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Sea Eagles ready for historic Las Vegas season opener

The preparation has been meticulous and it’s all systems go when the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles become a part of sports history on Saturday night.

The Sea Eagles take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the first ever rugby league premiership match to be played in America, with the magnificent Allegiant Stadium the venue just a fortnight after hosting the NFL Super Bowl.

Manly has spent the past nine days based in Las Vegas and have managed to train on a similar size field to the one at Allegiant Stadium in Henderson, as well as back home at 4 Pines Park.

“We’ve probably had our last seven sessions on this type of field,'' Coach Anthony Seibold said today.

"Being here now, the width of the field doesn’t look too bad other than the corners.

“(We have) trained on a smaller field and been here for 8-9 days now, so we have acclimatised really well

“What actually does feel a little bit tighter, and I think it’s because the seating is right on top, is the length of the field. It just looks like you are going to be able to roll down the field reasonably easily.

"I just don’t know whether that’s just the big grandstands in the background. It’s a great challenge for us."

The final word...Coach Anthony Seibold speaks with the media at Allegiant Stadium today
The final word...Coach Anthony Seibold speaks with the media at Allegiant Stadium today ©NRL Photos

Seibold said a key part of the game will be the kicking contest between the halves.

"I definitely feel field position is the key. If you think about the field that we have got here, playing down the other end of the field is going to be really important, so kicking is a big part of that,'' he added.

Seibold admitted the match had a different feel to it compared to a normal season opener.

“There has been so much publicity about this. It hasn’t had a round one feel, it’s had more of a State of Origin or a finals type feel,'' he said.

“We want the best 80 minutes of the week to be tomorrow night.

“We want to represent our club really well. Play our best footy. I think game one, are we going to be at our absolute best, probably not? Probably all four teams are in the same situation there.

“We want to use our strengths and play our best footy. For us, it’s our speed and our kicking game. We want to be at our best but we have some new players in our team, so we will get better as the season progresses.

“There are no excuses from us to not go and execute our plan. We will try and bring somewhere near our best tomorrow night.”


Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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