Confidence might be high again on the back of two straight wins but the Sea Eagles are very wary of the pain South Sydney are feeling ahead of their clash on Monday night.
Wins over St George-Illawarra Dragons and the NZ Warriors, combined with a bye, over the past three weeks have seen the Sea Eagles move to 12th place on 16 points on the Telstra Premiership ladder, just four points off equal eighth place.
Reeling from six consecutive losses, the Rabbitohs have slipped to 13th place, one win behind the Sea Eagles ahead of the clash at Allianz Stadium.
Manly prop Darcy Lussick knows the pain the Rabbitohs players are feeling after experiencing seven straight losses himself this season prior to the two recent wins.
“They are where we were a couple of weeks ago. They are playing pretty good footy but they haven’t been able to string together a win,’’ Lussick said.
“It is always dangerous playing a team like that because you know they are close to putting it together.
“We definitely don’t want to take them lightly. We are in for a big battle. They got us the last time we played them at Brookvale Oval (in round five). We need to pretty much win every game from now to make the finals. A win on Monday would be nice.”
Fellow Manly prop Nate Myles said he was expecting another physical encounter with the Souths forwards, led by Sam Burgess.
“Everyone knows the power they have in the forward pack,’’ he said.
“They are down Greg Inglis but they have a couple of guys shining in the backs. If you cough the ball up and hand it to them on a platter, they will make you pay.
“The first 20 minutes when we played them at Brookvale was a torrid time for us. It took us a long time to get the ball back, but once we did, we found a way to get down the other end.”
Manly Captain and five-eighth Jamie Lyon said the Rabbitohs will come out firing.
“It is not good losing games. They are going to be desperate like we were. It is going to be a good tough game like it always is against the Rabbitohs,’’ Lyon said.
“For both sides, it is a must win game at this stage of the season. I am sure it will be a good contest and one hopefully the fans will enjoy.”
Head to Head
Played 137, Manly 74, South Sydney 63.
At Allianz Stadium
Played 12, Manly 8, South Sydney 4.
Rabbitohs vs Sea Eagles, Monday 25 July, Allianz Stadium
4:30pm - Gates Open
4:45pm - Holden Cup: Rabbitohs vs Sea Eagles
7:00pm - NRL: Rabbitohs vs Sea Eagles
Event website: NRL: Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles