Hasler salutes in-form Watmough - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hasler salutes in-form Watmough

By Ian McCullough 19/07/2009 12:32:03 PM Comments (0)

Manly coach Des Hasler says Anthony Watmough has well and truly announced himself as a force in the NRL after another superb performance in the Sea Eagles' hard-fought 32-26 victory over Cronulla on Saturday.

Backing up from a man-of-the-match display for NSW in Wednesday's State of Origin victory over Queensland, Watmough was Manly's best performer at Toyota Park as the Sea Eagles moved into the top eight for only the second time this season.

Watmough was a key figure as the reigning premiers finally shrugged off a valiant Sharks side that led 22-16 at halftime and looked the better side for most of the game.

In addition to one of the biggest hits of the season on young Cronulla prop Johnny Mannah in the first half, which almost left a dent in the pitch such was its ferocity, Watmough was also involved in the build up to the crucial equalising try early in the second half, which led to the controversial sin-binning of Trent Barrett.

"He's having a good run and he was a deserved man-of-the-match in the Origin game and he certainly announced he's arrived but what is really crucial for Anthony is that he maintains that level of performance," Hasler said.

"That is really important for him as a representative player but also for us is that he keeps it up as he is one of our senior players now.

"But he is relishing that challenge and I am more than happy with the way he has played over the last four weeks."

Hasler admitted his side needed to improve on their performance against the Sharks, but said he was pleased with their current form which has seen them win five of the last six games.

"We have got some good momentum going and it's good to get the two points here after last week's glitch against the Dragons but we need to be better," he said.

It was a sentiment shared by Manly skipper Matt Orford who endured a difficult evening with two missed penalties in front of the posts.

"We were very scrappy, didn't get off to a good start and it was really good to get the win with so many of our players backing up after a short turnaround, but that is not how we want to play, and I am sure Des will agree with that," Orford said.

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