Sea Eagles desperate for an NRL win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sea Eagles desperate for an NRL win

By Steve Jancetic 04/09/2010 10:33:16 AM Comments (0)

For all the possible top eight permutations facing Manly at Brookvale Oval on Sunday, one thing is certain - win and the Sea Eagles can guarantee themselves an NRL finals berth.

While they sweat on other results to see if they can climb the ladder, with unlikely defeats for the Warriors and Sydney Roosters on Saturday night opening up the possibility of finishing fifth, Manly know they must beat Canterbury or face their own sauna test.

Should the Sea Eagles lose to the Bulldogs, they could be bundled out of the top eight by South Sydney should the Rabbitohs beat minor premiers St George Illawarra, that match to be played just 90 minutes after the Brookvale Oval clash.

"The goal is to win the game well and make the finals well," Sea Eagles hooker Matt Ballin said.

"First priority is to win and get in the finals ... and try and get on a roll.

"We've had an inconsistent year, everything hasn't gone our way, we've had injuries, you can make all the excuses but we probably haven't played the best footy we can.

"Sunday ( last week's 30-14 loss to the Roosters) was an example of that ... we've got this Sunday to make amends for it."

They'll have to do it with a decimated backrow however with Glenn Stewart (suspension) and Shane Rodney (knee) already on the sidelines and representative star Anthony Watmough in serious doubt with an ankle injury which has plagued the back half of his campaign.

Manly do get Josh Perry back from a knee injury to bolster their front row rotation, but it is the battle of the little men which will draw most of the attention, with Bulldogs No.7 Brett Kimmorley to bring down the curtain on his 307-game career against heir apparent Trent Hodkinson.

In another twist Kimmorley will work closely with the Hodkinson in 2011 in his role as assistant coach with the Bulldogs, but he denies Sunday's game will be the time to start handing out the lessons.

"I look forward to working with Trent next year ... at the moment he's playing for Manly and I'm playing for Canterbury so we'll just get through this game and then I'll shake his hand after it and say 'I look forward to working with you," Kimmorley said.

"If it's to be your last one you want to make sure it's a good game and enjoyable.

"I'm more happy with what I've achieved than it's coming to an end, I'm looking at it that way."

For all the highs of his 16-year career, Brookvale Oval represents one of the few lows in Kimmorley's career after a miserable season with the ill-fated Northern Eagles joint venture in 2001.

With many fans already dissatisfied with the merger, high-price recruit Kimmorley bore the brunt of criticism for the poor on-field performances as the Eagles finished tenth.

Asked what sort of reception he was expecting from the Brookie faithful, Kimmorley said:

"Probably as normal."

Asked if that meant plenty of boos, his response:

"As normal."

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