Walker to remain at five-eighth
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Coach Trent Barrett has dismissed talk of new recruit Dylan Walker moving from the five-eighth role.
Barrett has been extremely pleased with what the former South Sydney centre has shown at five-eighth since joining the club in the pre-season.
And despite speculation from outside the club about Walker switching with centre Jamie Lyon, Barrett hosed it down before training today.
“Dylan will stay there (at five-eighth). I thought he did some really good things last week. I thought Daly Cherry-Evans (had) his best game of the year,’’ Barrett said.
“The better the team goes, I guess the more stability we have around our combinations, the more ball we can have, the better our halves are going to go.
“We saw in patches last week that there is something there. I have seen enough over the last four months that they are the two I want in the halves and I will stick with it.”
Barrett said he had several options up his sleeve to replace the suspended Martin Taupau and Brenton Lawrence, who will miss just tomorrow night’s match against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium.
“We are a bit lucky in that we have got a little bit of depth. Without Marty Taupau and Brenton Lawrence, who have been two of our better players over the past few weeks, we are going to miss them. We will just have to do our best,’’ Barrett said.
“There are a fair few blokes in reserve grade who have been putting their hand up. We only played Monday night so we are still a bit dusty. We have about four or five options there so we will make a decision closer to kick-off.”
Asked how he replaces the aggressive nature of Taupau’s play, Barrett said it was almost impossible.
“Go and find me another 120kg wrecking ball. There are not many of them around. You can’t replace it,’’ Barrett said.
“We are going to bring in blokes who are more than capable of doing the job. Obviously (they) are not going to be the physical specimen that Marty is, but we will still be able to bring in a good replacement. Luckily it is only a week.”
Barrett also feared the Roosters would be hurting after two heavy losses as they search for their first win.
“(They will be) very dangerous. They have got some really good players throughout their side. Their young halves, I’ve watched them come through their all junior days. They are all brilliant players,’’ Barrett said.
“It is Shaun Kenny-Dowall’s 200th game, they are back at home, so they are going to have a lot to play for. They run hard, they have got a big forward pack, and we are going to have to stop them.
“It won’t take long before they get better. Hopefully it is not tomorrow night. We can’t worry about that. We are still on the improve ourselves.”