Manly players have vowed to take matters into their own hands if Melbourne hard man Michael Crocker tries to intimidate the Sea Eagles with rough-house tactics in Sunday’s NRL decider at ANZ Stadium.
News Limited reports the Manly forward pack are still ruing their failure to intervene when Crocker smashed Manly custodian Brett Stewart early in the second half of last year’s Grand Final.
They’re determined not to make the same mistake twice – setting the scene for brutal encounter.
Crocker’s hit on Stewart – while deemed legal by the NRL’s match review committee – ended the Manly flyer’s match, and the moment was viewed by many as the point of no return for a struggling Sea Eagles outfit.
NRL referees boss Robert Finch last night warned both sides to play by the rules – or face the consequences.
“If that’s what Manly players are saying, and I take you on your word, then that won’t be happening,” Finch told News Limited.
“We would discourage any player taking the game out of the referee’s hands.”