the timber and tools and built the structure. Like his side, Orford had been out of sorts in the opening two rounds of the competition, but a try and six goals gave him a 16-point haul before he was forced off with 10 minutes to go.

    "I noticed earlier in the week there was something about [Wests Tigers hooker] Robbie Farah being mooted as a possible candidate for halfback for State of Origin," Hasler said. "I think this fella sitting next to me put his hand up well and truly."

    After an opening two rounds that have featured biting, sniping, cheap shots and pot shots, it was something of a relief that, last night, we were treated to something that has been lost among the controversies: glitzy football. From one side, anyway. The Warriors were woeful.

    "Really, it's just got to be struck off, that one. At the moment, I don't have a reason for it," Cleary said. "I've never been involved in anything like it. I didn't see it coming. That's not us, you know?"

    Skipper Ruben Wiki said: "We didn't turn up. Everyone in the team made errors, and we're all putting our hand up. As the captain, I put my hand up. It's got nothing to do with the coaching. The coaching's sweet as."

    After leading 22-6 at half-time, the Sea Eagles stepped on the gas in the second period and scored six tries, Anthony Watmough notching two of them. Stewart surpassed Graham Eadie's record of 71 tries for a Sea Eagles fullback.

    But we're used to seeing Stewart score at Brookie. What we haven't been used to is seeing Lyon perform as we know he should.

    "I got a lot of confidence out of that," Lyon said. "I probably could have got one or two tries - I made a mistake when I threw it to Robbo - I've been a little bit down in confidence but it was certainly a confidence game for me."

    Robbo, meanwhile, was also restored to a rightful position, of sorts - on the try-scoring list. To begin with, it didn't look as though it would be Robertson's night. Here was the player who has not shaved since the grand-final loss to Melbourne last season, and whose try-scoring record has been gathering dust along with his razor.

    His first was the best by far. After 24 minutes, he finally made it over the stripe - about as far as you can get without going dead - after following through an Orford grubber that looked too strong. Robertson did wonderfully to ground the ball about the width of his rusty razor blade from the dead-ball line.

    "He's a bit of a different character," Lyon said of Robertson. "You don't know what to expect. One day you turn up and he's rocks, the next day diamonds. He's off the cuff."

    And so the grand finalists are roaring once more. Thanks to, you guessed it, a Lyon - as well as a player who has a mane like one.

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