SPORT Manly still threat: Morris

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT -

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.

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