Manly pack will try to bash us: Thurston - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly pack will try to bash us: Thurston

By David Beniuk 07/09/2011 06:34:05 PM Comments (0)

The Manly pack's intimidation factor will thrive in the NRL finals despite the losses of Jason King, Glenn Stewart and Darcy Lussick, according to first-up opponents North Queensland.

The Sea Eagles' forwards have made an art form out of brutalising opponents but they face a test to continue the physicality with the trio on the sidelines.

Co-captain King's season was cut short by a pectoral muscle tear, while Stewart and Lussick were rubbed out for three games each after the infamous Brookvale Oval brawl in the win over Melbourne two weeks ago.

But Cowboys star Johnathan Thurston says the Sea Eagles' game-plan won't change.

"They're a big, physical side so they're going to try and bash you for 80 minutes and that's what they're known for," he said.

"No doubt we're going to have to absorb that pressure and put a bit of pressure on them so we'll see how we go."

Thurston's co-captain Matt Scott, on Tuesday night crowned the Dally M prop of the year, agreed.

"The Manly pack have been dominant for a few years now and they've been probably one of the most consistent forward packs all year," Scott said.

"They seem to work really well as a pack regardless of the names in the team.

"It's always a tough game defensively, they get numbers in the tackle, they slow you down a fair bit so they're very good at that and we're going to have a hard time up the middle of the field no doubt."

While they expect no let-up in the aggression stakes, Thurston conceded the loss of lock Stewart would still be a blow for Manly.

"Big time I believe," Thurston said. "I've played alongside Gifty (Stewart) for Australia so I know what he brings to a team and no doubt he's been their best player.

"On that right edge with Killer (Jamie Lyon) and Daly (Cherry-Evans) they've been a strike force there, so they'll certainly miss him but they've got players that will come in and do the job for them."

The Cowboys will be without emerging hitman Tariq Sims, who has a broken leg, but have depth in the forwards after a recruitment drive that nabbed Dallas Johnson, Glenn Hall and Cory Paterson.

The club announced on Wednesday Sims has signed a new three-year extension that will keep him at the Cowboys until the end of the 2015 season.

"He's a great talent and he's got a big future in the game and I'm glad he's going to be making his mark on the game with the Cowboys," Thurston said.

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