Bigger Mannah ready for playTHERE are three reasons for Tim Mannah’s great start to season 2013.
Mannah, 25, said: “I’m bigger, stronger and fitter — with the help of Trent Elkin and the coaching staff. They have done a good job developing my physically.
“I have put on a bit of weight and got fitter and that has helped with my presence on the field and to be more confident in my ability.”
Mannah transferred that ability to performance in the opening three rounds of the competition.
Mannah was again one of the Eels’ best in Friday’s 31-18 loss to the Wests Tigers.
He has found his State of Origin form of 2010 — and there is no sign he is letting it go.
The new club captain is averaging 112 metres with the ball in hand and is regularly bending the defensive line with his strength and shrewd footwork.
Tim Mannah version 2.0 is still a work in progress. However, at this early stage, it looks as though his combination with Mitchell Allgood, Darcy Lussick and Fuifui Moimoi looms as a vital tool in the Eels’ quest for success in 2013.
Mannah’s next test comes in the form of the Sydney Roosters — and Sonny Bill Williams and company — on Easter Monday.
For Mannah, rugby league tests will never seem quite as tough any more.
In the preseason he lost his brother Jon, who had had cancer for 3½ years, and was able to see true toughness first hand.
“He never stopped surprising me with how tough he was,” Mannah said. “Obviously on the footy side of things you had to be tough to do what he did, and to see how hard he trained at Parramatta for three months with really bad cancer … he pretty much had a hole in his intestines … and to see how well he trained spun me out.”
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