Manly's Orford won't rush injured groin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly's Orford won't rush injured groin

By Todd Balym 22/07/2008 04:16:30 PM Comments (0)

Manly skipper Matt Orford is desperate to return for Sunday's blockbuster with the Sydney Roosters but won't put the club's fight for the NRL minor premiership ahead of his own long-term fitness.

Orford failed a late fitness test prior to last Friday's win over Parramatta and will be required to prove himself yet again before he can tackle the fourth-placed Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium.

He resumed light training at Narrabeen on Tuesday and is keen to play his part in continuing the Sea Eagles' seven-game winning streak, but won't do so if there's a risk of re-injury.

"The (competition) is so tight and the club is going great at the moment and there's motivation from every player to want to be part of that," said Orford.

"(But) it is up to the medical staff. If they say there's still a chance of tearing it and being out for four weeks I won't be stupid about things."

Manly sit two points and a significant points differential clear of reigning premiers Melbourne atop the NRL ladder with Cronulla and the Roosters rounding out the top four.

A win over the Roosters this weekend would virtually assure a top four placing and home semi-final, but Orford insists Manly haven't even considered what it would mean to capture the minor premiership.

"It is two points between first and second and not once this year have we spoken about minor premiership," said Orford.

"We're happy with the position we're at and we just want to give ourselves the best chance come semi-finals time."

With Jamie Lyon (knee) ruled out for at least four weeks, Orford is set to be partnered in the halves by veteran forward Steve Menzies.

The makeshift pairing will confront creative Roosters pair Braith Anasta and Mitchell Pearce on Sunday, the duo which led NSW in the Origin III decider earlier this month.

"We're definitely going to miss (Lyon) so a few other guys will have to put their hands up and be a bit more creative with the ball and give us some extra options," said Orford.

"We have blokes like Glenn Stewart and Beaver (Steve Menzies) that can do that."

Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler is preparing his side for a torrid encounter on Sunday, adamant the Roosters won't be the walkovers they have been in their past two clashes.

The Roosters won 42-0 earlier this year and 56-0 last year, both at Brookvale Oval, and are on a two-game losing streak after shock losses to the Gold Coast and Canberra post Origin.

"The worst thing for us was them losing down at Canberra," said Hasler.

"They've had two losses now and they're going to come fired up because they need to win."

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