Watmough the man to break Broncos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Watmough the man to break Broncos

By Joe Barton 26/05/2011 07:21:53 PM Comments (0)

Manly are hopeful that a State of Origin snubbing will provide the motivation for dynamic forward Anthony Watmough to break Brisbane's watertight defensive line on Friday night.

The Sea Eagles travelled to Brisbane on Thursday for the NRL double-header at Suncorp Stadium knowing they face a tough task against a Broncos side reeling from successive defeats.

In 2011, only St George Illawarra have bettered Brisbane's defensive record, with the Broncos sitting second in both points, tries and line breaks conceded.

The ace in Manly's pack is Watmough, who has a brilliant record at Suncorp Stadium where he has scored four tries in his past three matches.

Manly hooker Matt Ballin admits he was surprised when Watmough was omitted from the NSW team which was narrowly defeated on Wednesday night, and said the tackle-busting backrower is warming up for something special.

"I think he is (warming up to something)," Ballin told AAP.

"I think he was unlucky not to be selected in the NSW side.

"He's made for Origin, he's aggressive, he's fit and strong and quick.

"He's been playing really well for us lately, he probably wasn't in his best form at the start of the year but the past four weeks he's been one of our best players every week and is definitely up there with the best second-rowers in the game.

"We're really excited to have him playing well. He scores a lot of tries and hopefully he gets another one at Suncorp again (on Friday)."

Manly coach Des Hasler said he felt Brisbane had flown under the radar this season, despite sitting on the same amount of competition points as the third-placed Sea Eagles.

Hasler added that defence had been the cornerstone of Brisbane's success in 2011, a trait that Ballin believes has also helped Manly to win five of their last six matches.

"Our defence has been the most pleasing thing to take out of our current form," he said.

"Apart from a couple of games we haven't leaked too many tries whereas last year we probably leaked over 20 points a game - it's been a goal to get that down.

"I guess defensively it's been a big team effort.

"But they've been defending really well too.

"We're going to have to attack well and be really on our game defensively to stop their big guys in the middle and otherwise their fast backs out wide can be dangerous."

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin insists that he will rest Queensland stars Darren Lockyer and Sam Thaiday, while prop Ben Hannant is attempting to prove his fitness - but Ballin said the Sea Eagles would be expecting Lockyer to lead his team out.

"You've just got to prepare for them to have their best side on the field," he said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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