Tigers loss a wake-up call for Manly - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers loss a wake-up call for Manly

By Russell Jackson 10/08/2011 05:11:24 PM Comments (0)

Manly captain Jamie Lyon says the Sea Eagles' loss to Wests Tigers two weeks ago has helped to sharpen his side's focus ahead of the NRL finals.

The Sea Eagles went into the match on the back of nine wins from 10 games, with their only loss in that time coming against premiers St George Illawarra.

"It wasn't one of our better games," Lyon said of the 14-12 loss at Bluetongue Stadium.

"There weren't crisis meetings but we definitely sat down and had a few meetings about it and spoke about what we needed to do."

Manly, who are second on the NRL ladder behind Melbourne four weeks out from the finals, bounced back from the defeat by hammering Sydney Roosters 36-8 last weekend and face another struggling team this Saturday night in Parramatta.

The Eels were humiliated 56-6 by South Sydney on Monday and, while Lyon admitted he sympathised with his former club, he and the side are focused on simply getting a job done at Parramatta Stadium.

"I felt a little bit for them ... I've been in a few of them (heavy losses) myself ... it's never a good feeling," Lyon said.

"We're under no illusions. They'll be wanting to bounce back and to come out and prove a point to their fans ... so we're expecting a really physical game.

"We want to build up to the finals. We don't want to have a loss and have to go back to the drawing board."

Lyon takes over the outright captaincy after sharing the role with Jason King, who was ruled out for the season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle against the Roosters.

King has been the cornerstone of the Sea Eagles this year and Lyon said his loss would provide a big challenge for Manly.

"I think everyone has to put their hand up and just do a little bit extra," he said.

George Rose moves into the starting line-up in place of King and coach Des Hasler is confident the popular frontrower will do a great job.

"A good thing about this side is that when players have come in, they've stepped up," Hasler said.

"George played there earlier this year ... he's got great go forward, he carries the ball hard and his last month of footy has been good."

Hasler also expects last week's thumping to galvanise the Eels.

"We'll be going to Parramatta knowing that we'll be playing against a lot of emotion, so we have to ignore that and just treat it like a game that's a must-win for us," he said.

The sides met in round 15 when Manly five-eighth Kieran Foran broke Parramatta's hearts with a 77th-minute try to give the Sea Eagles a 22-18 win.

"Parramatta and Manly games are always traditionally hard games and they probably should have beaten us at Brooky Oval (earlier this year)," Hasler said.

"It's still fairly tight at the top and we want to stay clear in second position."

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