Dureau marked man by Manly - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dureau marked man by Manly

By Todd Balym 04/04/2009 12:52:06 PM Comments (0)

Manly five-eighth Chris Bailey has seen enough of Scott Dureau to know that the Newcastle halfback is a danger man in Sunday's NRL clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The former Knight played alongside Dureau for two seasons before moving to Manly this year and says the Sea Eagles won't be underestimating the 22-year-old's ability.

Dureau is of course well known to the Sea Eagles, he nailed the 83rd minute field goal at this ground in round two last year to give Newcastle a 13-12 upset win over Manly.

"He has been going really well. He's been leading the side around well and his kicking game has been awesome," said Bailey.

"He really came along last year and played some great games and is maturing as a halfback and will only get better."

While Dureau has been named at halfback this week it is unsure whether he will actually line up there with one-time NSW half Jarrod Mullen set to return from a rib injury.

Mullen has missed just one game with the injury and has defied expectation by being cleared by doctors to return against the Sea Eagles.

While he has trained with the squad this week and would most likely slot into his preferred five-eighth, Bailey isn't expecting Mullen to take the field on Sunday.

"He has broken his ribs. It would be a pretty big effort if he came back after one week," said Bailey.

"I'm not sure how they're going but it would be pretty doubtful he will play."

Sunday's clash is shaping as a massive game for both clubs.

It is Newcastle's first home game of 2009 and with financial troubles off the field, including unpaid rent for the stadium, the Knights need good home performances to ensure big crowds come to keep the club afloat.

Manly's premiership defence meanwhile is sinking quickly with three successive losses to start the season.

The Sea Eagles have addressed the attitude problems within the squad at private video sessions this week and Bailey insists the club is ready to get their title defence back on track.

"It's not where we want to be at all," he said of the 0-3 start.

"We need a win and hopefully we get one this week.

"Hopefully things start going well for us and we can cut our mistakes down and capitalise on that."

Newcastle are 1-2 after three weeks, but were in winning positions in both of their losses which occurred in hot Sunday afternoon conditions.

Bailey said the Knights were similar to Manly in that they were throwing away golden opportunities to win the game and denied Newcastle's fade outs were a sign of a lack of fitness.

"Their starts have been really good this year and they're just sort of getting mowed down at the end," he said.

"Their win against Cronulla was really gutsy and just typical of Newcastle sides.

"I think they're a bit more like us and keep making mistakes and give the opposition field position which you just can't do."

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