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Watmough seeks Storm redemption

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Watmough seeks Storm redemption
    By Todd Balym
    Manly forward Anthony Watmough doesn't want revenge over Melbourne - he wants redemption.

    The Sea Eagles second-rower had his name all but written down in the Australian Test side prior to last year's NRL grand final only to produce the "worst game of my life" and miss selection altogether.

    Speaking ahead of the grand final re-match at Olympic Park on Friday night, Watmough says he is determined to prove himself worthy of rep honours and step up to become Manly's most feared attacking weapon.

    His campaign starts Friday when he faces the Storm, his chance to avenge the grand final flop and show new NSW coach Craig Bellamy what he can do in a big game.

    "He is the NSW coach, hopefully I can show him I am worthy of playing at that level," Watmough told AAP.

    "Last year I think I had consistency but it's no secret I had probably the worst game of my life in the grand final.

    "I'm not going to put it down to one game to really step up (now), it is about getting that consistency again.

    "(But) it would be good to put a really good performance together against Melbourne.

    "I think there's a few more weeks before (Test) selection and I just want to put some good games together and get some consistency."

    Watmough certainly has started the 2008 season in the kind of form which catapulted him back into representative contention last year.

    After four rounds he is the game's No.1 attacking backrower - ahead of Bulldogs superstar Sonny Bill Williams.

    Watmough tops the count in runs, metres gained, minutes played, offloads and tackle breaks.

    He has run the ball more than twice as often as Sydney Roosters star Willie Mason, and is at least a football field ahead of his nearest NSW backrow contender in metres gained.

    Workaholic Watmough says he made a conscious effort to increase his attacking output in 2008 and hopes his form is attracting the attention of his opposition.

    "I want to play a bit more with the ball in hand, catch pass and get little offloads after you're hit," he said.

    "It's slowly coming together. Dessy (Coach Des Hasler) has given me a bit more ball, a bit earlier too which is good, and I know I can only get better.

    "Every week the opposition will watch the videos and if they see me playing well then they'll do things to try and stop that.

    "I hope I am a marked man in a way. Then I know I'm doing my job and that people are taking notice."

    Watmough expects the Sea Eagles attack to explode back into form against Melbourne after coming under fire for their lifeless display in the 20-2 win over South Sydney.

    "We were probably a little flat from Monday night but we defended our backsides off and we sort of got into the battle up front and it was credit to the boys that we dug our heels in and they didn't score a try," he said.

    "I think we'll be better off for the boring run and just defending our backsides off.

    "It's no secret that our ball control has been a bit off this year, just a few individual errors let us down every week.

    "If we hold the ball we know we can do something with it and that's a positive part out of it."
  2. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Manly aim to end Olympic Park hoodoo
    By Todd Balym
    It may not be the graveyard it once was, but Manly prop Brent Kite knows his side must break their own Olympic Park hoodoo to avoid early season premiership pressure.

    The Sea Eagles and Storm both enter the grand final re-match 2-2 after indifferent starts to 2008 and Manly head to Melbourne trying to post their first win at the vaunted Olympic Park.

    But Kite says the Sea Eagles have taken heart from Cronulla's gutsy 17-16 win there in round two and given the closeness of the NRL it was imperative to secure more early wins so they have some breathing space well before the run home to the finals.

    "It was good to see Cronulla have a win down there to remind everyone that it can be done," said Kite.

    "(The season) can get away from you real quick. Something we were fortunate to do last year was string five or six (wins) together. It just takes the pressure off.

    "Sides coming in from round 15 onwards needing to win a large part of your games - there's too much pressure on the team.

    "We know how important these games are and we will be looking to chalk up another win."

    But Kite knows victory against the Storm requires much more than what the Sea Eagles have offered in their four previous games in 2008.

    While their defence has been immaculate, they are ranked No.1 in the NRL, Manly's attack has been a concern.

    Coach Des Hasler sets high standards for his team and demands a completion rate higher than 75 per cent.

    But they've reached this target just once this year and it wasn't in their 10 try blitz of the Warriors but rather last week's lifeless 20-2 win over South Sydney.

    Manly showed signs of better ball control but that was offset by the inability to convert field dominance into points.

    Kite says the Eagles need their defence and attack to combine, and receive some luck, just to compete with the premiers.

    "Our defence hasn't been a problem," he said.

    "Hopefully we can keep it together down there and then string some attack together.

    "In that Warriors game we scored a lot of points but I'm not sure we got there (to our targets) and against an opposition like Melbourne you've got to complete your sets just for starters.

    "Then you need things to go your way and a touch of luck."

    Manly veteran Steve Menzies, moved to five-eighth to re-ignite the Eagles attack, is looking forward to the early litmus test against the Storm.

    "It's a good little test for us at the start of the season and to go down and play the benchmark side," said Menzies.
  3. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +516 /14
    How many tackles did he miss again?
  4. CliffyIsGod

    CliffyIsGod Well-Known Member

    +109 /2
    27 from memory.
  5. byso

    byso Well-Known Member

    +85 /0
    Unbelievable thats enough for a whole teams missed tackles.
  6. Stillman

    Stillman Active Member

    +8 /0
    He missed 15 in the GF. I think it was the most missed tackles by an individual in NRL history.
  7. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

    +4 /0
    It was, it equalled a record set by the great Ashley Alberts against the Broncos a few years ago.

    PONTIAN SEA EAGLE Well-Known Member

    +1,521 /114
    choc may top those counts but he's conceeded a few penalties & drop balls.

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