Anthony Watmough

Anthony Watmough ... admits that James Tamou could cause Manly problems. Photo: Quentin Jones

HAVING been James Tamou's teammate this year, Anthony Watmough knows the challenge his Manly side faces tonight against North Queensland at Allianz Stadium.

Watmough played with Tamou in Australian and NSW colours this year, and the pair spent a lot of time together during camps. Now that they will be playing against each other, Watmough knows the importance of stopping the prop.

''You have seen how he played for NSW and Australia this year,'' Watmough said. ''He has been massive. We have to stop him and [Matt] Scott because they pretty much run off each other. One will get a big run and quick play the ball, then the other one will go. So if we let them run they can cause us some damage. We have to nullify them as much as we can.

''They have two Test front-rowers and two Origin players. There is no easy way of stopping them. You just have to take away their time and make them work as much as they can.''

The Sea Eagles have had recent success against the Cowboys. They won 8-6 in Townsville in round 22 this year, yet Watmough, the Sea Eagles' back-rower, knows they are a different proposition to that of a few weeks ago. That was the Cowboys' last loss.

''We can take a little bit out of when we travelled up there a few weeks ago,'' Watmough said. ''But it's a whole new ball game now. They totally dismantled the Broncos [last Saturday night]. They completed at 90 per cent plus. We have to be on our game.''

The Sea Eagles also knocked the Cowboys out of the competition at the qualifying finals stage last year. It is clear though, with the injury problems the Sea Eagles have had as well as their opponents' strong recent form, that the Cowboys are a strong chance of returning the favour.