Second chances don’t come around often and Manly players are adamant they won’t waste their shot at NRL grand final redemption against Melbourne next week.
The repeat effort Matt Orford is seeking from his side next Sunday is a replica of their 32-6 preliminary final win over New Zealand Warriors last night.
The Manly skipper believes his side is playing premiership-winning football, but now their big test will be producing that performance when it matters most.
“I just think if we repeat that (preliminary final) performance we are going to give ourselves a chance,” said Orford.
“We don’t need to do anything more special, I think we just repeat that performance.
“Obviously the intensity and atmosphere will be more but I don’t think we need to get carried away. I think we did that last year and that’s what got us into trouble.
“The boys realise that we can’t get caught up in the hype and we have spoken about the fact that there is one more game to go.
“We are very calm, very switched on and know we have a big week ahead and we have a job to do.”
Manly were installed as the $1.80 premiership favourites today, with minor premiers and defending champions Melbourne the $2 outsiders despite an equally impressive 28-0 win over Cronulla.
Manly’s path to the grand final is almost identical to that of last year when they beat South Sydney 30-6 and then North Queensland 28-6 on their way to the decider.
This year they’ve also held both finals opponents to just one try, beating St George Illawarra 38-6 in the qualifying final two weeks ago.
But those defensive efforts are nothing compared to what Manly need to produce against the Storm, who won 34-8 in a seven-tries-to-two grand final win last year.
Backrower Anthony Watmough says the Sea Eagles need a huge lift in intensity next week if they’re to be any chance.
“We have to go out there and lift our intensity ten-fold,” said Watmough.
“They did that to us last year and showed us how much more you have to lift.
“We did it for 10 minutes and then we died off. We have to do it for 80 minutes this time.
“We just have to lift and use that internal belief.
“Our defence was probably off a bit (against the Warriors). They only scored six points but we didn’t really blitz and get up in their face.
“They made some yards on us and punched a few holes in us.
“We cannot give (Melbourne) that and expect to get away with it.”
Manly had two injury worries in the Warriors win but Orford said his ankle would be fine for the grand final and lock Glenn Stewart had no concerns over his corked leg.
Melbourne will make at least one change to their side with suspended Kiwi Test forward Jeremy Smith expected to return at the expense of rookie Aiden Tolman.
Prop Brett White was put on report for elbowing Ben Ross and if charged by the match review committee tomorrow he would join captain Cameron Smith (suspension) and second rower Ryan Hoffman (ankle) in missing the decider.