Kasiano can't be contained: Taupau
The Sea Eagles need to be ready for the Dogs' battery of big men on Thursday night but when it comes to in-form giant Sam Kasiano, he simply can't be contained – you just have to tire him out.
That is the assessment of Manly wrecking ball Marty Taupau, who said he looks at it as a personal challenge when he comes up against such a vaunted pack to try and earn a platform for his playmakers to create some points.
In what is an absolute must-win clash for the northern beaches club, Taupau was full of praise for the forwards at the club where he came through the ranks.
"They are [big and physical], you can't fault them for the big boys and the skills that they have. We're well aware of what they can bring as a team. You've got a few individuals there that are on top of their game, they're devastating," Taupau said.
Asked how you stop skilful man-mountain Sam Kasiano, Taupau shrugged.
"I don't know. I think we've just got to tire him out to be honest," Taupau said.
"He's been playing out of his skin for the past few weeks and I give credit to him for being that creative human.
"He's a very big player and he's very agile as well and good with the ball in his hands so for us to contain him.
"I don't think you can contain a big human like Sammy. We've just got to throw a lot at him."
Taupau has plenty of former teammates in the current Dogs pack from his time at Belmore – James Graham, Aiden Tolman, David Klemmer, Tony Williams, Greg Eastwood, Josh Jackson, Tim Browne and of course Kasiano are among those who ran out alongside Taupau back in his days in blue and white.
But it's Manly's dire ladder situation rather than facing off against some old mates that will be driving Taupau this Thursday.
"Not really (any different facing an old club), I've got a lot of good mates over there and at the end of the day it's a competition and we're all very competitive so we've got to bring it," he said.
"You've always got to test yourself every week. I guess every player within the competition does that as well. It's always nice to play against the big boys, you've got Sammy, James Graham, you've got David Klemmer as well who's an Origin player. We've just got to do what we can and play really well.
"I think everyone, especially in our forward pack takes it personal.
"We take it all upon ourselves to create an opportunity for our halves and building that foundation for the rest of the team to thrive on the back of that. Especially with Darcy Lussick who's been playing really well – he's been one of our best the last few months. We all feed off each other as well."
He added the team is still positive about their finals hopes.
"I guess we shot ourselves in the foot [against Parramatta], there was a lot of dropped ball, a lot of penalties. We know what we've got to improve, especially with a short turnaround we have to be sharp come Thursday," he said.