NRL Tigers wary of wounded Vatuvei - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL Tigers wary of wounded Vatuvei

Joe Barton 12/09/2011 05:42:23 PM Comments (0)

Manu Vatuvei may be coming off a game so poor it forced him to apologise to Warriors fans, but the Wests Tigers know if they're not careful in this Friday's NRL elimination clash it will be them feeling sorry.

Vatuvei played one of the worst games of his career in the Warriors' humiliating 40-10 loss at Suncorp Stadium - struggling under the high ball and producing a game-high five errors.

The shocker revived memories of when he made six errors and let in three tries in a shambolic effort against Parramatta in 2007, but the Tigers are deeply concerned about the havoc the scorned winger could wreak.

In-form Tigers winger Beau Ryan, who at just 87kg gives away a staggering 25kg in his battle with `the Beast', is fully expecting Vatuvei to bounce back in a big way at the Sydney Football Stadium.

"A lot of people that have been in rugby league circles know that (when Manu has a poor game he follows it with a big one)," Ryan, who has scored three tries in his past five games, told reporters on Monday.

"From the wing I don't think (there's anyone that matches him for raw power). I love playing against him, he's sometimes unstoppable.

"What's not scary about Manu? I don't want to say too much to get him riled up. He's a big, strong, aggressive guy.

"And that's what you play footy for, to test yourself against these guys and like they say the bigger they are the harder they fall so hopefully I can get over him or under him or do anything to try and stop him.

"He's a fantastic player and a great character in the game."

Tigers skipper Robbie Farah backed his undersized teammate to be up for the challenge.

"The type of player Beau is I know he'll never take a backward step," Farah said.

"He'll be looking forward to the challenge. He gives up about 30 kilos to Manu, but he'll be relishing the challenge. He's a competitive little bugger.

"... (Vatuvei) had an off night, Brisbane tested him there with the high ball and he come up with a few drops so it might be something we do, but we're not going to base our whole gameplan about going out there to try and target Manu.

"He's a quality player so he'll bounce back."

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