Sea Eagles wary of surprise packets - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sea Eagles wary of surprise packets

By Adrian Warren 03/09/2009 06:15:48 AM Comments (0)

Manly coach Des Hasler can't understand why people are writing off NRL surprise packet Gold Coast, while one of his players has warned the Sea Eagles will have "their pants pulled down" if they don't improve on last weekend's effort.

The reigning premiers could finish as high as fourth after this weekend's final round, provided they score a home win over the Titans and the Warriors beat Melbourne in Auckland.

Hasler cheekily suggested the Warriors might lift to ensure they gave retiring halfback Stacey Jones a victorious finale with the New Zealand-based side.

The NRL's newest club, Gold Coast enters the final round in third position, only trailing second-placed St George Illawarra on for and against.

While Gold Coast's consistent form has caught plenty of pundits off guard, Hasler isn't among the doubters.

"They've been going well all year, playing really consistent football and I don't see why people are writing them off," Hasler told reporters on Wednesday.

"They've got class players, they've got attacking options right across the park, they've got threats out wide and in close they've got two very established and experienced backrowers and they've got a really good work ethic.

"It's no surprise to me that they are in (contention for) second place.

Hasler said Manly's lacklustre display in their narrow victory last weekend against Cronulla wasn't one to put in a scrapbook and admitted they had some luck against the hapless Sharks, who finished with 12 players.

Veteran forward Glenn Hall, who will leave Manly shortly to play for English club Bradford, stressed the Sea Eagles needed to improve significantly this week.

"I think from the weekend's game we've definitely got a lot of improving to do and if we turn up with that kind of game and that ill-discipline we showed on the weekend, we will get our pants pulled down for sure," Hall said.

Hasler said representative back Jamie Lyon was making good progress from a shoulder injury and could be available next week.

He thought injured forward Jason King, who will miss the Titans game with rib damage, was a minimum of two weeks away from returning to action.

Representative prop Brent Kite said King had been unlucky to again get injured when in form, while he just wanted to improve his own form after starting some recent games on the bench.

One Sea Eagle in for a busy weekend is forward and cult hero George Rose, who will head to Lithgow on Sunday to watch his old club Bathurst Panthers play a finals match.

Rose admits he gets plenty of ribbing from his friends back home about his cult hero status.

"A few people have a bit of dig about it because they call me 'gorgeous George' and a lot of people question how I got that, but I think I'm fairly pretty aren't I?" Rose joked.

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