Be careful about getting caught up in all the hype and buzz
surrounding the so-called grudge match of the season between Des
Hasler's Canterbury and his old mob Manly.
Don't get me wrong, I am as excited about this match as any other league fan.
My fear, however, is it's going to turn out to be a fizzer.
My old mate with the blonde mullet is getting Manly at a good time.
Sea Eagles are in a hole. They've won three out of seven - one out of
the last four - in what is their poorest start to a season in recent
They were awful last start against the Titans. I can't
remember the last time a Manly side playing that badly, especially at
Before that they dropped a game to wooden spoon specials
Parramatta before putting a poor Penrith side away with a late flurry of
second half points.
It's hardly form to get excited about but they do have a fair excuse given the long list of injured and suspended players.
They also have a number of players in contract talks and that can be destabilising if not handled correctly.
Foran's future is the subject of much debate but I have to confess I am
as much in the dark about where he is headed as everyone else.
One day it looks as though he is staying and the next he is off to Belmore.
will be a real tragedy if he does slip out of the northern beaches
because the Sea Eagles are planning the next 10 years around this bloke.
qualities as a player are there for everyone to see but it's the way he
handles himself off the field that is so commendable.
I would go as far as to say he's one of the most impressive young men the club has had on its books in its 67-year history.
Anyway, back on to the on-field stuff.
If Manly get their full side on the park then they will make a real noise in this competition.
But they don't want to be giving other sides much more of a start.
So who do I think will win Friday night?
am not going to go against my beloved Manly but Des would have been
operating on two hours' sleep a night instead of his usual three in
plotting the Sea Eagles' demise.
I just hope a few of those
injured Manly players are back on deck otherwise it's going to be
another tough night before 25,000 screaming Dogs fans.
My round eight winners are: Dragons, Storm, Sea Eagles, Broncos, Cowboys, Raiders, Tigers, Knights.Speak next week...