Mannah brothers face off at Parramatta - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mannah brothers face off at Parramatta

By Ian McCullough 29/05/2009 05:40:01 PM Comments (0)

Brotherly love will be put on hold for 80 minutes at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday when Cronulla prop Johnny Mannah and Eels front rower Tim Mannah come face to face for the first time in the NRL.

Tim, 21, who has just signed a new two-year contract with the Eels, is rated as one of the game's most promising players.

His 19-year-old sibling, who has also won plenty of admirers after just three first grade games, has no intention of letting him enhance that reputation.

"This is my opportunity to get him back for the last 19 years!," Johnny told AAP.

"It should be good, I am definitely going to be trying to put a shot on him, and him on me.

"There is a year-and-a-half between us, so I guess there has always been a bit of competitiveness between us growing up .. there has also been a bit of heckling at home this week but it is all healthy."

Australia schoolboys representative Johnny moved to the Sharks from the Eels at the start of the season to seek more first grade opportunities, and still lives with his brother in the family home in Sydney's south-west.

Saturday's game will be the first time they have ever met in a competitive fixture and Mannah junior said it is a dream come true for both to be playing off in the NRL.

"It's every kid's dream to play first grade footy, and to play against your brother is something special," he said.

"I'm very excited and nervous .. but I am really looking forward to the opportunity to play against not only my old club, but also against Tim.

"I guess it's a good thing in a way to be playing Parramatta as I know a lot of the players from training and playing with them and hopefully I know a few of their strengths and weaknesses.

"We have a large family and they will all be at Parra Stadium on Saturday so it is a big occasion for everyone."

Cronulla are looking to prevent a club record-equalling 10th successive defeat, but Mannah said he has been enjoying playing too much to be caught up in the negativity that has surrounded Toyota Stadium in recent weeks.

"Results haven't been good and we are desperate to put that right, but the experience of playing first grade is something I have loved," he said.

"It would be great to finally get a win behind us on Saturday and get people talking about the club for the right reasons."

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