Roosters braced for Manly muscle - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters braced for Manly muscle

By David Beniuk And Daniel Brettig 19/03/2011 02:24:08 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Roosters expect Manly will try to make up for the absence of a host of their stars with a full-on physical assault in Sunday's NRL clash at the Sydney Football Stadium.

If the salary cap is designed to make every club competitive every week, injuries and suspensions can do the opposite and the Sea Eagles will enter the match as rank outsiders.

Co-captains Jamie Lyon (hamstring) and Jason King (suspension) this week joined Steve Matai (suspension), Shane Rodney (shoulder) and a handful of promising youngsters on the sidelines.

For a squad with unproven depth this year, it will take a massive effort against 2010 grand finalists the Roosters.

But with an experienced pack and giant centre Tony Williams on the loose, Roosters prop Jason Ryles said the depleted Sea Eagles would have no choice but to muscle up.

"That doesn't matter, they come out to play every week tough, no matter what," Ryles said.

"Last weekend Melbourne would certainly have known they'd had a game on the Monday morning, they would've been very sore and sorry and no matter what the scoreboard is.

"Manly come out very hard, no matter who's playing, so we'll have to be ready for that.

"They bashed us up a little bit early in the first half there last year, so I'm sure they remember that and we do too, so we've got to aim up early."

In the only pieces of good news for Manly, winger David Williams (hamstring) returns after missing all of last season and makeshift centre William Hopoate is able to take his place after recovering from a shoulder problem suffered in last weekend's 18-6 loss to Melbourne.

Brian Smith's side will almost certainly welcome Dally M medallist Todd Carney back from a groin injury, in all likelihood from the bench.

They were put on notice by Smith, after last week's scare from South Sydney which came on the back of a 6-0 second half penalty count, that their discipline needs to improve.

Forwards Jake Friend and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves each gave away two penalties each in the half.

Ryles said fiery Kiwi Waerea-Hargreaves was learning the art of controlled aggression.

"He's OK, he's a young guy, he plays on a lot of emotion and passion and it's certainly one of the prerequisites for playing footy," the former Test prop said.

"He's just got to learn to control that but certainly I don't think it's going to be a problem and it's something he's working very hard on.

"He just gets into it. I'd hate to be on the other side of the fence on the other teams, I wouldn't want to be playing against him, that's for sure."

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