Crowd no issue for Manly - Toovey
Rugby League, Updated:
Geoff Toovey is confident his Manly Sea Eagles players will block out a partisan home crowd in Friday's World Club Challenge.
A near sell-out crowd at Headingley will hope to roar Leeds Rhinos to victory, but Sea Eagles head coach Toovey is backing his players to overcome the hostile atmosphere.
The NRL Premiers touched down at Manchester Airport on Saturday and are expected to be at full-strength for their clash with the Super League champions.
And, while there is no doubting the players' physical talents, Toovey also believes that his men are tough enough psychologically to handle the magnitude of the occasion.
"Not only are they very talented athletes but they're very mentally tough. Manly teams are used to hostile crowds against us, and we'll rise to the challenge," said Toovey, who remains confident, despite his team's recent pre-season defeat to Cronulla.
"The players are looking at this as a great way to start our campaign and we're very confident of putting in a good performance."
The Manly coach also believes that the balance of experience and skill within his squad will be a match for anything the Rhinos can throw at them.
"They've got quality over the park, they've got a big forwards, mobile back rowers, but we have a lot of experience and some youth in our halves, surrounded by some quality outside backs and some tough forwards," he added.
"They have a very stable unit, a very experienced unit and a very confident unit. But I think we've got very similar experience and quality in our team, so it will be a great encounter."