Sea Eagles counting on aggressive display from King
Manly is backing Jason King to get in the face of North Queensland's highly-rated forward pack in tonight's NRL elimination semi-final.
The Sea Eagles co-captain led from the front in Manly's loss to Canterbury last week, having a running battle with England international James Graham while also being placed on report for a high shot on Aiden Tolman.
Manly prop Joe Galuvao and enforcer Tony Williams were delighted when King's low-grade charge cleared him for Friday, saying his aggression will be essential at Allianz Stadium against a Cowboys pack he regards as ''world class''.
''Definitely it's a hard pack to match up against,'' Galuvao said.
''They're world class. But we stuck it to them last time we played and we've got to have the same mentality.
''And they know that too. They know that we can come with our A-game and we can beat them. It's going to be no different this week.
''Having Kingy there is a massive boost. He is a great contributor to our team not only as a leader but as a person as well.''
Galuvao backed King to take the fight to the Cowboys' Australian Test starting front row of Matt Scott and James Tamou, just as he did against Graham. ''Kingy loves the challenge. If anything it's his role in the team,'' he said. ''He's there to take the ball up hard and lead us well.
''If that means stepping up and getting in the faces of people, he'll do it. I expect nothing less from him this weekend.''
Williams added: ''We need his aggression. The amount of aggression he's got he helps the boys pick up.''
Meanwhile, Penrith-bound centre Dean Whare is hopeful that his time as a Sea Eagles player isn't ended by the team he made his debut against two seasons ago.
Arguably Whare's finest moment in maroon and white came against the Cowboys when he became the first Manly player in history to score a hat-trick on debut. Whare, who will fill in at left centre for the suspended Steve Matai just as he did on his debut, is aware of the opportunity he has to finish his time at Manly properly.
''I definitely don't want this to be my last game [for Manly],'' Whare said. ''I've been put in this position and I've got the opportunity to play finals footy due to a suspension. I'm taking it with both hands.
''This will be the most memorable game since my debut, playing in a quarter final against the Cowboys is pretty exciting. I just don't want it to be my last [for Manly].'' AAP