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Manly forward Steve Menzies.

Premiership-winning hooker Michael Ennis has provided his own take on Retro Round, detailing the team he backed as a child and what the modern game could learn from days gone by.

Ennis who played 274 NRL matches across five clubs, told this week's Big League magazine that Manly's superb teams of the 1990s earned his adoration.

"I was an avid Manly supporter throughout the '90s. I grew up loving and idolising Geoff Toovey, Cliff Lyons and Steve Menzies," he said.

"I always enjoyed the rivalry between Manly and Canberra because I loved what blokes like Ricky Stuart, Laurie Daley and Bradley Clyde were capable of doing on a footy field. I'd follow them every week – except the week they were playing against Manly."

Ennis, who added eight matches for NSW to his 14-year club career, said the way the game was officiated in the 1990s added more excitement to the game. 

"We've lost the emotion of fans when their team scores a try because we have to wait two or three minutes while it's all dissected," he said.

"Fans could celebrate straight away – and I miss that. 

"Having one referee was also great for the game in the '90s because the officials were able to build rapport with players. 

"We've craved insight into the game, and today's access to the game is great.

"But with all the technology and with microphones on referees, it's harder for a referee to tell a player to pull their head in and have a laugh that he's kidding himself because the ref has to be to the letter of the law and be so proper.

"I'd like to see this relaxed a bit."

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