Will Terry Hill lose us the game against Canberra?

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By Brad Walter
September 3, 2005

Departing Canberra prop Ben Cross wants to beat Manly tonight for three reasons: to end his stint at the club on a winning note, to keep alive Penrith's finals hopes for his brother Matthew, and to silence Sea Eagles motormouth Terry Hill.

Having been knocked out of play-off contention last weekend, the Raiders seemingly have little to play for except the slim chance that they could end up with the wooden spoon if Newcastle and South Sydney both win - but Hill has given them new motivation.

Down to a bare 17 available players if skipper Jason Croker (knee) is ruled out, the Raiders were still seething at training yesterday over Hill's verbal attack on teammate Ian Hindmarsh in which he labelled the former Country Origin second-rower "a reserve-grader".

"Terry Hill has done us a big favour," Melbourne-bound Cross said. "All week we'd been a bit flat knowing that our season was over but everyone is now really fired up to beat Manly and knock them out of the semis."

After losing to the Warriors last weekend, the Sea Eagles are now in the position of needing to win at Canberra Stadium to secure eighth place. If they lose, either Penrith or the Sydney Roosters will claim the final play-offs berth by beating their respective opponents, Wests Tigers and the Bulldogs.

With just three points separating the Panthers and Roosters on for-and-against, a try could decide it.

"I don't want the Roosters in the semis and I don't want Manly to make it, either," said Cross, whose 24-year-old brother Matthew will make his sixth NRL appearance for Penrith tomorrow at Telstra Stadium.

"If we're out I'd like to see Penrith in there and I've told Matthew I'll be trying my hardest to help them, and we all really want to beat Manly even more now because of Terry Hill.

"After losing our last six games, a win would make Mad Monday more enjoyable for us as well."

In contrast to Cross's desire to win for his brother, Sea Eagles captain Michael Monaghan will be aiming to end the finals hopes of his younger sibling Joel, a Roosters winger.

The brothers' father Stewart, who lives in Canberra, plans to wear a Manly jersey to tonight's match but said he would also be cheering for the Roosters tomorrow at Aussie Stadium.

"If Manly can't knock off the Raiders they probably don't deserve to be in the finals but the Roosters have had plenty of chances, too," Stewart Monaghan said. "I support them both but, whatever happens, at least one of them won't be playing next weekend and they know that."

It is expected a Sea Eagles loss would end the career of 33-year-old Hill, whose extraordinary outburst against Hindmarsh on The Footy Show was prompted by the Super League-bound forward's comment that "everyone loves to hate Manly".

"It might be my last game, who knows," Hill said. "But I know the work the boys have put in this year - we're going to come out fired up. We're not going to let this game just go away. This is do or die for us and we're going to throw everything we've got at them.

"I hope we beat Canberra and we play Parramatta first up. I'd love to play Parramatta first up. I tell you what, [Eels coach] Brian Smith and [assistant] Peter Sharp will be shaking in their boots. I can guarantee you."

How many times over the years has a team come out fired up by the opposition comments during the week leading up to the game.

These comments will no doubt fire Canberra up for tonight. As Cross said they were pretty flat during the week knowing that their season ended the previous week. Now all Hill''s comments have done is fire Canberra up.

A dumb move by a footballer who should know better and who will have trouble backing up his comments on the field tonight.

I now have a bad feeling about tonight after reading this article.
Hill had better pull out the defensive effort of the year as he will lose us the game with his lack of speed. It was really obvious last Saturday night that we had next to nothing out wide and Donald was the only hope we had of getting outside the Warriors. I wish we had the few speed merchants in the team for tonight - like Alberts.
Terry Hill, I feel has spoken far too soon. Crazy of him to go say the things he said, just think if we lose because of him? Just think how much he would get by all the Raiders players/fans.
Tezza has done it again. When will they learn to Walk the Walk instead of Talk the Talk!!!

Some people in our club love the sledging of characters such as Tezza and Hoppa but I am not one of them.
If we dont win tonight Hill will be remembered as a player of just above average ability with a big mouth (now that couldn't happen could it ?) ;)
Apart from anything else, he needs to get some new material. He used the same line on Clint Newton earlier in the season. We might not get away with it this time grrrrrrr.
Team P W L PD Pts
9 8 1 116 18
9 7 2 72 16
9 7 2 49 16
11 7 4 59 14
9 6 3 57 14
10 6 4 -10 14
10 6 4 115 12
10 5 5 -56 12
11 5 5 30 11
10 4 6 15 10
10 5 5 -13 10
10 4 6 -18 8
9 3 6 -71 8
10 3 6 -9 7
9 2 7 -69 6
9 2 7 -87 6
9 1 8 -180 4
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