SPORT Manly still threat: Morris
CRONULLA coach John Morris won’t be lulled into a false sense of security over Manly’s horror NRL injury toll at Central Coast Stadium today, knowing explicitly the danger of Des Hasler’s side without its stars.
The Sharks were knocked out of the 2019 finals by a depleted Sea Eagles side which rallied without star fullback Tom Trbojevic, Curtis Sironen, Joel Thompson and Martin Taupau.
And set to face them again without Trbojevic and fiveeighth Dylan Walker, Morris is far from comfortable.
“The last two times we played them last year, they beat us both times without Tom Trbojevic and with a number of players out as well, so we’re well aware that they’re a really gritty club and they dig deep when they’re not at their best,” Morris said.
“We’re aware that they’re capable of winning without their big names – they did it all last year.” The Sharks have not beaten the Sea Eagles since 2016.
Taupau and barnstorming winger Jorge Taufua have been added to Manly’s side. They missed last week’s gutsy 14-6 win over Canberra, which saw Trbojevic and Walker pick up injuries. Centre Brad Parker has been cleared to play at
Central Coast Stadium after copping a nasty head knock.
Brendan Elliot and Lachlan Croker replace Trbojevic and Walker respectively.
Meanwhile, Canterbury coach Dean Pay is hoping the return of veteran prop Aiden Tolman will add the defensive steel his team needs to turn its fortunes around. Tolman is set to face Wests Tigers today for what will be his first game since isolating for two weeks due to a COVID-19 scare at his child’s school. Tolman’s return comes just days before English international Luke Thompson’s anticipated arrival at the club.
Alex Twal, Robert Jennings and Zane Musgrove have been left out of the Tigers’ squad.