Manly have NRL send-offs to rival Locky - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly have NRL send-offs to rival Locky

Joe Barton 22/09/2011 04:47:33 PM Comments (0)

All the pre-match talk has surrounded Darren Lockyer having possibly played his final game, but it is Manly who will be losing even more NRL experience when their season ends.

The loss of Lockyer, who has an NRL record 355 games, is massive one but it's the Broncos' only for one 2012, while Manly have Michael Robertson, Shane Rodney and young winger Will Hopoate departing after the season with 356 games under their collective belts.

Unsung heroes Robertson (207 games) and Rodney (129 games), who will both join Super League club London Harlequins, are joined by 19-year-old Hopoate, who is spending two years away from rugby league to complete a Mormon mission.

And Manly are desperate to send their two quiet achievers - and one future star - out with premiership rings.

"Obviously I think about it a little bit, but I'm trying not to ... We haven't spoken about (wanting to send players off as winners), but everyone is aware of it," Rodney told AAP.

"We just know we've got a great opportunity with where we are at the moment and the squad we've got, to make something happen.

"We want to work hard this week and hopefully go out on a high note."

In 2008 Manly were able to give club legend Steve Menzies the perfect send-off with a 40-0 grand final victory over Melbourne, but Rodney says the Sea Eagles are unlikely to be sympathetic if they end Lockyer's farewell tour a week early.

"They got (Menzies) the perfect send off, we've just got to worry about ourselves as a team and play well and hopefully the results will come," he said.

"Hopefully we can get the win this week and it would be great to finish with a grand final win next week before moving on to England."

Rodney arrived at Manly after their last premiership triumph following several injury-ravaged seasons at Penrith, and even he concedes things have gone better than planned.

"I was always hopeful that my time at Manly would have been (as fruitful as they have been)," he explained.

"I came here on the back of a few years out with injuries and I missed a few games this year as well, but overall in my three seasons at Manly I've found some form again and my body feels good.

"I'd just like to finish off on a really high note."

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