Daley doubts Orford despite big win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Daley doubts Orford despite big win

By Steve Jancetic 24/08/2008 04:33:52 PM Comments (0)

Former Test skipper Laurie Daley claims halfback Matt Orford has once again "failed the test" - despite leading Manly to a 30-point drubbing of Wests Tigers.

Orford was the architect behind Saturday night's 48-16 win at ANZ Stadium.

It was a victory that eased concerns within the Sea Eagles camp following back to back losses.

But Daley felt Orford had struggled to impose himself on the contest in the first half when the Sea Eagles battled to a 16-6 lead.

"When the game was in the balance that first 40 minutes, 10, 15 minutes out from halftime, I think he failed the test again," Daley told the Nine Network's Sunday Footy Show.

"I think his kicking game - on two or three occasions - they were poor.

"He needs to get it right in the tight situations if he's going to improve and take Manly to the next step.

"At times the kicking game was fantastic but a couple of times there last night when the game was tight, I think he failed."

The slight comes after similar criticism was directed at the Manly No.7 following the Sea Eagles' round 22 loss to Melbourne when Orford's short kicking game left a lot to be desired.

Asked about the spate of criticism, Orford simply offered "What's new?" while Manly coach Des Hasler dismissed theories his playmaker was struggling.

"I think Matt's form has been great the last few weeks," Hasler said.

Sea Eagles prop Josh Perry said Manly had every faith in their under-siege skipper.

"A hundred per cent, I know we can win it with Ox," Perry said.

"Everyone can have their two bobs worth but we're more than happy with the team we've got.

"We're second on the ladder, there's always people knocking us or whatever, that suits us."

While The Sea Eagles look to sharpen their game ahead of the finals series, Tigers coach Tim Sheens said the time had come for the joint venture club to plan for the future as they faced the very real prospect of a third straight season without finals football.

Sheens said heads would roll in an aggressive recruitment drive. Halfback and front row were the most obvious areas where improvement is required.

"It's shattering to think that we dropped our heads and didn't play for our season, which is exactly what it was," skipper Brett Hodgson said.

"I'm just shattered really."

Sea Eagles utility Luke Williamson is expected to miss a couple of weeks after straining a hamstring midway through the first half of last night's match.

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