JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

80-minute man: T-Rex stands up to test of time

"Personally, I reckon I can play a good 80 minutes. I guess I haven't showed it this year. Maybe in a couple games. Like I said, only I can control that and I know I can do it. I want to do it this weekend" ... Tony Williams.

"Personally, I reckon I can play a good 80 minutes. I guess I haven't showed it this year. Maybe in a couple games. Like I said, only I can control that and I know I can do it. I want to do it this weekend" ... Tony Williams. Photo: Quentin Jones

WHEN Bruce Springsteen penned the song Wrecking Ball a few years back he had in mind the impending demolition of Giants Stadium in his native New Jersey.

The Boss may not be aware of the particular talents of Tony Williams but, in the thick of the NRL semi-finals, the tune could easily be the theme to the Manly forward's career to date, so often does the title precede his name.

Williams, who at 118 kilograms and 192 centimetres is the prototype ''impact player'', catapulted to NSW and Australian selection and a hefty income on the basis of an ability to turn a game upside down with sheer force and speed.

"I think if you've got a player of Tony's ability you have him on the field as long as you can" ... Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey.

"I think if you've got a player of Tony's ability you have him on the field as long as you can" ... Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey. Photo: Getty Images

Yet what the 23-year-old is rallying against is the connotation that to perform the role he must do it in short spurts, with limited game-time or from the bench. In almost all of Williams's 14 appearances for the premiers this year (his season was impeded by suspension and then injury) he has played for a full 80 minutes.

Manly coach Geoff Toovey plans to do exactly the same with his giant back-rower in Friday night's semi-final against North Queensland at Allianz Stadium, with both rejecting criticism he could be used more economically.

The Canterbury-bound Williams admits he has drifted in and out of matches when playing for their entirety - statistics published by the Herald last month showed he sometimes faded in second halves and could be inactive for significant periods of time. Now, with Manly's year on the line, he is intent upon obliterating any perception that he cannot go the distance.

"I don't want it to be my last game here" ... Manly's Tony Williams.

"I don't want it to be my last game here" ... Manly's Tony Williams. Photo: Getty Images

He played a key part in Manly's tries in the first half of their defeat to his future club, the Bulldogs, last Friday, and is keen to prove he can extend that impact deeper into Friday's clash with the Cowboys.

''I've been going in and out of games and I guess the lack of games I've played this year has had an impact on that but I've got no excuses,'' Williams said. ''I just need to get in there and do my thing and play to the best of my ability.

''Personally, I reckon I can play a good 80 minutes. I guess I haven't showed it this year. Maybe in a couple games. Like I said, only I can control that and I know I can do it. I want to do it this weekend.''

Toovey steadfastly agrees, arguing he would be mad to field Williams in moderation when he can wreak such destruction.

''I think if you've got a player of Tony's ability you have him on the field as long as you can,'' Toovey said. ''Otherwise you miss those little opportunities that he created last week. If he's not on there he doesn't create them.''

The reality that Friday's match could be his last for the Sea Eagles is not lost on the former Parramatta junior. He will join former coach Des Hasler at the Bulldogs later this year, bringing to a close a wildly successful chapter of his career.

However, his mind is anywhere but at Belmore just yet. The rare opportunity to win back-to-back premierships is driving Williams to dream past Friday and beyond.

''I don't want it to be my last game here,'' Williams said. ''After that game against the Doggies I thought, 'This could be the last game, this weekend'. I'm going to try my best to go all the way.

''There are a couple of us leaving. I know that the other boys feel the same way. We want to go all the way … do it for Manly before we leave.''

Related Coverage

Maguire includes standbys in plans

SOUTH SYDNEY coach Michael Maguire has placed players on standby for injured pair Nathan Merritt and Jason Clark as the pair race the clock to be fit for Saturday night's elimination final against Canberra at ANZ Stadium.

Toovey takes aim at judiciary

MANLY coach Geoff Toovey has called on rugby league's players' union to lobby for a complete shake-up of the NRL judiciary model, saying players were frustrated with the way on-field misconduct was dealt with under the present system.

Barba sought help to stop success going to his head

BEN BARBA has revealed he needed help from Canterbury's senior players and coach Des Hasler to cope with the pressure that comes with being crowned the competition's No.1 player.

Billy the Kid target of top-scorer shootout

Take a look at the important bits and pieces from the NRL finals action so far.

History won't repeat against bigmouthed Manly: Thurston

Johnathan Thurston has crowned Manly as the game's best verbal provocateurs and expects a torrent of chatter when the Cowboys head to Sydney for their sudden-death final on Friday night.

Related Coverage

Four Nations 2014

Round 1
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
ENG 32 vs SAM 26 Stats
AUS 12 vs NEWZ 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 14 vs SAM 12 Report Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 16 vs ENG 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 16 vs ENG 14 Report Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 44 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Final
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 22 vs AUS 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Four Nations 2014
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 22 6
Australia 3 2 1 0 12 4
England 3 1 2 0 0 2
Samoa 3 0 3 0 -34 0
View all
 
Featured advertisers