Warriors war with Manly is like finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors war with Manly is like finals

By Nicky Park 18/08/2010 03:52:52 PM Comments (0)

This weekend's NRL clash between the Warriors and Manly will reek of finals' intensity, said the Kiwi side's coach, Ivan Cleary.

"You can really smell the finals coming and everyone wants to be part of it," Cleary said on Wednesday.

If the Warriors can manage to overcome Manly at Brookvale Oval on Saturday night, they'll not only drift closer to a finals berth, but wedge four competition points between themselves and the Sea Eagles, who were handed a 32-10 defeat by St George Illawarra last Monday night.

"The stakes are high," Cleary said.

"When you play teams that are around you on the ladder and we're all fighting for the same thing, the stakes certainly go up."

Dominating the Warriors defence against a heavy Manly pack will be in-form winger, Manu Vatuvei, who will come face-to-face with 114kg Manly young gun, Tony Williams.

"It's not often Manu plays against someone bigger than him," Cleary quipped.

Vatuvei managed to crash past another of the NRL's heavyweights, Akuila Uate, in last weekend's 22-10 win over Newcastle, coming away with a hat-trick of tries at Mt Smart Stadium.

The treble took the 24-year-old's tally to 75 in 109 games, just shy of the club's record of 77 tries set by Warriors' legend Stacey Jones in 261 appearances.

It's also taken his total this year to 17 from 15 outings, leaving him two short of Sean Hoppe's club record of 19 for a regular season.

"I never normally check on stats but if I do then it'll be a good achievement for myself (to break the records)," Vatuvei said.

"I've just got to do my best and score tries."

The humble 112kg 'Beast' is charged up and ready to roll-over Williams and edge closer to inking his name in the record books.

"It's going to be pretty hard for me to try and stop another big guy but I like a good challenge," he said.

Cleary has named Ian Henderson in the Warriors side to travel to Sydney but the hooker will need to recover from an ankle injury suffered in the closing minutes of last Sunday's game.

He hasn't named any back-up in an unchanged 17-man squad.

Should Henderson not recover in time, Cleary's options include calling up promising Vulcans starter Alehana Mara or adding Kevin Locke or Patrick Ah Van to the mix and using fullback Lance Hohaia to spell Aaron Heremaia at dummy-half.

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