NRL coach expects Idris, Matai fireworks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL coach expects Idris, Matai fireworks

By Joe Barton 03/06/2011 06:20:58 PM Comments (0)

Canterbury's Josh Morris has played for Australia and NSW in the past two years but he admits nobody will be interested in his match-up with fellow representative centre Jamie Lyon on Saturday night.

When Morris' Bulldogs take on Manly at ANZ Stadium, all eyes will be on the other side of the field where 115kg behemoth Jamal Idris goes head-to-head with hard-hitting Sea Eagles NRL centre Steve Matai.

"It will be no holds barred there I reckon. They both like it physical," Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore said on Friday.

"Both those blokes would concede it's up to their forward packs to try and make sure they lay a bit of groundwork and sort of get on top in that battle in the middle of the field.

"If we can do that, I know that Jamal will put his two cents worth into the battle with Steve. It should be a good one."

Idris, who was considered a strong chance of earning a spot in the NSW squad for State of Origin I, had taken out his frustration over missing the squad on the opposition in recent weeks.

Last Friday, in the Bulldogs' clinical 28-6 victory over Gold Coast, Idris monstered Blues' backrower Greg Bird in an enormous hit which caused a turnover.

"It made a lot of noise," Morris laughed when asked about the tackle.

"I definitely wouldn't have liked to have been involved in that tackle.

"It will be a good battle between (Matai) and Jamal. Obviously, they can both hit hard in defence and they're both quality attackers.

"It will be a good key clash."

Both Morris and Idris are in the frame for Origin recalls due to a likely reshuffle caused by a hamstring injury to St George Illawarra winger Brett Morris.

"There's always a chance, you can only do your best and put your best foot forward," Josh Morris said.

Moore said he expected Manly's physical approach to extend to rookie halfback Josh Reynolds, lining up for just his second NRL match after debuting last month in a 20-12 loss to Canberra.

But Moore said that could play into the hands of Reynolds, who secured his spot in the halves due to the two-week suspension of Trent Hodkinson.

"That's one of his strengths. He likes to get amongst it," Moore explained.

"Josh certainly doesn't stand back from the physical battle. He's a good young kid and I expect him to go well."

Morris also supported the 22-year-old's ability to withstand anything the Sea Eagles were prepared to use to unsettle him.

"Obviously, they'll look to rough him up but he's a tough young kid and he'll be up to the task," he said.

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