Stewart makes Manly great: Taylor - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stewart makes Manly great: Taylor

By Todd Balym 15/04/2009 05:59:49 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney coach Jason Taylor fears his side is about to feel the wrath of a premier scorned with Brett Stewart's comeback breathing life into Manly.

Taylor said the Test and NSW fullback is such an important player that he makes Manly go from being a good side to a great side.

The Rabbitohs coach believes Stewart's match-winning return against the Tigers last Sunday is only going to ignite the rest of the Sea Eagles for Saturday's clash at ANZ Stadium.

Manly had been reeling from off-field drama and were win-less until Stewart pulled on his boots and Taylor expects the Sea Eagles to be back to their best come Saturday night.

"I was always pretty confident that Brett Stewart would make a big difference to them," said Taylor.

"I've always been of the belief that he scores tries that not many other people in the game would be able to score.

"Players like that can take a good team from being really good to great I think.

"That's what he did for them on the weekend. A couple of the tries that he scored, whoever is playing in that position if it's not Brett Stewart they probably don't score those tries.

"That lifts the confidence of everybody else. He is a valuable player and the rest of them will be feeling confident about the fact he is back and they had that victory.

"We've got them at a time that is probably the premiers getting back to close to their best."

Despite Stewart's danger Taylor insists the Rabbitohs won't go out of their way to shut him down.

"We won't go overboard on concerning ourselves with him," he said.

"I don't think he kills you from kick receptions. It is more when they get an opportunity at your end of the field that he is more dangerous.

"It is one thing to say we won't kick him the ball but for the rest of the set he will get involved somewhere."

Rabbitohs veteran Craig Wing said Stewart's strength is he is not only incredibly fast, but is also several steps ahead of other players in reading the game.

"He reads the game really, really well. That is his advantage - he reads it so well he has got a head start on everyone else," said Wing.

"He has got speed to burn which is such an asset. He is so quick and not only does he have the off-the-mark speed but he has top end speed and he can hold it for a good distance."

Wing said Stewart was similar to his former Roosters teammate and Golden Boot winner Anthony Minichiello in that he was always on the spot to turn half breaks into try scoring opportunities.

"Whenever there was a break you knew (Minichiello) would be there somewhere and I'm sure that's what Manly feel as well," he said.

"They only have to half get through the line and look left or right and he will be on one of their shoulders."

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