Graham ready for Brookvale crowd

Canterbury’s James Graham says Friday’s much-hyped clash at Manly could have all the ingredients of a fiery Super League derby match. 

The match will be the first for Bulldogs coach Des Hasler at Brookvale since he dismissed at the end of last season,  just weeks after winning a premiership.

Prop Graham meanwhile says he’s looking forward to being a part of the occasion and comparing it with his experiences in Super League.

“There’s a great atmosphere at any game that’s played there and obviously with the little side story going on I think the atmosphere wil be really intense and probably something I’m used to,” said Graham.

“I’m looking forward to that hostile environment.”

However Graham was hesitant to single out Hasler’s treatment as a motivating factor for the Bulldogs as they attempt to notch their 13th win of the year.

“We want to win for ourselves and Des is part of our team as well,” said Graham.

“Des isn’t good losing at the best of times and I’m sure he won’t want to lose this game but as players we’re trying to not concentrate on what happened in the past.

“We’ll concentrate on the now regardless of what went on at the end of last year. It’s not really any of my business so we’ll try and concentrate on getting the win.”

Graham does admit however that a baying crowd at Brookvale could well be similar to the traditional Super League derby.

“Some of the rivalries back home are pretty intense,” added Graham.

“I’ve got to play in quite a few Wigan and St Helens derbies and people from the towns hate each other so it will be interesting to compare it to Friday night.”

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