Farah wary of Stewart-inspired Manly - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Farah wary of Stewart-inspired Manly

By David Beniuk 08/04/2009 07:28:08 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah believes the return of Manly fullback Brett Stewart will have the Sea Eagles close to their NRL premiership-winning best at Brookvale Oval on Sunday.

The Tigers will run into the best line-up Manly have fielded in 2009 when they take on the premiers, with Stewart returning from a four-match booze ban and centres Jamie Lyon (knee) and Steve Matai (shoulder) both named for the clash.

They will also face a Sea Eagles side reeling from an 0-4 start to their premiership defence.

"We know that 0-4 really doesn't mean much, they're going to be at their best at home, Brett Stewart returning, it's going to be a big game for them," Farah told reporters on Wednesday.

Tryscoring machine Stewart will play his first game since the World Club Challenge match in England more than a month ago, and his return will have a major impact on the Tigers' game-plan.

"Brett's a fullback that if you give him the ball in broken play he can really hurt you, so we're going to have to be on top of our kicking game and make sure we're hopefully pinning him in the corner and getting a good kick-chase down there," said Farah, who will play his 100th first grade game for the Tigers.

Farah's club has not been without its own off-field controversies this week with reports CEO Scott Longmuir and coach Tim Sheens are at loggerheads.

Longmuir has reportedly handed Sheens a set of performance indicators to fulfill, but factions at the joint venture club are gunning for the CEO.

It was a subject off-limits at Wednesday's media call.

"I'm not making nothing of that, that's up to the board and everything so I'm not really getting involved in it," was all assistant coach Royce Simmons would say.

Defence coach Simmons, though, couldn't get out of answering why the Tigers defence has leaked an average of more than 33 points a game in the first four rounds.

"The first week our right hand side defence wasn't very strong, the second week we had a lot of problems on our left ... and the third week we were pretty ordinary in the middle of the park," he said.

"Last week individuals just missed tackles so we've been all over the shop.

"We've got some things there we've got to work on and last week we turned over the ball too much as well and made ourselves do too much tackling so that's another part of the game.

"We've got to give the opposition the ball where they don't want it more often, in the corners, force some drop-outs ... as well as get a little bit more aggression in defence, controlled aggression."

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