2013 NRL Grand Final Discussion - Manly v Roosters

Discussion in 'Marathon Stadium Competitions' started by Junior11, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Cordner, O'Donnell likely for Roosters

    By By Ben Horne
    3:38pm Wed 02nd October, 2013

    Club great Luke Ricketson has urged the Sydney Roosters to start Boyd Cordner and Luke O'Donnell in Sunday's NRL grand final despite the injury cloud hanging over the pair.

    The star forwards both trained with the team on Wednesday at Moore Park, making it increasingly likely they'll overcome their respective fitness concerns and be late inclusions to face Manly in the decider.

    Cordner is aiming to return after seven weeks on the sidelines with a broken ankle, while O'Donnell missed last week's preliminary final with a hamstring strain.

    Roosters' premiership winner Ricketson fought through serious injury to play in both the 2000 and 2002 grand finals, and has already spoken to Cordner and O'Donnell about their preparations.

    Ricketson is confident both will play and said coach Trent Robinson should go one step further and inject them immediately into the starting side.

    The 40-year-old said their impact in the early exchanges could be telling and the Roosters' couldn't afford to risk their bodies cooling down after the warm-up.

    "I've seen a lot over the years with injuries that you're better off getting him out there instead of sitting him on the sideline and cooling down after a warm-up or worrying about the injury," Ricketson said.

    "Get (Cordner) through the warm-up and get him out there for the first 20 minutes and if he's playing well and sticking to his job you keep him out there.

    "The Manly pack will come out and challenge the Roosters ... and that will really spur (O'Donnell) on. He's an intimidating player and I think he's got to be in there in the first 10 minutes."

    Neither Cordner or O'Donnell was named in the Roosters' 17-man grand final team, but after both running on Friday they appear set to be called up - probably at the expense of young forwards Dylan Napa and Isaac Liu.

    Superstar Sonny Bill Williams was a spectator at training on Wednesday, wearing a compression sock and tape on his left leg.

    Williams played through calf soreness leading into the finals and also battled food poisoning last week, however the dual international would appear to be a certain starter in what could be his last game of rugby league.

    Ricketson was little better than a 50/50 proposition when plagued by hamstring injuries ahead of the '00 and '02 grand finals.

    However, from personal experience he's been able to advise young gun Cordner and experienced journeyman O'Donnell, that they can't afford to miss such an opportunity if they're anywhere close to full fitness.

    "You've just got to get yourself there for grand final day," he said.

    "I remember in 2002 I was never playing all week and two days out coaching staff gave me until game day to make a decision. Looking back now if I watched them do the victory lap (without me) I would have been devastated."

    Ricketson admits that for the injured player there's an element of worry that you could let the team down, but he believes there's far less risk of that in the modern game.

    "In the old days there was a mentality of making your own mind up a little bit. But the medical staff are a lot more scientific and technical than that," he said.

    "I think a clearance from the club will give you the confidence you're going to be OK on the day.

    "Boyd has been out for a while but he's young enough and good enough to push through it.

    "He thought he could have played last weekend ... Luke had a twinge last week but with treatment this week I think he'll be fine."


  2. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Dally M winner Cooper Cronk says Daly Cherry-Evans has mental edge on Roosters rivals

    • AAP
    • OCTOBER 02, 2013 9:53AM

    COOPER Cronk believes the temperament of the halves will decide Sunday's NRL Grand Final, and the Dally M winner has Manly maestro Daly Cherry-Evans ahead of his Sydney Roosters' rivals.

    Some critics have suggested spearheading the Sea Eagles to a premiership could result in the in-form Cherry-Evans putting serious pressure on Cronk for the starting Kangaroos No.7 jersey at the upcoming World Cup.

    However, after taking out the game's highest honour for the first time in Sydney on Tuesday night, Melbourne Storm playmaker Cronk declared he was "completely comfortable" with his standing as Australia and Queensland halfback.

    Cronk might be confident about his own position, but that doesn't mean he's not part of the ever-growing Cherry-Evans fan club.

    Roosters' halves James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce have both experienced the pain of grand final defeat, and while not underestimating that factor, Cronk says in his opinion, Cherry-Evans has the edge.

    "People think (winning grand finals) comes down to tactics, skill, aggression and defence," Cronk said."But for me I think it will come down to temperament."The temperament of the two sets of halves on the opposite sides.

    "And I think Daly Cherry-Evans's temperament at the moment, he's got it a little bit ahead of the opposition."But what is so powerful is losing a grand final and the other two boys (Maloney and Pearce) have lost one each at respective clubs (Warriors and Roosters), so don't underestimate that."

    Cronk is a premiership winner, but has also tasted the bitterness of grand final defeat. He knows as well as anyone what's required.

    The 29-year-old by his own admission had a disappointing end to the season, with Melbourne bowing out of the finals' race in straight sets.

    Despite their disappointing fade, Cronk (28 votes) snuck home by two votes over Cherry-Evans, Johnathan Thurston and Todd Carney (tied on 26) to win the Dally M.Asked if he was feeling the pressure from Cherry-Evans at representative level, Cronk said he was confident he'd done enough.

    "I'm completely comfortable with my position in the game and my ability and what I'm capable of,'' Cronk said."But I wish him (Cherry-Evans) all the success."

    For a grand final team, Manly had a relatively quiet night at the Dally M's - with Jamie Lyon the only winner, taking out centre of the year.However, Lyon missed out on captain of the year, David Williams and Jorge Taufua were overlooked for winger of the year and Geoff Toovey wasn't even nominated for coach of the year.

  3. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Manly Sea Eagles forward Joe Galuvao rules out shock Grand Final return

    IS Manly telling the truth, or playing mind games?

    Injured Sea Eagles forward Joe Galuvao on Wednesday ended speculation he would make a shock comeback in Sunday’s Grand Final by declaring: “It’s not be.’’

    Galuvao hasn’t played since round six when he ripped an Achilles tendon against Cronulla at Brookvale Oval.Talk was rife that Galuvao would return for Sunday night’s decider after fellow forward Richie Fa’aoso was ruled with a neck injury.

    Asked whether he was any chance of playing, Galuvao said: “No, mate. All the training I have been doing, it’s all to do with my rehab.“As much as I would like to be out there with the boys, it’s down to the 19 players that ‘Tooves’ (coach Geoff Toovey) has picked so far.

    “A lot of my training has been rehab running. I am confident I could (play) but it’s not to be.

    “I haven’t had direct talks with him (Toovey) about playing.“I don’t want to put the focus on me. It’s about the guys out there playing on the weekend. Good luck to them.’’

    Galuvao admitted he would play in a flash if asked.“I would definitely put my hand up, for sure,’’ he said.“It’s up the medical staff and if they think I am right ... I would jump at the chance if it came up but I haven’t played in five months.

    “Unfortunately it’s not (going to happen). Today was probably my last training run with the team.“If I was a betting man ... very long (odds to play).’’Galuvao played with Penrith in the victorious 2003 Grand Final.

    “The boys are pumped and we have had good training runs over the past couple of days,’’ he said.

    “We are experienced because of the grand finals the boys have been a part of.“It’s good to know we have been there, done that. We are trying to enjoy the week.“I have never been at a club where the guys get along so well. I said it when I first got here: in the first week I felt like I had been here for years.’’


    - - - Updated - - -

    Jamie Lyon labelled as good as 'the Prince of Centres', Dragons legend Reg Gasnier

    JAMIE Lyon has been labelled as good as the"Prince of Centres", Dragons legend Reg Gasnier.

    The backline jewel of St George's record 11-year premiership reign, Gasnier scored a remarkable 127 tries from 125 games between 1959-67. Noel Cleal, who signed Lyon for $2000, believes the Sea Eagles star provides today's generation of fans with similar acts of centre magic.

    The 31-year-old, on the verge of his second title in three years as skipper, registered 1000 points for Manly last Friday night. "I would call 'Killer' (Lyon) an Immortal at Manly," said Cleal, the former Test back-rower who played 125 games for Manly between 1983-89.

    "He might not carry the ball 100 metres every time he plays, but whenever he plays something special happens."If you count Bob Fulton as a five-eighth, he would be without doubt the best centre Manly have had, that includes the likes of Ray Branighan and Michael O'Connor.

    "I also go back to centres like Gasnier, Mick Cronin (Parramatta legend) and Steve Rogers (Dragons and Cronulla great) and for mine he should be spoken in the same sentence. "Maybe I'm a bit biased, but his performances warrant that.

    "Jamie is as good as any centre I have seen. He is always a step ahead and would hold his own against any great centres of the 1980s like a Gene Miles or Mal Meninga."

    Broncos great Steve Renouf, who scored a club record 142 tries in 183 games at Red Hill, agrees that Lyon should be spoken in the same reverential tones as the best three-quarters in the code's 105-year history.

    "You have to rate him up there with the greatest centres like Cronin and Gasnier," Renouf said."I remember watching him as a teenager and I thought this kid will go all the way.

    "He does things with ease. He never seems to panic. Centre is a tough position, defensively you have to make the right reads, but even in attack you have to make the right decisions quickly.

    "People think it's easy out there but Jamie Lyon makes it look easy, that's how good he is."Every week I watch him and think my goodness, what a talent.

    "Right now, he is one of the top two centres in the game with Justin Hodges. He is as consistent as I've seen him ... he can single-handedly beat the Roosters on Sunday night."

    Former Manly owner Max Delmege said bankrolling Lyon's signing in 2007 was a no-brainer when he planned an NRL return after his shock walkout on Parramatta three years earlier.

    "I discussed with the board whether to make a play for Jamie and we decided we had to have him on board," Delmege said."He has been a relevation. Jamie is an inspirational, honest guy with principles, a wonderful family man and he put Origin and Test jumpers behind him to make sure he gave Manly the best opportunity to win a premiership."


    - - - Updated - - -

    Sydney Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce out to exorcise family's grand final demons

    IT is the everlasting image that still haunts Wayne Pearce.

    The gutted Balmain skipper slumped on the SFS playing surface after his Tigers somehow lost the 1989 Grand Final to Canberra in extra-time.Now, 24 years on, Pearce hopes he can somehow exorcise those demons - through son Mitchell.

    Mitchell has the chance to conquer something his dad couldn’t quite achieve - winning a first grade premiership.Wayne lost successive grand finals for Balmain in 1988 and 1989. Mitchell lost a decider to St George Illawarra with the Sydney Roosters in 2010.

    Fate must step-in at some time. Maybe Sunday night.Mitchell will be a key figure in the Roosters' quest to overcome Manly and claim the Provan-Summons trophy.‘’I will tell you now, I’ll be celebrating if he wins because I didn’t get the chance in 1988 & 1989’ he said.

    ‘’The only time those memories (of Balmain losing) come up are in grand final week.‘’This will be a good chance for me to experience it through Mitchell’s eyes because we are connected.‘’I would probably be more satisfied for him (to win) than when I was playing.‘’The loss in 1989 was tough, especially after we lost in 1988.’’

    Mitchell stood tall last week against Newcastle.He was voted man-of-the-match in a thoroughly dominating display.The fact Mitchell has guided his side into the Grand Final after the shattering State of Origin loss is stunning.‘’Mitchell and all the other guys have worked hard all year to have a crack at the Grand Final,’’ Wayne said.

    ‘’It is good to see them get that opportunity again after the 2010 loss.‘’I think Mitchell is a better player than in 2010. I think he is better player this year than last year.

    ‘’He is getting better every season.‘’It’s going to be a cracker of a game. Every player will have to stand up to the pressure because it will be a high-pressure game.’’

    Through his friendship with Wayne, Steve "Blocker" Roach has known Mitchell since he was a baby.Roach on Wednesday night spoke of Mitchell’s mental toughness and ability.

    ‘’He is a tremendous kid,’’ Roach said. ‘’He was a bit down after State of Origin but he has that great quality to be able to bounce back.‘’It shows how much bottle he has.‘’Mitchell was best player on the field last week and he needs to repeat that. It’s great to see him get another opportunity in a grand final.‘’And I don’t think it will be his last grand final either.’’


    - - - Updated - - -

    Why Kieran Foran chose Manly over Des Hasler and stayed with the Sea Eagles

    KIERAN Foran has opened up about why he turned down the chance to reunite with Des Hasler at the Bulldogs last year to stay at Manly.

    He admits it was like trying to choose between your father and your brothers - but the special bond that kept him at the club will again be the Sea Eagles’ secret weapon in Sunday’s Grand Final.

    Foran’s combination with Daly Cherry-Evans is today rated the best halves partnership in the game and, at 23 and 24 respectively, this will be their second grand final together after their win under Hasler in 2011.

    But Foran’s decision to stay ended up being the best move he never made.The tough five-eighth had a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave once Hasler was no longer coaching Manly.

    He admits he was a phone call away from reuniting with his old coach at the Bulldogs but as much as he felt drawn to Hasler he said he just couldn’t walk away from his teammates.

    "When I came to Manly, Dessy was such a big influence on the club, that is all I kind of ever knew,” Foran explained."And then when he left I just thought it would never happen, not in my wildest dreams.

    "I thought I would play at Manly the rest of my life and Des Hasler would be the coach."So when that happened it was a big change to my life."Look, that was a tough time.

    "I’ve got so many great mates, I didn’t want to leave them."I just needed time to sit back and think what this club was about and what actually made it so special."And when I got down to the finer points it was about this culture

    "The players, the boys that have been here for so many years, I didn’t want to walk away from that."So he stayed with Manly and the rest is now history.

    Plenty of people have been amazed by the courage that has inspired their charge through the finals after Manly were basically given up for dead three weeks ago.But courageous back-to-back wins over Cronulla and Souths have them today being hailed as one of the bravest teams ever assembled.

    And evidence of that commitment to each other was on show the day Foran turned down Hasler’s offer.Many of his teammates including halves partner Cherry-Evans had him gone to the Bulldogs for sure.

    "From my personal conversations with Kieran he was obviously pretty much gone," Cherry-Evans said this week.“So for him to have something click and have him stay was huge for the club."I am very, very happy that Kieran made that decision to stay.

    "I’d hate to see him play for any other club because I think he is the sort of guy this team needs for the next seven to 10 years."He is a competitor. It doesn’t matter if it is on or off the field, he is a competitive guy."And above all that he is a good person.

    "He means well, he is kind-hearted, he would do no wrong by his teammates or his family."He is the sort of person I enjoy being around and the sort of person I’d have to have this relationship with for the rest of my life."

    Foran added: "It was just about me making a decision that I thought was best for my footy and my life and when I added those things up it was to stay at Manly."This is a great footy club. I have great mates here, blokes I hope to be mates with for years to come and I just didn’t want to walk away from that.

    "That is the culture I’m talking about. Blokes like 'Choc' Watmough, Jason King, Brent Kite, Glenn Stewart, Brett Stewart, Jamie Lyon and Steve Matai - they have built this culture and that is who I give the credit to.

    "They have built this up for eight or nine years and now all of a sudden us young guys are coming through and we feed off that.’’


    - - - Updated - - -

    Time to mess up Sonny Bill Williams' hair, says Test great Bob McCarthy

    TEST great Bob McCarthy believes Manly coach Geoff Toovey can clinch his maiden premiership by instructing his players to physically target Roosters superstar Sonny Bill Williams.

    Williams is the Roosters’ X-factor in Sunday’s Grand Final at ANZ Stadium, but McCarthy says the 28-year-old could be susceptible to rough-house tactics from Manly hardmen Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart.

    Souths legend McCarthy has enormous respect for Williams’ talent but is surprised more teams have not emulated the Titans’ blueprint by consistently ruffling his feathers.Now a national selector, McCarthy noted the success of Cronulla and Gold Coast, who produced back-to-back upsets of the Roosters in round 24 and 25 by taking on Sydney’s strike weapon.

    “I’m sure Manly will target him, that’s the way to put him off his game,’’ McCarthy said.“They need to take a leaf out of Cronulla and the Titans, they upset the whole Easts regime by getting up in Sonny’s face and didn’t relent the whole time.“Guys like Watmough are made for that type of stuff.

    “[Sonny's] definitely up there skillwise, but he hardly gets his hair mucked up.“No one really roughs him up like Cronulla did that night and also the Titans.“He didn’t seem to like it when guys stuck it to him.’’

    Like Williams, McCarthy was an explosive back-rower with a good turn of pace, scoring 100 tries in 211 games for the Rabbitohs, winning three premierships in 1967 and 1970-71.

    McCarthy starred during a brutal era in the code’s history and wonders how some modern-day forward greats, including Williams, would have handled being stiff-armed on a weekly basis.“In my day, they used to do more than mess your hair up, they would try and take your head off,’’ he said.

    “I’m not saying Sonny wouldn’t have made it in a tougher era, I reckon he probably would have, but sometimes you don’'t know how blokes would react to all that stuff.

    “There were a lot more talented blokes than me but they couldn’t handle being targeted and the rough stuff.“But I’ll say this" Sonny is certainly a wonderful athlete ... he is a good player.’’

    McCarthy's assessment came as New Zealand rugby powerbrokers compile a $1 million package that could blow the Roosters out of the race for SBW’s prized signature.

    As revealed by The Courier-Mail last month, Williams is seriously considering a return to rugby, privately indicating the physicality of the NRL has taken a toll on his 108kg frame.

    The Roosters haven’t given up hope of retaining Williams but New Zealand Super 15 side the Chiefs are exploring third-party opportunities to bolster a base NZRU deal in the vicinity of $500,000.

    It is understood Williams’ management held another round of talks with Chiefs chairman Dallas Fisher a fortnight ago.Fisher was tight-lipped Wednesday night, but sources close to the Chiefs are confident the Kiwi Test star will return to rugby.

    “The NZRU and the Chiefs have the ability to deliver a $1 million package for Sonny Bill,’’ the insider said.“The word over here is that the deal is 100 per cent done.“He is getting bashed in the NRL. The Chiefs have been specifically told he is getting targeted in rugby league, he will get burned-out if he stays in the NRL.’’

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  4. Jekk

    Jekk Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 21, 2007
    Wow just try and stop the excited chatter this game has produced! 2 whole pages! :lol:
  5. danielyou56

    danielyou56 1997 & 2001...

    Mar 23, 2012
    New Lambton, Newcastle
    as much as it's the grand final and it's the ultimate stage of our game this(especially for us disappointed knights fans after the loss) has to be one of the most boringly hyped grand finals ever, i'm not even the slightest excited about it, i don't really know who's gonna win, usually that makes it more exciting but that just bores me even more.
  6. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Boyd Cordner in doubt but Sonny Bill Williams will play NRL grand final for Roosters

    BOYD Cordner has until Saturday to prove his fitness for the grand final but Sonny Bill Williams is a certain starter for Sydney Roosters.

    Dally M coach of the year Trent Robinson today declared a calf injury and last week's food poisoning scare would not stop champion backrower Williams from playing Sunday's NRL decider against Manly.

    Cordner, the Dally M second-rower of the year, is hoping to return after seven weeks sidelined by a broken ankle but Robinson was circumspect on his chances of playing.

    "Sonny Bill will be OK but he does have some bumps and bruises and he was crook last week," Robinson said at today's grand final lunch."(Cordner) wants to play but is also aware that he doesn't want to let his team down."

    Robinson said Cordner would need to be capable of playing the full 80 minutes. Captain Anthony Minichiello said the NSW Origin forward was keeping a cool head in his bid to be fit."He's doing everything he can to be fit for Sunday," Minichiello said.

  7. jamesgould

    jamesgould Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Dec 14, 2005
    Lower Hutt, New Zealand
    The only thing that could get me excited about watching this would be a Galuvao comeback.
  8. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Galuvao unlikely but in mix for NRL GF

    By Ben Horne
    4:25pm Thu 03rd October, 2013

    Joe Galuvao's dream of an NRL grand final fairytale has been given new life with Manly coach Geoff Toovey declaring the veteran forward still "in the mix".

    On Wednesday Galuvao said he was ready to play if called upon for Sunday's decider but admitted he was at long odds because Toovey had already decided he wouldn't use him to fill his vacant interchange spot.

    But there's either been some miscommunication or a change of heart because on Thursday Toovey refused to rule Galuvao out - the strongest indication yet that the improbable could happen.

    Five months ago Galuvao announced his retirement after rupturing an Achilles tendon, requiring surgery.

    Now he's some chance to end his impressive career with a fourth grand final appearance.

    On Sunday, Galuvao will either parade around ANZ Stadium as one of the NRL's retiring greats, or he'll lace up his boots for one last hurrah.

    Toovey said Galuvao had done all he could to face the Sydney Roosters on Sunday.

    "He's in the mix but it would be highly unlikely. He's had 20 weeks off," said Toovey.

    "It was a major surgery, an Achilles comeback, but he's trained hard this week to try and prove himself and he's in the mix."

    Manly will hold a captain's run on Saturday where Toovey will make a final call on his bench.

    At the moment 28-year-old David Gower and youngster James Hasson are in contention for the interchange spot left vacant by Richie Fa'aoso, who suffered a broken neck in last week's preliminary final win over South Sydney.

    Galuvao has won premierships with Penrith and Manly and also featured in a losing grand final for Parramatta, and Manly are understandably tempted to inject a player of his experience.

    It's unlikely Toovey would want his fourth forward on the bench to play much more than 20 minutes.

    And if he thinks Galuvao can get through that much football, than he might emerge as a preferable option to inexperienced options Gower and Hasson.

    Galuvao is a mistake-free footballer who has the ability to straighten up Manly's drives up-field.

    A comeback would certainly serve as an inspiration.

    Rival coach Trent Robinson said "he wouldn't be surprised" if Galuvao did play.

    Whether Galuvao plays or not remains a mystery, but according to close mate Frank Puletua, nothing can diminish what he believes is one of the "great" NRL careers.

    Galuvao has been to five clubs since he debuted as a fullback for the Warriors in 1998.

    At the Warriors and later Souths he was told he had no future in the game.

    Since Rabbitohs owner Russell Crowe urged him to hang up the boots in 2007, he's played in two grand finals.

    Galuvao may not be a big name player, but he has continually fought on and found ways to rise back to the top.

    "That's why I think it's a great career," said former Penrith teammate Puletua.

    "There's times when the profile of a player can carry them over some of the more difficult times. But I think Joey being able to come back from really the lows of lows you can have in rugby league, where you get thrown outside the unit and basically shown the door.

    "To come back from that is special.

    "I wouldn't write him off (from the grand final).

    "He's keeping his cards close to his chest ... I know he won't detract from the team and they'll probably gain a lot more by having him out there."


  9. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Manly must fight to keep Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran, says Andrew Johns

    IMMORTAL Andrew Johns says Manly must do whatever it takes to ensure star halves Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran remain one-club players, declaring they can dominate the NRL together for at least the next five years.

    "I’d love to see them play out their careers alongside each other at the Eagles," Johns said."You look at what they are doing now and how well they are doing it. They are still only young players who won’t reach their peak until they are 28 or 29.

    "It’s scary to think how good they could be. They have done so much already in their young careers but they are still improving both as individuals and as a combination."

    Johns, the two-time premiership-winning halfback who is employed in a specialised coaching role at the Eagles, has played a significant role over the past couple of seasons in the development of Manly’s star duo.

    Cherry-Evans’ lethal short-kicking game, in particular, has Johns written all over it, while the composure and decision-making of the pair are hallmarks of what made the former Newcastle captain such a great player.

    But Johns was quick to deflect attention away from himself when asked about their development."Outside of the players themselves, the bloke who deserves a lot of the credit for the way they are going is David Penna (Manly assistant coach)," Johns said.

    "He coached them both in the under-20s when they were coming through and still does a lot of stuff with them."With me, it’s just the little things we do together like what to think on the footy field, that sort of thing."But probably the big one is the mentality of the kicking game. Which kicks where and getting them into the right place at the right time, that sort of thing.

    "Cherry’s development in that regard this year has been really impressive. He’s gone to that real elite class."Johns says Cherry-Evans and Foran complement each other well.

    "They are both really selfless players," he said."If Cherry’s dominating, then Kieran doesn’t feel the need to put his stamp on the game and vice versa."If Cherry’s doing a lot of the kicking, you can bet Kieran’s the one who is first down there leading the chase.

    "But if it’s happening for Kieran, Cherry will take a bit of a back seat."Cherry has this great relationship and combination going with Glenn Stewart on the right with Jamie Lyon while Kieran’s asking all these questions on the left.

    "They share the ball around so well but they are playing together and passing each other the ball a lot more this season, which is something Toovs (coach Geoff Toovey) has wanted them to do."

    "They have both won a grand final but they’re always pushing and working hard to improve and both recognise they are still learning," he said.

    "It’s all about game management with them now — picking their times better on the field, taking the right options and knowing just when to pull the trigger."That’s where their improvement lies."


    - - - Updated - - -

    Great Grand Finals: Allan Langer sings 'St George can't play' after 1993 Grand Final between Broncos and Dragons

    THE 1993 Grand Final was most famous for what happened after the game, certainly not during it.

    And certainly not before.Crowd surfing after the game, on stage in a beer can hat, Allan Langer sang “St George Can’t Play” in drunken, party tones.

    It sparked a minor war with the Dragons that lasted the length of the decade, until the Dragons finally merged with Illawarra and the sting went out.

    Langer’s serenade was seen as symbolic of the arrogant, upstart Broncos.“We didn’t want to be seen as arrogant or big-headed,” said Kevin Walters, Langer’s partner in crime.

    But nobody knew what provoked Langer’s ridiculing of the Dragons. That the Broncos had unwittingly been dragged into a slanging match, and were only responding in kind.Days before the game, Broncos coach Wayne Bennett revealed to his team that St George’s tip sheet was leaked to him, with some pretty scathing criticisms.

    One of the focal points of the tip sheet was Walters.“I can’t remember it word for word but it went along the lines of ‘the least potential of the Walters brothers, lives in Langer’s shadow’, all that sort of stuff,” Walters said.

    “It probably wasn’t that far off the mark,” he laughed, “but still ... it rattled the cage a bit and got me a bit fired up. You like to prove people wrong.

    “Lazzo [Glenn Lazarus], he was slow around the ruck. Gilly [Trevor Gillmeister], he was over-rated with his defence ... He put that to bed in the first couple of minutes.“We took it pretty personal.”All well and good, except the tip sheet was a con.Bennett hadn’t been leaked it by a disloyal Dragons staffer.

    He got hold of St George stationery and made it up himself.Yet it had the desired the effect, the Broncos taking their second premiership in a row over the Dragons, 14-6.

    It took years for the truth to finally emerge.In that time Walters, 45, won more premierships, took up a minor coaching job with the Broncos, won titles in the Queensland Cup, had a head coaching role with Catalans in the English Super League before resigning as Craig Bellamy’s assistant earlier this year to return to Brisbane.

    Earlier this week he missed the North Queensland job, which went to Paul Green, after Walters was included in the final round of presentations.It was a knockback, not a knockout.Unlike many where the dream is alive but the reality dead, Walters is a first grade coach in waiting, and now merely awaits his opportunity.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott throws support behind Manly Sea Eagles

    PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has publicly backed Manly, telling the Sea Eagles: "Leave nothing in the tank!"

    Abbott has risked alienating Sydney Roosters fans by sending a public letter of encouragement to the Manly club ahead of Sunday’s NRL Grand Final.The new PM, though, is Member for Warringah, his electorate smack-bang in the middle of Manly territory.

    Abbott wrote: "You haven’t made it to the Grand Final by accident. You have fought every step of the way."The critics said you peaked too early and ran out of puff, well, you answered that last Friday.

    "I know Sunday will be in many ways bitter-sweet for (injured forward) Richie Fa’aoso."Richie, all footy fans are glad you are OK and I hope that over the months ahead you make a complete recovery.

    "While I have the cauliflower ears of a footballer, I only have the football prowess of a politician, so I will keep my advice concise: Leave nothing in the tank!"Manly co-owner Rick Penn is a close friend of the Prime Minister.

    "Tony is such a decent man," Penn said."He has always taken a keen interest in Manly. He comes to our grand finals."He is a real sportsman who loves the NRL and is passionate about the Sea Eagles."Tony is a great supporter of our club. It is a fantastic honour to have the Prime Minister in our local area."

    Abbott has pledged $10 million toward an upgrade of Brookvale Oval, a ground in desperate need of restoration.He is often seen in the Brookvale Oval private suites.Abbott was never a rugby league player though, preferring to play rugby union during his footy career.He concluded his letter by writing:

    "I wish I could be in the stands cheering you on, however I will be representing Australia at a summit overseas."Rest assured, I will find some way to watch the game."Go Manly!"


    - - - Updated - - -

    Former Manly Sea Eagles owner Max Delmege serves it up to ex-coach Des Hasler

    FORMER Manly owner Max Delmege believes Des Hasler is regretting handing his empire to Geoff Toovey, accusing him of putting financial greed ahead of a Sea Eagles dynasty.

    It is almost two years to the day that Hasler dropped a bombshell at Brookvale, quitting to join Canterbury just seven days after masterminding Manly's last title triumph in 2011.

    Hasler's departure was expected to leave a gaping void, but his former assistant Toovey has thrived in the hot seat to steer the Sea Eagles to Sunday's grand final against the Roosters.

    While Hasler took the Bulldogs to last year's decider, he endured a below-par 2013 campaign headlined by a first-week finals exit and star fullback Ben Barba's nightmare season.

    The former Test star steered Manly to three grand finals in eight seasons, winning premiership rings in 2008 and '11, and Delmege claims Hasler would be ruing walking away."I will say this, I bet you Des is now sorry," said Delmege, who severed ties in 2010 after injecting $15 million into the club.

    "There’s no question he would regret leaving. Des still lives on the northern beaches and he's now driving to Belmore, whereas before he went up the road to Narrabeen. But the most important thing, and it must be going through his head, is that Des was the Pope at Manly.

    He was revered at the club and he could do no wrong. He walked away from a very good roster and I'm sure he must rue the dynasty he could have built at Manly.

    "Des is a very domineering person, he is a control freak, so when he walked Geoff Toovey was thrown in the deep end."Utilising Delmege’s millions, Hasler tweaked and refined Manly, transforming the club into a powerhouse on the back of state-of-the-art resources and infrastructure.

    Toovey has since enjoyed the fruits of Hasler's labour, but Delmege scoffs at suggestions the Sea Eagles great primarily left Brookvale for a new challenge.

    "It's simple, he went for the money," Delmege said. "Des still has his first dollar ... anyone who knows Des knows he's tight."The Dogs gave him everything he wanted, he was offered a huge deal and he got all the facilities he wanted.

    "It was the same at Manly. I must admit, when I was in control at Manly I virtually gave him all the tools. You can be the best carpenter in the world but if you have a blunt saw, your product won't be so great."We gave Des the best tools but Canterbury went overboard."

    Now a Sydney radio talkback host, Delmege believes Toovey has well and truly stepped out of Hasler's imposing shadow."Even if Des wanted to come back to Manly, Tooves shouldn't step aside because he has already proven himself," he said.

    "I reckon in 2012, Des would have been a real strong chance of leading Manly to another premiership. It's easy to be wise after the event but at the end of the day we can't complain, we have a great replacement in Tooves and we are very happy.

    "Even if we lose the grand final, Geoff can only get better and better, he is his own man now."


    - - - Updated - - -

    LATE MAIL: Boyd Cordner, Luke O'Donnell return for Sydney Roosters in Grand Final

    THE Roosters have received a massive double boost ahead of Sunday's Grand Final, with Boyd Cordner and Luke O'Donnell both cleared to return from injury in the season's biggest clash.

    Well-placed sources at Bondi Junction on Thursday confirmed Cordner had been given the green light to make his long-awaited comeback from an ankle injury, while veteran prop O’Donnell is odds-on to overcome the hamstring complaint that outed him from last weekend’s grand final qualifier against Newcastle.

    It’s understood Cordner will start the match in his preferred position of lock, forcing nominated No. 13 Frank-Paul Nu'uausala to switch to the front row. Should Nu'uausala start the match, Tongan prop Sam Moa will most likely be shuffled back to the bench.

    After suffering a shoulder injury in the win against the Knights, rookie front rower Isaac Liu is expected to make way for 32-year-old O’Donnell, who tweaked his hamstring at last Friday’s final training run.

    The other omission is not certain, but it’s unlikely back rowers Aidan Guerra or Mitchell Aubusson would be dropped on form, leaving hard-hitting rookie Dylan Napa as the man most likely to drop-off the bench.Both Cordner and O’Donnell skipped Thursday’s Grand Final lunch to receive extra treatment on their injuries at Roosters HQ.

    Speaking prior to the lunch, Rooster coach Trent Robinson described the selection dilemma as the toughest call of his short NRL coaching career.“Just the enormity of the game puts a lot of pressure on these decisions,” Robinson said.

    “Some people think about it for the rest of their lives.“Playing a guy or not playing a guy is really important.”Cordner has been sidelined since round 22, when he suffered ankle syndesmosis and was declared a long shot to play again this season.

    But the single-minded 21-year-old refused to give up hope, knowing that if the Roosters made the Grand Final he’d be a chance to come back.While he didn’t make last week’s side, Cordner was on standby to replace star back-rower Sonny Bill Williams, who contracted food poisoning on match eve.

    Robinson on Thursday confirmed the boom NSW Origin representative could have played against Newcastle, but that medical staff elected to err on the side of caution.“He was close, he could have played but obviously our squad was pretty healthy,” Robinson said.

    “The risk we would have had to take to play Boyd was too much. He didn’t quite pass the (fitness) test.“We put him through some runs and he’s better this week.

    “It’s not just about playing. It’s about doing a similar job and playing some minutes.”

    Cordner’s father Chris on Thursday night backed his youngest son to go the distance after such an extended lay-off.“I haven’t been told whether he’s playing, but I didn’t think he would miss the Grand Final,” Chris said.

    “From the start Boyd has been doing the maths and crunching the numbers about when he could come back, and he wanted to make sure he could come back for this game.“Mentally he’ll be switched on. That will get him through it. He’ll force himself to get through it.”

    O’Donnell’s return is a feelgood story of equal measure. The former Tigers and Cowboys enforcer is without a club for 2014 and last week faced the unpalatable prospect of ending his stint at the Roosters in the grand stand.

    O’Donnell also won the team’s players’ player award in their tremendous 4-0 qualifying final win over Manly three weeks ago.

  10. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Cheerleaders, psychics and fairytales - How to pick this year's NRL grand final winner

    IT'S too tough to call on form so Nick Walshaw has developed his own system to pick this year's grand final winner between the Roosters and the Sea Eagles.


    Okay, so this is how it goes according to the clichés. Defence wins deciders: Roosters. Tough Septembers win deciders: Manly. Losing one means winning one: Roosters. And a champion halfback wins deciders: Manly, just. Result: Draw.


    If you think winning a Dally M gong in your first year is impressive, head to Youtube and look up ‘Geoff Toovey Song’. Anything but a Manly win here would, well, demand an investigation.


    Normally we’d track down every player’s weight, then combine and compare them. This year, however, we simply took one look at Gorgeous George Rose. Advantage Manly.


    The world, they say, is divided into two: people with tattoos and people scared of people with tattoos. And given Frank-Paul Nuuausala boasts more ink than a giant squid, it’s advantage Roosters.


    Anthony Minichiello has played in five grand finals. He has lost four. Surely, the Gods of Rugby League won’t let him become the first player in more than 100 years to lose five times at the Big Dance, will they?


    Yes, the Dalai Lama rocks maroon robes, but he also wears sandals with socks and is a South Sydney fan. And Queensland rock maroon jerseys, but . . . well, they’re Queenslanders. Still, who are we to argue with a living deity and eight straight Origin wins. Advantage Manly.


    Hotter than Bourke in January, the Manly Seabirds are to cheerleading what Muhammad Ali was to boxing. They just boast more knockouts. But then again, is it the Roosters who have the edge?


    According to the Psychic Hotline, the Sydney Roosters will win the Grand Final and my lucky numbers in Clive Churchill betting are 12, 3, 16, 7, 65, 98, 8, 4 and 17 through 33, inclusive.


    According to Fox Sports Stats, Roosters players have made 14 grand final appearances combined and won two, for a success rate of 14 per cent. Manly players have contested 27 deciders and won 20 — for 74 per cent. Probably don’t ask Stephen Hawking to solve this one.


    One option is to spend hours crunching statistics like Jorge Taufua boasting most linebreaks, Daly Cherry Evans most 40/20s, Mitchell Pearce most linebreak assists and Jimmy Maloney a conversion rate of 87%. Another is to remind you how three times this year they’ve met, and three times the Roosters have won.


    The Roosters are shorter than a bush jockey, paying $1.67


    Yes, the Roosters have James Packer, Scotty Cam, Darryle Braithwaite, Les Hill and Mark Bouris. But Manly have the Wolverine. And no prizes for guessing what happens when you throw them all into a steel cage and lock the door.


    Manly are sure to boast the bulk of the crowd on Sunday evening -- thanks largely to all those Rabbitohs fans who have been unable to scalp their tickets.


    Sydney Roosters in a nailbiter. Under rookie coach Trent Robinson, the boys from Bondi Junction have developed a steel that's not only kept six sides scoreless this season -- a feat the past 11 Roosters teams only achieve combined -- but forever consigned all latte gags to the trash. Ther're gritty. Classy. Across the park showing you more stars than the coyote sees whenever Road Runner drops one of those ACME anvils on his head.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Graeme Langlands' white boots shocker tops list of worst NRL grand final blunders

    • OCTOBER 04, 2013 12:30PM

    GRAEME Langlands' decision to play the 1975 decider goes down as the most famous rugby league grand final blunder of all time.

    Battling a groin injury and standing out in white boots (it was 1975 after all), Langlands produced the worst game of his illustrious career.

    Prior to kick-off, the Immortal was given a painkilling injection that, rather than deadening his pain, instead made his whole leg numb.

    Langlands wrote in his book Larrikin and Saint: "It was an injection that went wrong. It wasn't the doctor's fault. The injection went in where the nerves shouldn't have been. They had moved because of all the injuries that I've had around the groin".But Langlands is not alone when it comes to grand final shockers.

    * 1999: Melbourne v St George – Anthony Mundine, you hog

    * 1976: Manly v Parramatta – Grand final slips through Neville Glover’s hands

    * 1984: Canterbury v Parramatta – Mick Cronin misses a sitter

    * 1989: Canberra v Balmain – Wayne Pearce drops it cold

    * 2005: Wests Tigers v North Queensland – Paul Bowman’s in-goal brain fade

    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  11. jamesgould

    jamesgould Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Dec 14, 2005
    Lower Hutt, New Zealand
    That's harsh on Bowman in 05, the game was already over by then.
  12. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Head-To-Head GF Player Ratings

    By Nigel Wall
    3:00pm Fri 04th October, 2013

    The Roosters and the Sea Eagles each boast awesome packs of forwards capable of bending the opposition line in attack and stopping their rivals dead in their tracks in defence.

    Each club boasts creative and brilliant halves who will have a huge say in how many points their sides post on the scoreboard. And both teams are brimming with speed to burn out wide.

    But does one team hold an advantage that could prove the difference on Sunday?

    Here’s our rundown on how the two teams match up, position by position (as officially named on Tuesday).


    Anthony Minichiello may have lost a metre of pace over the years but he’s still an important linkman in attack and dependable fielding and returning kicks at the back. ‘Mini’ has made the fourth most runs by any No.1 in 2013, along with 58 tackle busts (eighth most). He possesses a potentially lethal offload.

    Rating: 7.5

    Brett Stewart’s mere presence bamboozled the Rabbitohs last week; he came through a three-week injury lay-off in fine shape, scoring a try and making a try assist. He’ll pose a huge psychological threat, particularly attacking the Roosters’ left edge in tandem with Jamie Lyon.

    Rating: 8


    Daniel Tupou and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck combine for a wonderful mixture of size and speed. Tupou’s height will pose a threat in the air for the likes of David Williams and Jamie Lyon, while Tuivasa-Sheck’s lightning-fast footwork could crack the Sea Eagles open.

    The pair lead all wing combinations for tackle busts (166) but have crossed for just 22 tries between them.

    Rating: 8

    David Williams and Jorge Taufua are the most lethal try-scoring duo in the comp, with 39 so far. Taufua will prove a handful for Tuivasa-Sheck and centre partner Shun Kenny-Dowall – he leads all wingers for tackle busts (93) and line-breaks (32).

    Williams is a wonderful finisher and he won’t shirk his share of the tough stuff out of dummy-half; however his defensive reads can sometimes be a little off-cue.

    Rating: 8.5


    Michael Jennings has electric footwork and a wind-up from a standing start unrivalled in the NRL. To date Jennings has the most line busts (17) and tries (19) by any centre this season; together with partner Shaun Kenny-Dowall the Roosters three-quarters have busted more tackles than any other combination in the NRL (149 compared to Manly’s 110).

    However, the downside is Jennings has tallied more mistakes than any other centre (29). Kenny-Dowall has a dangerous offload but he too is prone to making mistakes (24) and he has conceded more penalties than other centres (15).

    Rating: 8

    Jamie Lyon is the form centre of 2013. The Manly skipper’s greatest asset is his ability to put a teammate away into open space from anywhere on the field – he boasts an NRL-high 16 line-break assists so far, along with six try assists and almost an offload per game.

    The Roosters can’t afford to hang off Lyon as he makes his diagonal runs across-field or else he’ll put on a spurt and burn them himself. Possible downside is he’s made 23 errors so far. On the left edge Steve Matai possesses a devastating left-foot sidestep that has helped him to 11 tries, 61 tackle busts and 10 line busts. Defensive lapses are his weakness – he misses almost 2.5 tackles per game.

    Rating: 8.5


    James Maloney is a wonderful running pivot who loves to hit gaps hard – he leads his position for line busts with 17 so far. But he’s an accomplished playmaker too; his 16 line-break assists rank second behind Johnathan Thurston, while his 23 try assists rank second behind Jarrod Mullen.

    He needs to watch his discipline though – he is the ultimate NRL ‘bad boy’ in 2013, with 24 penalties conceded so far. He’s made 24 errors.

    Rating: 8

    Kieran Foran has laid on plenty of left-edge attack for Manly in 2013, with Justin Horo and Jorge Taufua the main beneficiaries. Foran has tallied 19 try assists so far. He’ll pop up when least expected too – in particular following through a Daly Cherry-Evans grubber kick beside or between the goalposts. He presents only a minimum liability with 13 errors and 14 penalties.

    Rating: 8


    Mitchell Pearce leads all halfbacks for the important categories of line-break assists (21) and try assists (24) – although that’s hardly a shock given the Roosters have scored more points than any team this season. Pearce always displays great energy and is at his best when his forward pack dominates.

    However, his long-kicking game can deteriorate when he’s placed under pressure, resulting in poorly directed kicks and easy kick-return metres. Like Maloney, he needs to watch his discipline, with his 20 penalties conceded the most by any No.7.

    Rating: 7.5

    Daly Cherry-Evans has wowed the NRL at the back end of the season, with his strong running game, ability to shrug off would-be defenders and prolific offloading spearheading the Manly assault.

    The Roosters must get him to ground early – DC-E has made a whopping 38 offloads and 63 tackle busts – both category bests. His ability to generate repeat sets through deft kicks into the in-goal will be invaluable to the maroon and white and his combination with Jamie Lyon on the right edge will be a major factor should Manly prevail.

    He needs to remain calm and watch his handling though – he has tallied 20 errors so far.

    Rating: 8.5


    Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Sam Moa form a formidable pairing that combine brawn with athleticism. JW-H is averaging 14 hit-ups and 122 metres but his biggest threat comes with his ability to get away a late pass – his 30 offloads are easily the most by a front-rower. Moa has good footwork at the line and is averaging almost 100 metres a game, with four line-breaks.

    Rating: 8

    Brenton Lawrence has been the front row find of 2013, combining work rate with skill, speed and force. He leads all bookends for line busts (five) and ranks second behind Andrew Fifita for tackle busts (with 47).

    Throw in an average 108 metres, 19 offloads and 29 tackles a match and he’s a valuable cog. Veteran Brent Kite is no stranger to this stage – he won the Churchill Medal for his effort in the 2008 grand final win over the Storm.

    Although nearly 33 he’ playing big minutes (nearly 50 a match) with an average 12 runs, 95 metres and 25 tackles a game.

    Rating: 7


    Jake Friend gets through a mountain of defensive work in his average 60 minutes on the park with 38 tackles but it’s his ability to set up runners that is so highly valued by his teammates. Friend has registered eight try assists and eight line-break assists – each the third-most by a hooker in the NRL. Importantly he has made fewer mistakes than any other rake (just three all year).

    Rating: 8

    Matt Ballin is an 80-minute player who thrives on the tough stuff, with 45 tackles a match. He may be a limited threat in attack, with just three try assists and two line-break assists, but he’s no stranger to having a dig himself and memorably scored from dummy-half in the 2008 win over Melbourne.

    Needs to watch his discipline though, with 20 penalties conceded.

    Rating: 7.5


    Aidan Guerra is a solid performer who has started on five occasions for the Roosters and been injected off the bench 15 times. He averages 22 tackles a game and his strong running has yielded almost four tackle-breaks every outing.

    Sonny Bill Williams will be primed for a huge 80 minutes in what most are expecting will be his final game in the NRL. SBW has an outrageous passing game, both at the line and offloading.

    He leads his position for try assists (six) and line-break assists (12) and also boasts an NRL-high nine line busts and 57 offloads.

    Rating: 8

    Anthony Watmough needs just one metre to clock up 30 kilometres of runs in his NRL career – in 2013 he’s averaging 127 metres a game. He ranks second to SBW for offloads (with 44) and has proven tough to pin down with 48 tackle busts.

    Justin Horo has thrived since moving to Manly from the Eels; he will look to Kieran Foran for opportunities close to the Roosters’ line on the left edge. Horo leads all back-rowers for tries (with nine).

    Rating: 8


    Frank-Paul Nuuausala is a no-frills worker who possesses a good offload and solid work rate, with 55 metres of territory and 22 tackles in 45 minutes of game time.

    Rating: 7

    Glenn Stewart is the most creative lock in the league, with a position-best seven try assists along with four line-break assists. ‘Gifty’ is a proven performer at this level, having won the Churchill Medal in 2011.

    But his 3.3 missed tackles per match in 2013 are a concern, as are his 16 errors and 18 penalties conceded.

    Rating 7.5


    The Roosters’ bench of Daniel Mortimer, Mitchell Aubusson, Isaac Liu andDylan Napa boasts GF experience, mobility, muscle and tough defence. Throw in the likely additions of Boyd Cordner and Luke O’Donnell and they won’t miss a beat when coach Trent Robinson signals his changes.

    Rating: 8.5

    The Sea Eagles’ bench of David Gower, Jamie Buhrer, Tom Symonds and George Rose has a focus on defence, although Rose’s bulk could prove telling as a battering ram close to the try line. Worryingly Gower has averaged only 16 minutes in 2013.

    Rating: 7


    Roosters: 78.5
    Sea Eagles: 78.5


    - - - Updated - - -

    Johns' polish on Manly's title quest

    By Steve Jancetic
    3:06pm Fri 04th October, 2013

    Manly five-eighth Kieran Foran credits Andrew Johns with adding the polish that has the Sea Eagles on the cusp on premiership glory and NRL domination.

    Foran describes working with Johns, who he considers the greatest rugby league player of alltime, as "outrageous".

    And he says he and fellow half Daly Cherry-Evans have taken their games to a new level since the club secured exclusive use of the legendary halfback's services this season.

    Prior to that Johns acted as a coaching consultant for several NRL clubs, but his extended sessions have transformed potential into class, elevating the Manly pair to rank amongst the best playmaking combinations in the game.

    They disposed of one of their rivals for that honour when they outplayed South Sydney's Adam Reynolds and John Sutton last weekend and their clash with Sydney
    Roosters NSW Origin pair James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce will go a long way to deciding Sunday's grand final at ANZ Stadium.

    Pearce last week described Cherry-Evans as the form player in the NRL, a call due in no small part to the work of Johns.

    "With Joey, it's just the polish," said Foran.

    "He comes in once or twice a week and his ability to fine tune aspects of our game has really helped us out this year.

    "You always need someone keeping you on your toes, adding to your skills, finding ways to do this better or do that better, and that's what he does."

    Combined, the Manly halves' try assists and line break assists have jumped 46 per cent on last year's numbers, while they are also getting better at sharing the kicking duties, a part of the game once dominated by Cherry-Evans now far more evenly spread.

    But it is Johns' insights when training that have Foran most in awe.

    "He's telling us what he sees, he's giving us an insight into his vision," Foran said.

    "I can't express how lucky we are to have him working with us.

    "A bloke who I believe was the greatest player to lace on a boot, it's incredible.

    "I always pinch myself when he's down there throwing a footy or kicking a footy with us, it's outrageous really."

    The Roosters' win over Newcastle in last week's preliminary final may have only aided Johns' efforts this week, sparing him being emotionally torn between his employer and the club and region he represented his whole career.

    But Johns is not the only man making an impact of the youthful playmakers.

    As a former premiership-winning half, Manly head coach Geoff Toovey too has had his fair share of influence on the duo.

    "The things I get out of Tooves are his passion and his calmness," Cherry-Evans said.

    "Believe it or not he's really calm.

    "He's been in these positions before as both a coach and player, he knows how to handle them and that definitely rubs off on myself."


    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  13. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    The case for the Sydney Roosters and Manly Sea Eagles in Sunday's NRL Grand Final

    THE Roosters have been the NRL's form team for most of the season and go into the grand final as favourites, but on the big stage no team has more experience than Manly.

    So who will win and why?Paul Crawley rates the key factors that will decide tomorrow's big game.

    Five reasons why the Roosters can win:


    It all starts up front. Right now Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is the best prop in the game and even though he wasn't judged man of the match last week against Newcastle he was the single biggest difference. Once the Roosters big men build momentum they are almost impossible to stop.

    Newcastle couldn't handle them through the middle and the biggest hurdle for Manly will be trying to keep the Roosters working out of their own end.


    Mitchell Pearce came back from Origin with his confidence shattered but has been born again under Trent Robinson's coaching.

    Newcastle tried to work Maloney over last week and he missed more tackles than any other player (seven) but still made an enormous contribution to the end result.

    Pearce and Maloney's job is to work off the back of their go-forward and deliver good ball to the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, Boyd Cordner and Michael Jennings.

    They've done this week after week for months now - but trying to deliver in a grand final will still be their biggest test.


    Everyone wants to know if SBW is going to be sticking around in the NRL next season. You get the feeling the odds of that happening will ride on the outcome of this game. If he gets the Roosters home the hired gun will have done the job he came to do.

    He has a phenomenal power game and his ability to offload is freakish.

    The Roosters play flat so they have support around SBW at all times. Against Newcastle every time Sonny Bill threw the ball out the back someone was ready to act on the half chances. He is the X-factor in this match.


    It's no secret the Roosters have the best defence in the league and that is why they finished as minor premiers. That is also why they are the favourites to win tomorrow. They continually turn up for each other and they scramble and they have excellent structure.

    Another important factor is that opposition teams use up so much gas defending against them that they struggle throw attack at them when they eventually do get the ball.

    This was Manly's problem in week one of the finals when they still didn't score despite finishing with a majority 57-43 per cent split of possession.

    Don't forget Brett Stewart didn't play that game.


    You don't need too many chances when you have speed like Michael Jennings, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Daniel Tupou and Anthony Minichiello.

    Jennings and Tuivasa-Sheck in particular have scored some breathtaking tries this year simply through electric footwork and blinding speed.

    Tupou also has pace to burn and showed against Uate last week he is pretty handy under the high ball. Minichiello's leadership this year hasn't got nearly the credit it deserves.

    Five reasons why Manly can win:


    Justin Horo told us a story this year that the reason his game has improved so much at Manly is because he doesn't ever want to let his teammates down.

    This is what they call the rub-off affect.

    Manly play tough like no other team - it starts up front and it goes all the way back.

    Manly don't have to find a way to lift their intensity at this time of the year because that's the style they play every week through the likes of Kite, Ballin, Watmough, Glenn Stewart, Brett Stewart, Jamie Lyon, Kieran Foran, Steve Matai ... and the bookies still have them as the underdogs.


    Here's a stat David Middleton passed on at the grand final lunch: only two players in the entire Roosters squad have played in a winning grand final team - Minichiello and Sonny Bill Williams.

    Manly have 19 wins from 26 grand final appearances and, importantly, most of them did it as a group in 2011.

    Geoff Toovey won a Clive Churchill Medal in 1996 and knows what it takes to succeed on this stage.


    The fact a player as tough as Kurt Gidley rates Jamie Lyon as his favourite tells you just about everything you need to know about the Manly skipper.

    When Lyon was first offered the captaincy he didn't want it. Now we know why Des Hasler wanted him. He is as fast and skilful as any other centre in the game but plays tough like no other.

    When Manly were down 14-0 against Souths Lyon got them together behind the tryline and told them to lift their game. Not only that, he led by example with a performance that rubbed off on every one of his teammates.


    Geoff Toovey rates Brett Stewart as important to Manly as Greg Inglis is to Souths and Billy Slater to Melbourne. You saw last week why.

    Stewart didn't play against the Roosters when they lost.

    If they get an even share of possession and penalties tomorrow Stewart will get them home.

    He creates tries and he finishes them off and just his presence gives teammates enormous confidence. On top of that his combination with his brother Glenn is magic.


    The Roosters have the NSW halves and Manly have the NRL's best halves.

    Both combinations have been great this year but right now you have to lean towards the Manly boys being just ahead of their opponents on form and experience.

    Whoever wins this battle tomorrow will be doing a lap of honour on their way to the dressing rooms.


    - - - Updated - - -

    LATE MAIL: Brett Stewart to play through hamstring soreness, Boyd Cordner, Luke O'Donnell return

    • AAP
    • OCTOBER 05, 2013 2:50PM

    MANLY star Brett Stewart is expected to play in Sunday's NRL Grand Final, despite experiencing further hamstring tightness during training this week.

    Stewart's fitness sent some mild concern through the camp on the eve of the decider against the Sydney Roosters.Reports suggest Stewart isn't 100 per cent after pulling up sore after his return against South Sydney last week, however he got through a light run with teammates.

    Both clubs completed their captain's runs on Saturday, with respective coaches Geoff Toovey and Trent Robinson putting the final polish on preparations.

    For Manly, Joe Galuvao is officially no chance of returning from an Achilles tear, but the news on key man Stewart is as positive as can be expected.For the Roosters, star forwards Boyd Cordner and Luke O'Donnell are both expected to be late inclusions in the side.

    Roosters players got through their final run without complication, however coach Robinson says he won't publicly confirm his 17 until an hour before kick-off.

    The Sea Eagles were without Stewart in week one of the playoffs when they went down to Grand Final opponents the Roosters 4-0.Their star fullback was instrumental in last week's come-from-behind preliminary final win over South Sydney and his impact in the decider will be a crucial factor in the final outcome.

    If Stewart was to miss the match, the Roosters would grow enormously in confidence.Stewart's deputy at fullback, 20-year-old Peta Hiku, has been outstanding - but doesn't have the attacking instincts and presence of the former Kangaroos and NSW custodian.

    "They need him ... he has to play," said former Manly prop, Mark Carroll.Sea Eagles premiership winner Max Brown said he couldn't split Stewart from the club's fullback from their 1970s golden era, Graham Eadie.

    "Different styles of play but both got the same result and are absolutely fantastic," said Brown."I don't think I could rate either of those as number one and two. I'd put them both as number one."The inclusion of O'Donnell and particularly Cordner will provide a major boost for the Roosters.

    Cordner broke through for NSW Origin selection this year and was voted the Dally M second rower of the year.He was outstanding for the Roosters until he broke his ankle seven weeks ago.

    He was close to playing last week against Newcastle, and Robinson has indicated he'll play the 21-year-old if he's anywhere close to full fitness.O'Donnell is an NRL veteran with grand final, Origin and Test experience.

    He missed the Knights' final with a hamstring strain but has reportedly recovered.Dylan Napa and Isaac Liu are tipped to be the young Roosters to make way.At Manly, young forward James Hasson and journeyman David Gower are vying to fill the vacant spot on the bench.

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  14. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Kangaroos spots on the line for Mitchell Pearce and Daly Cherry-Evans in NRL Grand Final

    THE knock on Sydney Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce is that he is yet to deliver on the biggest stage, by making clutch plays in pressure games.

    In Sunday’s Grand Final against the Manly Sea Eagles, Pearce not only has the opportunity to alter the tide of public opinion but also to win his first green and gold jumper, possibly edging out rival No.7 Daly Cherry-Evans in the process.

    With Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens set to announce his 24-man World Cup squad for the end-of-season tour of the UK at 10.30am on Monday, lasting impressions will count for Pearce.

    As much as Manly’s Cherry-Evans, who has been the form player of this year’s finals, appears a selection certainty right now, that could all change with a career-defining 80-minute performance from the maligned Sydney Roosters halfback.

    If Pearce goes close to winning a Clive Churchill Medal and leads his team to a premiership, there’s no question he puts himself in the frame for selection as the back-up alternative to Melbourne’s Cooper Cronk and North Queensland’s Johnathan Thurston.

    The Kangaroos might even opt to take four playmakers on the tour, meaning Cherry-Evans and Pearce could both be included.

    The duel adds another element of intrigue to a brilliant playmaking clash Sunday night, when the Roosters' NSW Origin combination of Pearce and James Maloney come up against Manly’s international pairing of Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran.

    “The Roosters halves both had a taste of Origin for the Blues and as much as NSW lost, it was a close series,’’ Kangaroos coach Sheens said.“So performing well in the grand final certainly isn’t going to hurt their cases, but I’m not going to be drawn on going into specific selections.

    “We’ll get through the game and then we’ll sit down to select the best squad available.“They’re all in contention."

    It doesn’t just end with the Pearce-Cherry-Evans shoot out.Sydney Roosters hooker Jake Friend is a genuine chance of edging Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah out of the Kangaroos squad if he continues his brilliant form in the finals.

    Sonny Bill Williams might have got man of the match honours against Newcastle last weekend but it was the combination of Pearce and Friend that cut the Knights apart up the middle of the field in the opening half.

    Whereas Farah offers the versatility of playing hooker and halfback, Friend is also robust enough to play lock forward at a pinch.Pearce endured predictable calls for his axing from the NSW Origin side after the Blues lost a record eighth straight series in July.

    The way the Roosters halfback has responded speaks volumes for the fight inside him, helping the club to the JJ Giltinan Shield as minor premiers and now sitting 80 minutes away from winning a premiership.

    If Pearce delivers Sunday night, the army of doubters will be silenced.It’s no secret you can’t win a grand final without a champion halfback.

    From Melbourne’s Cooper Cronk last year to Cherry-Evans the year before and Ben Hornby in 2010 with St George Illawarra against the Roosters, it’s extremely rare for teams to rise without a quality playmaker.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Birds of prey: Prepare for the most brutal grand final in years between the Roosters and Sea Eagles

    HOW do you break the Great Wall of Bondi?

    The strongest defence built by Eastern Suburbs since 1908.

    Do you take a sledge hammer and attempt to smash through the middle?

    Do you grab a blade and try and slice at the edges?

    Or do you stop chipping away and kick over the top?

    They are the three burning questions the Sea Eagles will face on Sunday when they attempt to upset the Roosters and win the NRL premiership.The Sea Eagles failed to score a single point against the Roosters last start.

    Despite having 57 per cent of the possession in the 4-0 semi-final loss at Alliance Stadium - and making four linebreaks to the Roosters' none - they could not cross the white line.How they approach Sunday’s match following the shut-out is what will decide the game.

    The Roosters kept six teams to nil this year, the greatest defensive achievement in the club’s history.

    So how did they do it?

    The Roosters have inventive a new style of “D”.The best term to describe it is “reactive”, and it is a mixture of “slide” and “wedge”.With Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend the defensive glue, the Roosters attempt to work as one and keep their line.

    But when they are faced with a attacking play, like an inside ball to Brett Stewart, the Roosters “wedge”.

    Think anyone of Sonny Bill Williams’ shots on the edge.The most important aspect of their defence is each individual player’s decision making.They need to know when to break the line and sprint to shut down a play. That is what they have worked on all year, and what they have done so well all year.

    The Sea Eagles know this all too well. They threw everything at the Roosters last match - except Brett Stewart, who was injured - and came up with naught.Manly don’t have to go away from what has worked so well for them.

    But it is up to their key attacking players - Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry Evans, Jamie Lyon, Glenn and Brett Stewart - to force the Roosters into making bad defensive decisions

    Cherry-Evans (16 line break assists), Foran (15), and Lyon (12) will use Inside balls, footwork, chip kicks and they will go short and go long in a bid to catch a defender out.

    Brett Stewart, David Williams and Taufua will be the men that finish what the playmakers start. The war will be fought in the middle, brutally bruising, but the game will be one by individuals.One will make an error, another will force it.

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  15. danielyou56

    danielyou56 1997 & 2001...

    Mar 23, 2012
    New Lambton, Newcastle
    yeah mitchell pearce is obviously a contender for the 7 for kangaroos, it's not like every other 7 in the game has been better or anything ;)
  16. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    I can't believe they are thinking of picking Jake Friend over Robbie Farah !!!

    Jake Friend had a good season but Farah is a class act in a struggling team and is the NSW hooker...

    I would take Farah any day of the week over Friend...
  17. cameron

    cameron Craig Gower

    May 5, 2013
    Yeah I agree. Farah has the perfect balance of attack and defence that no other hooker has.
  18. danielyou56

    danielyou56 1997 & 2001...

    Mar 23, 2012
    New Lambton, Newcastle
    i'm so pumped...... to see Danny in the retirees ceremony.
  19. Junior11

    Junior11 Moderator Moderator

    Jun 26, 2010
    Gold Coast
    Whether or not Roosters win, if they pick Friend over Farah and Pearce over DCE I'll consider not even watching the WC!
  20. Captain Planet

    Captain Planet Russell Wyer

    May 22, 2013
    Garbage Man
    amen !

Share This Page