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Backs get Roosters on a roll: Watmough

Forget man mountain Jared Waerea-Hargreaves or Sonny Bill Williams, Manly back-rower Anthony Watmough has pin-pointed winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck as a key to taming the Sydney Roosters pack in Sunday's grand final.
Backs get Roosters on a roll: Watmough
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic

SYDNEY, Sept 30 AAP - Forget man mountain Jared Waerea-Hargreaves or Sonny Bill Williams, Manly back-rower Anthony Watmough has pin-pointed winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck as a key to taming the Sydney Roosters pack in Sunday's grand final.

In a intriguing twist to the mouth-watering clash between some of the best big men in the business, Watmough said the Sea Eagles' ability to limit the damage caused by 93kg Tuivasa-Sheck, fellow winger Daniel Tupou and fullback Anthony Minichiello would go a long way to slowing down Waerea-Hargreaves and Williams.

"We've got to shut down their whole team - Sonny is a big party of their team but he runs off a lot of their outside backs and that's how they get on the front foot," Watmough said.

"We stop them, we stop Sonny, we stop Jared.

"He's (Waerea-Hargreaves) their leader, if he gets them on the front foot they're going to do some damage.

"But if we can nullify their back five then he'll have to work a bit harder and hopefully that will take away from his game."

Waerea-Hargreaves will be desperate to make amends after being forced to watch on from the stands as he served a suspension when the two teams played out their epic encounter in the opening week of the finals, when the Roosters prevailed 4-0.

But it is Williams who looms as the man Watmough will be called on to stop - the Manly back-rower ready for the challenge.

"I'm not going to go hiding if that's what you're asking," Watmough said.

"I put my body on the line every time, especially in these grand finals.

"You can't hide out there.

"You've just got to give it your all, you're 80 minutes away from the ultimate prize.

"He's a big part of their team, if he runs at me I'll be throwing myself in front of him as hard as I can."

Watmough admitted it was a relief to have only one game left to play on his ailing knee, an injury which surely must have him in doubt for the end-of-season World Cup.

He said his knee needed rest rather than surgery but that he was desperate to play in the World Cup.

As for the fatigue which had seemingly been plaguing the Sea Eagles in the early weeks of the finals, Watmough said the Sea Eagles squad would be up for another physical battle.

"We keep turning up, we've got that ability at this club to take it to another level when we need to," he said.

"If we're that little bit down someone will pick us up and we'll all go with him."


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