It looms as the colossal showdown between two of the game’s powerhouse wingers which could decide Sunday’s blockbuster between the Sea Eagles and Wests Tigers at Bluetongue Stadium.
Gigantic Manly winger Tony Williams has been in sensational form for the Sea Eagles...
The clash between 3rd and 6th on the NRL ladder is expected to be played at a semi-final intensity eight weeks early, but it is the potential for fireworks between the opposing backs which has tongues wagging.
Manly giant Tony Williams is in scintillating form, scoring six tries in his past four matches, but the 114kg monster could have his hands full when he faces dual international Lote Tuqiri, according to champion fullback Garry Jack. “If Lote’s on his game, it will be a no contest,” the Tigers legend confidently said.
“Lote is a champion. It didn’t look like he was enjoying his football there for a few years, but he’s enjoying his footy now and you can tell that straight away.
“There could be some big collisions, but Lote doesn’t run straight - he runs great lines and I reckon he will be at his elusive best. If he runs straight he might be in trouble because the T-Rex (Williams) is big, and that would be a great contest to see.”
The 30-year-old former Wallaby has made a seamless transition back to rugby league and has left younger rivals in his wake.
Both players display the reckless running style of carefree second-rowers, and Manly hooker Matt Ballin says the chance of eye-catching plays from the two stars is mouthwatering.
“Both players are extremely strong runners and exciting to watch play,” he explained. “It will be a great match-up.”
Wingers David Williams and Michael Robertson both agree that the collisions on show will be “worth the price of admission alone”.
“There’s nothing better than seeing two big blokes go head to head. It’s just a little bit weird that they’re both on the wing,” Williams said. “Tony has been finding some good form and I think he’ll do well against Lote. Hopefully there are a few big collisions out there.”
Facing a match-up of his own, Kieran Foran has explained he is looking forward to tackling his New Zealand teammate, and Tigers star, Benji Marshall - but they haven’t been exchanging texts in the build-up.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing against him,” he said.
“With Benji, you’ve got to make sure your defence is on song.”
Kick-off is at 3pm on Sunday at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford.