Rookie winger David Williams can expect plenty of aerial bombardment
on Saturday night when Manly try to make the National Rugby League
grand final for the second successive year.

The Sea Eagles need
to get past the New Zealand Warriors at Sydney Football Stadium and the
hard-running Williams will be marking giant opponent Manu Vatuvei.

The pair’s colourful nicknames have set up a mouth-watering duel between the Wolfman and the Beast.

But Williams will be conceding height and bulk to Vatuvei, who at 1.89cm and 112kg, is 6cm taller and 20kg heavier.

size makes him a natural target from many of the Warriors’ attacking
kicks, and halfback Nathan Fien said the Kiwi winger would be an
obvious go-to man again.

“When we’re down in the attacking end, I don’t thinking we have to change too much,” he said.

“It’s no secret we go high to Manu. Why wouldn’t we? He’s a bloody giant out there on the wing.

managed to score a few tries by just kicking out that way, whether he
knocks it back or he takes it and falls over the line.

“It’s definitely a strength of ours and I don’t see that changing this weekend.”

Vatuvei, 22, had scored 16 tries in 16 appearances during an injury hit season.

His recent strike rate has been even more impressive — seven in the past four matches.

also 22, is no slouch in the try-scoring department either, having
dotted down 13 times in 18 matches of his debut NRL season.

said the Warriors’ long kicking game also have to be accurate as well,
given the attacking threat posed by Manly fullback Brett Stewart when
bringing the ball back.

Stewart would also have to be watched
closely further up the field, having scored a competition best 20 tries
this season, including four in the two matches against the Warriors.

Fien will have a tough head-to-head contest of his own, his opposite number being Dally M Player of the Year Matt Orford.

“He’s definitely a competitor and he’s not going to die wondering,” Fien said.

such a key man for them, whether it’s through his kicking or his
aggressive runs. Hopefully we can get on top of him and nullify his

Although the Warriors have had to travel back across
the Tasman, their past two results in Australia have ensured that
there’s been little talk this week about their away form.

wins on the road were rare during much of the regular season, the
Warriors beat Parramatta away to clinch their playoff spot, and then
shocked Melbourne in their Olympic Park fortress a fortnight ago.

Fien said the match venue was of no real consequence, given that both teams knew they were facing sudden death.

“Having said that, we take a lot out of what we did in Melbourne,” he said.

so hard to win in Melbourne. Without revising it too much — because we
can’t rest on our laurels, we have to move on — it’s given us