Sea Eagles pair play down spat - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sea Eagles pair play down spat

By Steve Jancetic 11/08/2009 07:16:51 PM Comments (0)

Manly pair Matt Orford and Anthony Watmough offered a cuddle for the cameras and then defended their heated argument in Saturday night's upset loss to South Sydney as nothing more than a show of passion.

"It was heat of the battle and we're both passionate about what we do," Watmough said after training on Tuesday.

"We both wanted the boys to go to where we were telling them to go."

Critics claimed the spat was the first signs Manly's premiership defence may be sliding off the rails, the Sea Eagles having suffered back-to-back losses in games they started as overwhelming favourites.

Orford admitted there was some frustration within the ranks, but the Sea Eagles skipper said there were positives to take out of his run-in with the game's in-form forward.

"I think it would be a bit disappointing if blokes weren't trying to show that passion and win a game," Orford said.

"I'd rather he be frustrated as well as me - I think we had a run of three penalties in a row and you find it hard to defend your line and we were very desperate.

"I rather he let that frustration out and I was just telling him `next tackle make sure you rip in."

The two losses have seen Manly lose touch with the top four, Orford admitting just making the top eight was the focus after the reality check that the defeat to the Rabbitohs delivered.

"Dessie (coach Des Hasler) pulled us right back to bare skin and tore a few shreds off us," Orford said.

"It was well deserved and I think we were prepared to cop that on the chin.

"We need to not worry about other teams ... we'll control our outcome and how we turn up and play for the next month."

Asked if the top four was now out of reach, Orford said: "I'm not quite sure, to tell you the truth that's the least of our worries.

"We need a solid month of good football."

Injured fullback Brett Stewart took part in some of Tuesday's session as he continues his rehabilitation from knee surgery.

The former Test No.1 is on track to return to action in his side's round 25 clash against Cronulla.

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