Their biggest test - Manly Daily

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First Grader
Their biggest test
Manly Daily
WOULD you recognise any of these men if you were to walk past them in The Corso?

The faceless four will carry the hopes of Manly fans on Saturday night when a depleted Sea Eagles line-up meets South Sydney at Aussie Stadium.

Ashley Alberts, Nathan Tutt, Phil Morwood and Jim Curtis would not be instantly identifiable to even the keenest league fan.

But this weekend they will replace some some of the biggest names in the game the likes of Terry Hill, Brent Kite, Steve Menzies and Ben Kennedy.

Props Kylie Leuluai and Daniel Heckenberg are also out of a Manly side knocked around by injury, suspension and Origin duty.

None of the newcomers claims significant NRL experience, with Alberts last playing in the top grade on debut at the Cowboys three years ago.

Back then the unknown Junior Kangaroo was still a kid at 17.

He made five appearances in first grade in 2002 but moved to the Brisbane Broncos before being wooed to Manly by the club's assistant coach Dennis Moore.

Moore yesterday declared Alberts was ready once again for the big time.

"He's got a lot of spark about him," Moore said.

"Playing first grade with the Cowboys came a little bit early for him.

"He's more mature now and ready to stamp his mark in footy.

"He's an explosive runner and very quick and agile."

Manly coach Des Hasler believes the introduction of so many new faces will work in the team's favour.

"I don't see it as a bad thing.

"These guys will be pumped because they've been given an opportunity," he said.

"They didn't play against the Roosters so they won't be tempted to rest on their laurels. "They should be right up for this game. It will be a good injection for us."

* The Rabbitohs have received strong interest to win Saturday's night game, receiving $11,000 in two bets to win with the 8.5 point start. The Sea Eagles are also big movers in the betting to win the premiership, firming to 12-1 during the week. At the start of the season they were quoted as 66-1 outsiders.

The Wheel
Premium Member
The punters couldn't be too confident if they have to take the 8.5 start.

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