Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei is encouraging Manly to bring on the

bombing raid in Sunday’s NRL grand final as ‘The Beast’ looks for a

chance to make his mark on the biggest stage.

A day after Manly

skipper Jamie Lyon said Sea Eagles halves Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran

Foran would have Vatuvei in their sights at ANZ Stadium, the Kiwi

international welcomed the challenge.

His reputation as a kick

receiver is still blotted by a horror night against Parramatta four

years ago – memories of which resurfaced during another below par effort

against Brisbane in the opening week of the finals.

“It will be a good challenge for me and I’m up for a good challenge every week,” he said on Tuesday.

“I’ll be looking to play my best. Any kick they kick my way, I’ll do my best to catch it.”


his early shocker against the Eels, Vatuvei has developed a reputation

as the game’s most fearsome winger, having scored a club-record 89 tries

and having left plenty of defenders in his wake.

Then came the

error-filled night in the Warriors’ 40-10 qualifying final defeat to

Brisbane earlier this month, Vatuvei’s immediate reaction one of disgust

as he offered a public apology via Twitter.

It renewed talk of

targeting the hulking winger, ironically, just as the 19-Test veteran

had complained of being frozen out by opposition kickers and needing to

go in search of work.

“For sure, during the season, they tried to keep me out of the game,” he said.

“Now, after that game against Brisbane, they’re kicking towards me again.

“That’s good, because I get more involved and I get to do stuff for the boys instead of standing on the sideline getting cold.”

Having reviewed the Brisbane debacle, he’s now less self-critical.

“After the video, I wasn’t too hard on myself,” he said.

“I went back to what I normally do at training. I kept on practising and enjoying what I do.”


was speaking at a Warriors fan day on Tuesday, which attracted more

than 1000 supporters to Mt Smart Stadium in the midst of the Rugby World


The Warriors head to Sydney on Wednesday and Vatuvei, 25, said the thought of playing in a grand final was starting to sink in.


three other Warriors — Lance Hohaia and former Eels Feleti Mateo and

Krisnan Inu — have been in a title decider before, while coach Ivan

Cleary also has his experience to pass on having been a teammate of

Hohaia’s in the Warriors’ only other grand final appearance when they

lost to the Sydney Roosters in 2002.

The Sea Eagles on the other

hand boast ten players with grand final experience, one of them being

NSW Origin backrower Glenn Stewart, who along with Darcy Lussick returns

to the Manly side after both served three game suspensions for their

role in the ‘Brookvale brawl’ in round 25.

Damaging backrower

Tony Williams retained his place in the starting side with Shane Rodney

dropping back to join Lussick on a six man bench, from which Tim

Robinson and Vic Mauro are expected to miss out.