Glenn Stewart 'a key for Manly' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Glenn Stewart 'a key for Manly'

By Todd Balym 28/09/2008 06:21:27 PM Comments (0)

He might not be considered the best footballer in his own family but Manly lock Glenn Stewart has become the most dangerous attacking forward in the NRL.

The under-rated older brother of Test and NSW fullback Brett Stewart is one of the big improvers in the Manly team in 2008 that will seek redemption over Melbourne in next week's grand final.

Glenn Stewart's attacking ability is comparable with some of the leading playmakers in the NRL and he is one reason why the Sea Eagles will have more arsenal to throw at the Storm in this year's decider.

"He is playing out of his skin," said backrow teammate Anthony Watmough.

"He is awesome. He is better than any halfback or five-eighth in the comp. He can not only match it with them but he is probably about 20 or 30 kilos heavier than them which is a good thing for him as he can just run over the top of them."

Watmough's claims might sound laughable, but the statistics go some way to supporting his argument.

This year he's the leading NRL forward in linebreak assists (12), beating many of the competition's halfbacks who typically dominate the category.

Behind him on linebreak assists are the likes of Brisbane's Test great Darren Lockyer (nine), former Test halfback and Cronulla star of 2008 Brett Kimmorley (six) and another NSW halfback in Mitchell Pearce (five).

Stewart also has seven try assists to his name, three more than Melbourne's revered five-eighth Greg Inglis.

Not only is Stewart a new focal point of the Manly attack, he is also the club's leading tackler.

But the shy 24-year-old World Cup contender doesn't believe he is playing all that much better this year than in 2007.

He is happy to be providing more spark in attack, but says the only reason he stepped up this year was because of five-eighth Jamie Lyon's midseason knee injury.

"I think it was forced upon me a bit when Jamie Lyon was out and myself and Beaver (Steve Menzies) shared it up a bit," he said.

"It has worked well. It could have gone the other way and I looked like a goose."

Younger brother Brett may get all the plaudits as the prolific tryscorer but he knew it would only be a matter of time before his big brother started getting some recognition.

It started with NSW Country selection earlier in the year and continued last month when both were named in the Australian 46-man World Cup shadow squad.

Brett believes the lure of a Kangaroos jumper has been the boost his brother needed heading into the finals.

"He has had a standout season I think. Probably his best to date," said Brett Stewart.

"I've always known he has got that footy in him but I don't think he has been, I suppose, relaxed enough to play it.

"He was always playing for his position and being under a little bit of pressure.

"His confidence has got a lot to do it. When he got brought up into the team he was playing just to hold his position.

"Now he has cemented his position and he can play the footy he knows he can play and not worry about not getting picked next week."

"He is playing his natural game and it is the best that he has played."

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