Stewart declares Sharks as the NRL’s best pack

His side have an imposing pack of their own, but for Manly lock Glenn Stewart, he sees this weeks opponents, in the Cronulla Sharks, as the team with the NRL’s best forward pack.

With the Sea Eagles set to face the Sharks on Saturday night, both Stewart and his team-mates know that they have a mammoth task in front of them if they want to come away with the victory.

With Paul Gallen, Jeremy Smith, Luke Douglas, Kade Snowden and Anthony Tupou, the Sharks do have a claim for the best pack, all of which are a chance of playing representative football in 2011.

“I think actually the Sharks would have been renowned as the best pack going around and they’ve got the addition of Jeremy Smith too, so that’s only going to add to their side,” said Stewart.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“Everyone knows they’re well renowned for their pack … you expect nothing less, we’ve been pretty physical the past few weeks and we expect the same again.”

Despite not having played Origin since 2009, Stewart knows that if he can put in a good performance this week, and quite possibly, overshadow incumbent NSW second-rower Paul Gallen, then he is in with a chance to be picked for the Origin series this year.

“I think Gal would agree with me, on the field it’s no holds barred for Gal, he goes pretty hard. But then as soon as we walk off the field we’re back to being mates,” he said.

“Gal’s a mate of mine but it’s always a pretty tough encounter against him. He’s a very physical player but across the whole forward pack, they’re all pretty big guys and love mixing it up.

“I don’t think (a good performance against Gallen) could hurt (Origin chances), but that’s in the back of my mind, I’m just concentrating on the Eagles.

“If I can do a good job at the club … just letthe rest unfold and work out for itself.”

Despite the Sharks experienced pack, Stewart says that the younger Manly forwards in Jamie Buhrer and Daniel Harrison will not be intimidated by the Sharks pack in any shape or form.

“It’s pretty obvious we’re going to miss Anthony but in saying that all the young fellas have been stepping up doing a great job,” he said.

“It’s actually the younger blokes that have been playing the best for us, so it’s us older blokes that need to meet their standards.”

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