We must improve- Monaghan

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Kiwi Eagle

Staff member
We must improve to be a force: Monaghan
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - 12:22 PM

They've lost only one of their opening ten matches, but Manly hooker Michael Monaghan believes the Sea Eagles are playing nowhere near the level required to take out this year's NRL premiership.

Monaghan delivered the stunning reality check just moments after Manly struggled to get past a Brisbane side minus eight internationals at Brookvale Oval on Monday night.

Having endured a ten-day layoff heading into the 18-6 win over the Broncos, the Sea Eagles will now have just five days to prepare for Saturday night's top-of-the-table blockbuster against Melbourne.

"We're pretty realistic that the type of footy we've played over the opening ten weeks of the season probably isn't going to be good enough to win the comp or beat Melbourne next week," Monaghan said.

"So we really do need to step it up a bit.

"We haven't put a side away yet - you look at all of our wins and we've probably put in a good 40 minutes and a below average 40 minutes.

"We're yet to put in a solid 80 minute performance and to beat Melbourne we need to do that."

Monaghan's claim is backed up by statistics which show that over their last four games the Sea Eagles have scored only 18 points in total in their first halves.

Their record in the second half over the same period makes for much more impressive reading - 94 points courtesy of 18 tries.

It's that type of form which will be required to quell the Storm, who seem to be everyone's pick as competition favourites despite being on the same amount of points as the Sea Eagles.

"Everyone's talking about them but we're not even half way through the season - who's favourites for the competition and who's flying under the radar really doesn't matter at the moment," said Monaghan, who last week agreed to a four-year deal with English Super League club Warrington from next season.

"It all comes down to who can get the points on the board at the end of the season.

"They're probably our biggest test so far and I guess it'll be a little bit of a gauge as to how we're going.

"It would be nice to put in a good 80 minutes against a good quality football team."

Manly fullback Brett Stewart, who was unable to add to his amazing run of 35 tries from 35 games at Brookvale, admitted the Sea Eagles probably expected the tries to flow after they raced out to an early 10-0 lead.

But the Sea Eagles had to wait until the second half to get over the line again with the Broncos making up for what they may have lacked in skill and experience with some great desperation in defence.

"There was a bit of pressure on us, they came here with nothing to lose," Stewart said.

"We put some points on them early and then sat back.

"I think everyone thought we might score a few points but we just seemed to wait for half time and everyone was flat."

Young Manly centre Shane Neumann looked good on debut but he is almost certain to miss out against the Storm with representative three-quarters Jamie Lyon, Steve Bell (both on Origin duty) and Steve Matai (suspension) all expected to be available.

Source: AAP


UFO Hunter
The Storm haven't exactly been setting the world on fire either. They go about their job and notch up wins with out any fuss.

Very similar to us. However, if we play our defensive structure against sides like the Bulldogs, Warriors, Roosters earlier on this year, and we can get the attack working like against he Raiders than the Storm cannot beat us.


First Grader
I thought Monnas comments were spot on. We do need to step up to beat the Storm. Their pack is strong and ours needs to be on equal terms. No dropped ball from Rose and Kingy needs to not pass, just run straight.

Canteen Worker

First Grader
Des looked pretty unhappy last night and the post match interview comments were not too complimentary on the news. Good that they are marking us hard.

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