Plenty of improvement left in Manly - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Plenty of improvement left in Manly

By Liam FitzGibbon 07/09/2008 11:46:00 AM Comments (0)

Manly captain Matt Orford says the Sea Eagles are still well off their best but are capable of going one better than last year's grand final loss if they get their act together quickly.

The Sea Eagles ensured two bites at the cherry and a home semi-final with a 34-16 win over Penrith at CUA Stadium on Saturday night, which secured their second successive top-two finish.

But despite another impressive regular-season display, Orford said indifferent results in the past month meant the Sea Eagles were heading into the finals with plenty to work on.

"We've still got improvement," Orford said.

"One minute we're really good at D (defence) and not so good at O (offence) and then one week it's the opposite.

"As soon as we put two halves together we're going to be a really hard side to beat and we're going to compete.

"It's a new comp and it's going to be a really good feeling to be a part of this finals series."

Veteran backrower Steve Menzies agreed, but said the current side was a much more mature outfit than the one which finished runners up in 2007.

"I think we're still a little bit wiser," Menzies said.

"The last four to six weeks have been a little bit up and down, there were a couple of losses there (to Melbourne and Souths) and then we got back on track.

"It's going along okay and I think the maturity of the side is a bit better.

"But I think all the teams in the semis are a little bit better than last year so we're going to need to be at our best."

Menzies, who will join Bradford in the UK Super League at season's end, suffered a hamstring injury in the win but is expected to be fit for the first week of the finals.

He admitted going out of the NRL with a premiership was in the back of his mind.

"You don't want to look too far ahead but it would be the perfect scenario," Menzies said.

"But we've got a lot of work ahead of us before we can even consider it."

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