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Kemp not intimated by Warriors' Vatuvei

By Wayne Heming 26/03/2010 03:10:18 PM Comments (0)

Familiarity hasn't bred any contempt in Denan Kemp but he isn't losing sleep over his looming physical mismatch with Warriors man mountain Manu Vatuvei.

Stopping Vatuvei is one of the NRL's most daunting assignments and the lightly built Kemp will be giving away a lot of kilograms when they collide as Brisbane play the Warriors at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

But Kemp got to know the player nicknamed The Beast during a frustrating stint with the Warriors last season and feels ready for the task.

"I'm not intimidated by his size but I definitely respect his ability and respect that he is big and he is strong," said speedster Kemp.

"I won't be giving him too much time to get wound up if I can help it."

The NRL's media guide lists Kemp at 92kg and fellow winger Vatuvei at 112kgs.

"I'm not 92kgs, I'm more like 82 or 83kgs," said Kemp with a laugh.

"As a backline we've just got to help each other out. I have to tackle hard and be aggressive and hopefully that will be enough."

Dragons coach Wayne Bennett regards Vatuvei as one of only a few "pure" wingers in the NRL.

The Warriors star cuts a daunting figure as he backs his powerhouse frame with an aggressive style and he leads the early season NRL try scoring with five in two games.

"He's one of the best wingers in the game," agreed Kemp.

"He's an imposing sight but he's also a really nice bloke who has time for a laugh.

"It's funny how such an imposing guy can actually be such a good bloke.

"He looks imposing, but I trained with him for a year and I won't be losing any sleep before the game."

Kemp scored 21 tries for Brisbane in 2008 before circumstances led him across the Tasman where he scored just one try in 10 games before being replaced by rookie winger Kevin Locke and eventually parting company with the Warriors.

"I don't really feel I've got anything to prove to them but I wouldn't mind a few tries, it doesn't matter who I'm playing," he said.

"It's a different style of play, a different team. It just didn't seem to work for me in Auckland."

Kemp had a good combination going with Darren Lockyer before he left and is starting to get that back on track.

Lockyer could make a goal kicking comeback with lock Corey Parker sidelined with a knee injury for several weeks.

Lockyer has spent a lot of time after training this week practising his kicking along with halfback Peter Wallace and fullback Corey Norman, all options for coach Ivan Henjak.

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