Watmough: 'The Army of One'

Manly’s Anthony Watmough has been dubbed the ‘Army of One’ and statistics revealed today by NRL.com show why he is the most damaging back-rower in the Telstra Premiership.<br><br>Watmough has made the third most tackle-breaks (93) in the NRL Telstra Premiership, fifth most offloads (35), 13th most metres (1928), 14th most runs (228) and 16th most line-breaks (10).<br><br>They are astounding numbers, especially considering he has missed matches because of State of Origin commitments, but even more as impressive were his figures in the interstate series.<br><br>Watmough starred in a beaten NSW side in Game 2 of series before winning man-of-the-match honours as NSW claimed victory in Game 3, which included; most metres (204), tackle-breaks (14), hit-ups (9), line-breaks (2), and second most tackles (31).<br><br>While surprised to hear the statistics, Watmough was quick to deflect the praise to coach Des Hasler.<br><br>“Me and Dessie worked on my consistency really hard during the off-season and it is a real credit to him the way I am playing,” he said.<br><br>“In years gone past, it wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, I was probably a little bit lazy and I waited for the ball to come to me, whereas now I have a really good hands-on role and I can get in and get involved whenever I want and I think that is beneficial to me.<br><br>“If I can get in and help the team that is even better. <br><br>“You can’t sit back and wait for other people to do the work for you. I’m in the senior group now and you have to be the one to lead the younger guys around.”<br><br>Being able to focus for the full 80 minutes is the secret to his success. Watmough’s ability to be switched on for the full game sounds fundamental, but it has transformed him from a player with great potential into a player opposition teams fear.<br><br>“I’m only as good as the team has been going and luckily the team is starting to really play well,” he said.<br><br>“Probably just getting involved more is the thing I have worked on this year, its sort of easy to drift in and out of games, but to stay in the games for 80 minutes is something you have to prepare for mentally.<br><br>“I can only do my job if the other boys are doing theirs, the team has been going great guns and I don’t really think stats mean anything.<br><br>“We are sitting at the bottom of the eight unfortunately, but we are starting to come good, so hopefully I can pick up those stats a bit more and it might help us get up that ladder.”<br><br>The Sea Eagles’ quest to move up the ladder faces a tough test against fifth-placed Newcastle at Gosford’s Bluetongue Stadium on Friday night, a clash Watmough says will have an enormous bearing on Manly’ season.<br><br>“It is one of those games it could be season defining, it could put us in good stead or it could leave us fighting till the end of the year,” he said.<br><br>“If we beat the Knights, we are only one point outside of the top four, which would be a massive bonus, but if we lose the game the boys know we could drop down as far as 10th because the competition is so tight.”<br><br>The Knights are fresh from the bye and Watmough is expecting a torrid battle up front.<br><br>“Their forwards are going unreal, you don’t see one play they do where there aren’t three of four guys pushing on the ball,” he said.<br><br>“They play the game really hard, they get quick play-the-balls and they keep coming at you. <br><br>“That is the way the game is played at the moment. You look at the Bulldogs and Dragons, they both do that as well, they play as a team and they play fast.<br><br>“We are really going to have to defend our butts off on Friday night.”<br><br>One player they will have to watch is the Knights’ inspirational leader, Kurt Gidley.<br><br>“There is no secret a lot of what they do revolves around Gids,” Watmough said,<br><br>“He is a great player and is the skipper of NSW team.<br><br>“If we shut him down it goes a long way to winning the game, but we can’t just concentrate on Gids, they have plenty of other good players. <br><br>“We have to focus on that forward pack, because they have been unstoppable lately.<br><a href="http://www.mwse.com.au/default.aspx?s=article-display&amp;id=18370"><b><br>Click here for Ticket Information</b></a>