Sea Eagles Coach Trent Barrett says tomorrow’s clash with premiers Cronulla Sharks is a real ‘attitude test’ for his men.
The third placed Sharks will start the match as favourites in front of their home crowd at Southern Cross Group Stadium with Barrett expecting their Origin players to back up for the important clash. A win by fifth placed Manly will see them join the Sharks on 22 competition points.
“It is an important two points for both clubs. It can catapult us further...it can put us in the top four if we can get a victory tomorrow,’’ Barrett said today.
“We are aware of it and the result will take care of itself if we go through and get done what we have been practising.
“It is a real attitude test for us. They are a good team and we just have got to go out and get the job done.
“We have had a little bit of a disruptive month with the byes. We have got a long stretch home now. There are 11 rounds to go and it is really important that we keep winning.
“There are a lot of young players in our side that haven’t played in a lot of big games, so this will be a big crowd that we face at Shark Park. It will be a good atmosphere but it will be tough.
“They don’t lose too many home games. They will go into the game as favourites and rightly so. It is just another challenge for us.”
Barrett confirmed Manly’s NSW forward Jake Trbojevic will back up from Wednesday’s gruelling Origin encounter.
“Jake is fine. He has pulled through the game well. He is healthy. I thought he played terrific and was one of our better players,’’ Barrett said.
“He was disappointed with the result. I’m happy he got through unscathed and will line up for us tomorrow.
“We are expecting the five (Sharks’ Origin players) to play and we are expecting a really hard game. They are defending premiers and are at full strength, so it will be a tough game.
“(Paul) Gallen and (Andrew) Fifita lead the way for them but I think it is there back five that are pretty impressive, and they have got two really good halves. Two good back-rowers. You could go through the whole side.
“They are the premiers for a reason and they have got just as strong a side this year and they know how to win tight games.
“We are going to have to be at our best and do a job on a few of their individuals that can hurt you. It is a matter of stopping them or nullifying the impact someone like Valentine Holmes does have, or Fifita, (Wade) Graham, or (Luke) Lewis.
“We basically have to worry about ourselves and get in the contest.”