Ox tips year of the Lyon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ox tips year of the Lyon

By Todd Balym 12/02/2008 11:40:38 PM Comments (0)

Jamie Lyon was tagged the most overrated player in the NRL last year, but Manly halves partner Matt Orford expects the critics to be eating humble pie in 2008.

Lyon copped a barrage of criticism during his long-awaited NRL comeback last year, `winning' the overrated tag in a player poll before he ultimately lost his place in the Australian side for the end of year Test against New Zealand.

It was a difficult return from the Super League as he floated between centre and five-eighth and failed to achieve his normal impact in attack.

But the move to No.6 appears permanent for 2008 and Orford can't wait to establish a strong partnership.

"I'm just excited about my combination with Jamie Lyon," Orford said.

"He's had an awesome pre season and I think we'll feel a whole lot more comfortable this year than last year.

"Last year he had come with all these massive expectations and he's a class player and we all know that but I think we'll see a lot more out of him this year."

Following the departure of hooker Michael Monaghan in the off season, Orford knows there'll be greater pressure on he and Lyon to generate more in attack this season.

The Manly duo are prepared to attack the line more often and Lyon has also worked on becoming a better playmaker by directing his teammates around the paddock.

It is hoped if the partnership blossoms then both Orford and Lyon can push their claims for NSW jerseys.

"(Lyon) is just a great runner of the ball and one-on-one he's going to beat you most times and this pre season he's been working on that," said Orford.

"He's also a lot more comfortable with the calls and telling blokes where to be and if they're not there he rips right into them, which is good to see.

"I'm working my butt off to make (representative teams) this year and the best way to do that is play good for Manly and be consistent.

"If we're winning games and I'm playing to my best and taking the line on as much as possible then I'm throwing my hat in the ring."

Lyon won't play in the Sea Eagles' pre season trial against Melbourne in Gosford on Friday as he serves his grand final suspension.

However, Orford and most of the Eagles' grand final squad will run out for Manly, while the Storm named two teams for the three-period game.

Coach Craig Bellamy will field his likely World Club Challenge side in the second period, but has named stars Cameron Smith and Antonio Kaufusi to play in the opening stanza.

Smith will miss the WCC match for the birth of his first child while prop Kaufusi is making a cautious comeback from a knee reconstruction.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news