Prop Darcy Lussick knows there is no better challenge than tackling the big Warriors pack to help turnaround the Sea Eagles fortunes.
The Sea Eagles tackle the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday in a crucial must win match following losses to the lowly Wests Tigers and Bulldogs over the past fortnight that has seen Manly slip to eighth place on the ladder with two games remaining.
Lussick will start at prop alongside Martin Taupau and says its time the Sea Eagles pack dominated up front.
“The opposition forward packs have probably gotten over the top of us in the last couple of weeks. Everyone knows how good the Warriors forward pack is so it will be a good test for us,’’ Lussick said.
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Starting is where I am most comfortable.
“I’ll just try and go out there and lay a good platform with Marty and Jake (Trbojevic). It is hard for our halves and backs to play if the forwards aren’t going forward.”
The Warriors welcome back NZ half-back Shaun Johnson for their final home game of the season.
Lussick knows of the dangers the 13th placed Warriors present at home despite Manly having won 10 of the past 13 matches in Auckland, including the last three straight.
“You don’t know what kind of Warriors team is going to turn up. We are preparing for the best Warriors team. When they are carefree is when they play their best footy,’’ Lussick said.
“A half fit Shaun Johnson is still pretty good. He wouldn’t be playing if he wasn’t confident.
“If anything we have learnt over the last couple of weeks, there is no such thing as an easy game in the NRL.
“No matter where you sit on the table, you are in with a shot every week. We know how important this game is for us after the last few weeks.”
Lussick said the trip to New Zealand was also timely for the players to focus more on their game as a group.
“We seem to play our best when we are together a few days before,’’ he added.
“It is always good to enjoy each other’s company, and at the same time, getting a few good sessions in before we play.”