Manly hooker L'Estrange hurt in training - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly hooker L'Estrange hurt in training

13/05/2009 06:48:46 PM Comments (0)

Manly captain Matt Orford stopped short of saying the Sea Eagles are back to their 2008 best, but the self-belief which got them to the NRL premiership has returned.

Not even an ankle wound to replacement hooker Heath L'Estrange at training on Wednesday could dampen the spirit in the Sea Eagles side buoyed by last Sunday's come-from-behind defeat of front runners Brisbane.

Orford said the 22-20 victory had convinced Manly they could still threaten for back-to-back NRL premierships.

"In the scheme of things it was massive to go up there and get the two points, it was important for us," said Orford.

"It's too early to say (we're back). We've taken a step in the right direction anyway and I think our attitude the last few weeks has been good and we just haven't been finishing off games.

"I think we just showed the commitment on Sunday against the guys on top ... that is where the self belief that we can still be a force in this competition is reinforced."

Prop Josh Perry said the win over the Broncos could prove to be a significant moment in their season.

"That self-confidence and knowing, we have got that back now," he said.

"That is what we built our wins on last year, it could be the turning point for us."

L'Estrange fell awkwardly during a training drill at Narrabeen and concerned club officials rushed to his aid and demanded television cameras be immediately turned off.

He was carried off the field and rushed away in a waiting vehicle, but it all turned out to be a massive over-reaction as L'Estrange suffered nothing more than a deep stud wound that required a couple of stitches.

He is certain to play in Sunday's NRL clash with Parramatta at Brookvale Oval.

"I think he just got a stud mark and a fairly deep cut," said Orford.

"I wasn't too keen to have a look and he was in a bit of pain."

Meanwhile Orford didn't do Jamie Lyon's quest to be overlooked for the NSW State of Origin side any favours, declaring his star centre to be in the best form of his career.

"He has been on fire all year. He has been our No.1 player. He's been the most consistent for our team week in week out," said Orford.

"It's hard (for NSW) not to pick someone of that calibre, but that's up to the selectors isn't it.

"He is just really enjoying his footy. We're not going to go to him every time and expect him to win games like he did on Sunday.

"If we all play like Jamie we will do well in this competition."

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