Manly fans to hit Storm with Eagle rock - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly fans to hit Storm with Eagle rock

04/08/2010 05:04:49 PM Comments (0)

Manly players have implored Sea Eagles fans to come out in force and give their NRL arch-rivals Melbourne a verbal hammering at Brookvale Oval on Saturday night.

After Monday's shock loss to Newcastle, it shapes as a pivotal match for Manly and is the first time they have faced their 2007 and 2008 grand final rivals since the Storm were floored by the salary cap scandal earlier this year.

If Melbourne were still playing for points they would lead Manly on the ladder, but despite the Storm's dangerous 'wildcard' value, Sea Eagles players are confident the occasion will inspire them back to their best.

The Sea Eagles produced their performance of the season at Etihad Stadium in round six against a full-strength Melbourne outfit who at that stage had everything to play for.

Desperate to send a similar message to competitors that they're back in business, Manly have called on their famously-unforgiving supporters to lead the way.

"I don't know how many people like Melbourne but I know a lot of the Manly fans don't so hopefully we get a good crowd out there and that's going to help us get across the line," Sea Eagles enforcer George Rose said.

"It's been a while since we've had Brookie packed out so if they're packed out and giving them plenty it'll make it a lot easier for us.

"We need the turnaround and they're a team that everyone always steps up for so it would be good for us."

Manly aren't afraid to admit the Storm bring the best out of them and vice-versa.

With the Sea Eagles balancing precariously between being a leading premiership contender and missing out on the top eight altogether, the match shapes as a likely turning point in their inconsistent season.

"They haven't got points to win but they definitely want to beat us, I know that, and hopefully it'll bring the best out in our footy," said hooker Matt Ballin.

"Everywhere they've gone they've copped a bit of stick because of that and it'll probably be the same down there at Brookie.

"All the Brookie fans know they're a great team and respect them as a footy team, but their support will be behind us and they'll probably give it to them a bit."

The Sea Eagles are still confident of securing a top four spot, however their job was made harder with news fullback Ben Farrar has been forced out of the Melbourne clash.

Michael Robertson will shift to the back, while young gun Will Hopoate is in line to come onto the wing - if he pulls up well from an injury of his own.

Coach Des Hasler said Melbourne had plenty to play for, and called on his team to make a point.

"They'll be coming to Brookvale ready to play and probably even trying to ruin as many seasons as they possibly can," Hasler said.

"We need to start sending some real loud clear signals about what we as a team can do in this competition."

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