Coach Luke Williamson has spoken to his players about the mental aspect of playing in the NSW Cup finals ahead of their elimination match this Saturday.
The Sea Eagles clash with Newcastle Knights for the second time in seven days. The teams are split one win apiece from the regular season. Manly Warringah finished sixth with Newcastle in seventh place.
The match will be played at 4pm at Belmore Sports Ground as part of a triple header of NSW Cup finals at the traditional home ground of the Bulldogs.
The winner will go on to play the loser of the Wyong Roos (2nd) versus Penrith Panthers (3rd) match at WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah, on Sunday, September 13. Time to be advised.
Williamson said it was good the Sea Eagles were playing the Knights again and said it was now down to the mental aspect of the game.
“If you have not played a finals game before, you don’t know how you will go until you have actually experienced one,’’ Williamson said.
“It is easy to talk about it and say you are wary of it, but until you get into it and the lungs are screaming and you are maybe a try down, it is then you start to think what are we doing.
“That’s when a composure of a team comes to the forefront. I think we have done as much as we can this week to try and get that aspect right. I am really pleased of where we are at.
“It is a matter of turning up now, going through our preparation, making sure we are right to go, and hope the boys respond when they need to respond.”
The Sea Eagles go into the sudden-death match having won their past six games to move from the bottom of the ladder to claim sixth spot. Their last loss was against Newcastle away on July 5.
Williamson has called on Sea Eagles fans to make the trip to Belmore to support his team.
“I hope the fans know that they do make a difference, especially in the finals at a neutral ground,’’ he added.
Week One 2015 VB NSW Cup Finals Series draw
Saturday, September 5
12.40pm: Wyong (2) –v- Penrith Panthers (3)
Belmore Sports Ground
2pm: Mounties (1) v NZ Warriors (4)
4pm: Manly Sea Eagles (6) v Newcastle Knights (7)
6pm: Canterbury Bulldogs (5) v North Sydney Bears (8)
Tickets: $10 adults, concessions. Children under 12 free.