Manu's the world's best attacker: Tate - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manu's the world's best attacker: Tate

By Mark Geenty 22/10/2008 11:49:48 AM Comments (0)

Brent Tate rates his New Zealand Warriors teammate Manu Vatuvei as the most devastating attacker at the Rugby League World Cup.

That's not forgetting some of Tate's gifted Kangaroos sidekicks Israel Folau, Greg Inglis and Billy Slater.

So there's a degree of trepidation in Tate's voice when he considers the prospect of trying to stop the giant Kiwis winger in the World Cup trans-Tasman Test at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday night.

"I think he's the most dangerous anywhere," Tate said.

"He's got the complete package at the moment, his whole game, he just seems to be on top of it.

"He's scoring plenty of tries, just the way he finishes off attacking raids, and he's great in the air.

"If I am marking him it'll be a hell of a task."

Tate knows he is likely to be called on at some point to stop a rampaging Vatuvei.

Having celebrated his prolific try-a-match form at close range during the Warriors' late-season charge, Tate said there was still no secret formula.

"He's been in great form this year and he's one of those wingers that can just do things that most people can't do on a footy field," Tate said.

"I've got great respect for him as a player and as a bloke, his consistency this year has been awesome.

"You know what he can do and I don't think you can ever stop Manu, hopefully we limit the opportunities that we give the Kiwis."

Tate, who joined the Warriors from Brisbane at the start of 2008, recalled the previous time he'd opposed Vatuvei - early last year for the Broncos when they travelled to Auckland.

"I don't remember it too well but he probably smashed me then," Tate said.

Tate expected the Kiwis' playmakers Thomas Leuluai and Benji Marshall to go to the air for Vatuvei with some regularity, with the attacking kick now a big part of a side's armoury.

Along with rejuvenated five-eighth Marshall, Vatuvei looms as the Kiwis' main attacking weapon as they seek to upset dominant tournament favourites Australia.

The big winger and fullback Lance Hohaia sat out the early part of Tuesday's team training at Concord Oval in favour of sprints and stretching with team medical staff to test their injured hamstrings.

Coach Stephen Kearney expected both to be fit for Sunday's match.

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