NRL win now or never for Manly: Geyer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL win now or never for Manly: Geyer

By Steve Jancetic and Guy Hand 04/10/2008 03:35:45 PM Comments (0)

Retiring Melbourne veteran Matt Geyer fired one last mental salvo ahead of Sunday's NRL decider by claiming the current crop of Manly players may never recover from another grand final defeat.

Geyer believes it could be a case of now or never for the Sea Eagles - who have gone toe to toe with the Storm for the best part of the last two seasons - claiming the mental scars of consecutive grand final defeats could be too much to overcome.

The 33-year-old, who will hang up the boots following Sunday night's game, said the Storm wrestled with the same demons ahead of last year's 34-8 grand final thumping of the Sea Eagles after losing the 2006 decider to Brisbane.

"We felt after losing the previous one, going into the second grand final last year, that we were under enormous pressure," Geyer said.

"I'm sure Manly are going to feel that this year.

"To make two grand finals and to lose two would have made for a bit of soul searching for us.

"We were lucky to avoid it and we can go into this one with a little bit less pressure.

"The pressure will be on Manly. They've been installed as favourites.

"A lot of their players may be thinking along the same lines as we were last year - to lose two in a row, where do you go from there?"

The mental side of the game has played a large part in Manly's build-up this week with several players admitting the occasion got the better of them last year.

So too did the Storm get the better of them, with Greg Inglis turning their grand final dream into an 80-minute nightmare with a devastating solo performance.

The real villain though was forward enforcer Michael Crocker, who turned the game on its head when he collected Brett Stewart with a brutal hit which left the Sea Eagles fullback seeing stars for days.

Crocker said the fact it was the Storm that stood between Manly and premiership glory would no doubt provide a spur for the Sea Eagles.

"To have another crack at us after last year will give them extra motivation," said Crocker, who like Geyer will play his final game in the deep purple before moving on to Super League side Hull.

"They love playing us. They love the challenge of playing us, and they'll have that fire in the belly and they'll be out to prove a point."

Manly coach Des Hasler, who all year has been trying to keep his team's premiership credentials "flying under the radar", said he felt a quiet confidence about his troops.

But sticking to his mantra to the final day, the softly spoken coach played down his side's favouritism heading into the game.

"You're coming up against a side playing their third grand final in a row. They've had two minor premierships and won a grand final - we probably don't deserve it," Hasler said of the favourites tag.

"I have a lot of respect for the Storm. I just think they're a very good club.

"Three grand finals in a row, two minor premierships, a myriad of stars, a well-structured, well-coached (team).

"They're playing with a lot of self-belief, they're going to be very tough."

Neither side will confirm the make-up of their final 17 until Sunday afternoon, with both sides training late on Saturday.

It is expected Brett Anderson and Aiden Tolman will drop off the Storm bench, likewise with Adam Cuthbertson and Luke Williamson for the Sea Eagles.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news