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The Big Match - Manly v Newcastle

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    The Big Match

    Greg Prichard | June 28, 2008
    Manly v Newcastle

    Tonight, Bluetongue Stadium, 7.30pm

    What the Sea Eagles say
    Veteran forward Steve Menzies is taking no notice of the Knights having several star players out. "They've still got plenty of good players in and their defence has been excellent this season. Newcastle have got a pretty good record against us. We're going to have to work very hard to win."

    What the Knights say
    Coach Brian Smith is counting on prop and stand-in captain Steve Simpson, who was dropped from the NSW team for State of Origin III, to lead by example. "That's a real powerful weapon for us to have," Smith said. "We need some experience and leadership, and Steve has got both of those things in bucketloads."

    What Prichard says
    No doubt it is going to be hard for the Knights. They don't have as many stars to start with, and they have had to give up three of those - Kurt Gidley, Danny Buderus and Ben Cross - to Origin. Manly are only missing Brett Stewart for Origin. Added motivation for the Sea Eagles comes from the 13-12 loss in Newcastle in round two. The Sea Eagles, who had also lost in the opening round, have compiled a 9-2 record since losing to the Knights. This is a game Manly should win, but no one can doubt Newcastle's commitment. If the Sea Eagles want to open the door, the Knights will walk through it.

    For the Sea Eagles to win
    They don't have to change anything. Keep working hard through the forwards, get quick play-the-balls and feed the ball to playmakers Matt Orford and Jamie Lyon while the defence is going backwards. If that happens, Newcastle's defence will be put under big pressure wide of the ruck, where Manly second-rower Anthony Watmough is as likely to score as the outside backs.

    For the Knights to win
    They are going to have to produce an enormous defensive effort. Without a hooker as crafty as Buderus and a fullback with the game-breaking ability of Gidley, the Knights don't look to have a lot of points in them. If they can't keep the Sea Eagles to two or three tries, they will struggle to win unless they get lucky.

    The X factor
    Manly props Brent Kite and Josh Perry are a great double act. They have been powering through their work in recent weeks, making big metres with their hit-ups. It starts a chain reaction that often results in Manly getting down the field in a hurry and putting the opposition defence under pressure. Then the creative players take over. It is hard for any team to stop all of that.

    What the bookies say
    Sportsbook.com.au has Manly at $1.21 and Newcastle $4.50 in the head-to-head market, with the Knights getting 12½ points start at the line. Spokesman Larry Hawke said the agency would cheer for the Knights: "One punter has had $5000 on Newcastle to win the first half, with 6½ points start. He obviously thinks the Knights will hang in there for a while. But the vast majority of the money is for Manly."

    Late mail
    Manly have a couple of injury worries - Jamie Lyon (shoulder) and Steve Matai (neck) - but are optimistic about them. Newcastle's Adam MacDougall has had the flu, but is expected to play.

    MANLY: Robertson; Bani, Bell, Matai, Williams; Lyon, Orford (c); Kite, Ballin, Perry, Watmough, Stewart, Williamson. Interchange: L'Estrange, Hall, Bryant, Menzies, Bradley-Qalilawa, Cuthbertson.

    NEWCASTLE: Naiqama; McManus, Sau, MacDougall, Vuna; Bailey, Mullen; Simpson (c), Hilder, Royal, Houston, Paterson, Taia. Interchange: Tolar, Fa'aoso, Wicks, Dureau.

    Shayne Hayne

  2. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

    +1,476 /8
    Dont know if this is accurate but the late mail from the Telecrap is.

    "Sea Eagles v Knights
    Sea Eagles: Glenn Hall and Nick Bradley-Qalilawa drop off the bench"

    If true that means Cuthbo plays tonight. I would have Hall in instead of Bryant.
  3. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Des could seriously NOT play Cuthbo again, he needs footy and lots of it and agreed Hall > Bryant 9 times out of 10

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