2013 Sea Eagles Season Preview: Forwards
Monday 14 January 2013 2:30 PM
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Season Preview - Forwards
The Sea Eagles’ continued success through 2012 was built in the consistent efforts of arguably the hardest working forward pack in the NRL. While they have lost some strike in Tony Williams, and some depth in Darcy Lussick and Daniel Harrison, Geoff Toovey’s ability to seamlessly inject new blood into the forwards through a massive injury toll bodes well for the 2013 season. There are a number of forwards knocking on the first grade door at Brookvale, and 2013 presents a great chance for them to succeed.
How do Manly’s forwards stack up entering 2013?
Once again veterans Jason King and Brent Kite will line up in the front row for the Sea Eagles, providing plenty of stability to the Manly team. George Rose, Vic Mauro and Joe Galuvao could be used as impact players off the bench as well, while new recruits Brenton Lawrence, Richie Fa’aoso and David Gower, along with Nick Skinner, James Cunningham, Justin Lemalu and Jake Trbojevic will provide plenty of competition for spots in both the NRL and NSW Cup squads.
Boom recruit Ligi Sao is one to keep an eye out for, with his 187cm/102kg frame likely to feature at some point in Geoff Toovey’s lineup.
Top Metre Eater: Jason King averaged 11 Runs and 88.2 Metres Gained in 2012 and averaged 31.1 Dream Team Points Per Game.
Again Matt Ballin will assume the hooking role for the Sea Eagles in 2013, fresh off a great year in 2012. His defensive workload, smarts out of dummy half and combination with Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran will again be a key to the Sea Eagles’ success.
Jamie Buhrer could provide some relief for him, but new recruit Kayne Lawton is the most likely man to put pressure on the Queenslander. Also in the mix are Liam Foran and Liam Higgins, and Michael Stig and Craig McMurrich from the NYC squad.
Tackling Machine: Matt Ballin averaged 41.8 Tackles in 2012 and averaged 44.1 Dream Team Points Per Game.
Despite the loss of Tony Williams, the Sea Eagles still have an imposing back-row combination, with Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart certain starters, while Jamie Buhrer and Joe Galuvao could be fighting it out for the final starting spot.
Recruits Justin Horo, James Hasson and Jesse Sene-Lefao will all be fighting for a spot on the bench, but there is a plethora of back-row talent in the club, including Kayse Greer, Ben Musolino, Nathan Cooper and Fabian Goodall.
Michael Chee-Kam, joining the Sea Eagles from Canberra, will be one to look out for after he starred in the Raiders NYC team which lost the 2012 NYC Grand Final.
Workhorse: Anthony Watmough averaged 32 Tackles, 13.7 Runs and 108.2 Metres Gained in 2012, along with 64 tackle breaks and 30 offloads to average 43.3 Dream Team Points Per Game.
Bottom Line for 2013:
The Sea Eagles may have lost some players, but they will retain a reputation as one of the most fearsome forward packs in the NRL in 2013, something they won’t take long to prove. Some smart recruitment will allow a handful of young stars to find their feet at the NRL level, while maintaining plenty of depth in the pack.
What do you think about Manly's forward pack this season? Leave your comments below.