Symonds set to make his mark at Manly
Friday 15 March 2013 12:21 PM
After eight months out of the game Sea Eagles recruit Tom Symonds is looking forward to recapturing the form that saw him originally named in the 2012 VB NSW Cup Representative Team before injury crueller his last season at the Roosters.
Joining the Sea Eagles the week before the season began, Symonds made a successful debut in Round One of the VB NSW Cup, scoring two crucial tries in his side’s 26-24 win over the Auckland Vulcans.
His performance obviously caught the eye of NRL Coach Geoff Toovey because he has been elevated to an extended bench for Sunday’s NRL game against the Newcastle Knights at Brookvale, probably due to NSW Cup coach Luke Williamson glowing praises.
"Tom was excellent. For a debut in the Maroon and White it was simply outstanding," Williamson said.
"He was everywhere. Scored a couple of tries and probably could have had three. He's a very team orientated player, which is good."
The Sea Eagles, who finished last season in 12th position, have been bolstered over the off season with a number of acquisitions including Symonds, David Gower, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Dane Chisholm, Michael Chee-Kam, Ligi Sao, Peta Hiku and Esi Tonga, adding considerable depth to their playing roster.
Check out how Symonds fits into the Sea Eagles Round 2 team list
“From what I’ve seen so far, we have a really new look squad. We came away with a win on the weekend... but we’ve still got a lot to improve on so hopefully 2013 is a better year for our side,” Symonds said.
“Manly have so many guys who have played footy for a long time. I immediately noticed the experienced vibe here and knowledge that the older guys are willing to pass on.”
Symonds was unlucky to miss out on VB NSW Cup glory last year after captaining the Newtown Jets in the earlier part of the season, and he says taking on his former teammates will be a new experience for him, but one the second-rower is looking forward to.
“I suppose it was bittersweet in a way. I was there cheering the boys on every week and was really happy to see them get the win.
"Newtown’s a great club with so much history and I always enjoyed the opportunities I had to play there... so in the end it was just a great thing to be a part of.
“It will be interesting playing against them. I've never moved on from a club and had to play against them before so I’m sure there’ll be plenty of banter being thrown around."
Check out the NSW Cup team list for Round 2
Whilst aiming to make a return to the NRL, Symonds is firstly hoping to cement himself in a strong Sea Eagles VB NSW Cup line-up and re-adjust to the physicality of week to week football.
“I was as sore as I’ve ever been after the game on the weekend. I hadn’t played for 8 months so I was feeling pretty battered on the Sunday,” Symonds added.
"Obviously there’s a difference between NRL and the VB NSW Cup but there’s still plenty of physicality in that level of football."
With the Sea Eagles shaping up as the big improvers for season 2013, Symonds believes his former club still remain the team to beat.
“It's hard to tell early, but Newtown have good depth, some great players and are reigning premiers so they will be tough to beat."
“For now I’m just looking forward to playing my best for Manly. I’m here until the end of 2014, so hopefully we can play some good footy and see where it takes us.”
The Sea Eagles VB NSW Cup team take on Mounties on Saturday March 16 at Aubrey Keech Reserve, or head out to Brookvale Oval on Sunday afternoon for a chance to catch Tommy in action when the Sea Eagles NRL side host the Newcastle Knights.