In-form Manly far from satisfied - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

In-form Manly far from satisfied

Ben Horne 23/07/2011 06:51:14 PM Comments (0)

Manly are looking to tighten up in defence in a bid to develop a gameplan to topple NRL powerhouses St George Illawarra and Melbourne.

While the Sea Eagles are ideally poised in second place on the ladder, they're concerned about the fact they've leaked roughly 40 points more than minor-premiership rivals the Storm and Dragons.

In the past month, Manly conceded four tries both times in wins over Parramatta and South Sydney and the same number in a loss to the Dragons as well.

Last week their defence was excellent against Newcastle and although coach Des Hasler wouldn't have been pleased with two late tries to Knights winger James McManus both tries were dubiously awarded.

Manly's attack might be the second best in the league (398 points) but as they prepare to face Penrith on Sunday at Centrebet Stadium they realise their defence must continue to improve.

With the likes of Michael Jennings, Lachlan Coote and Luke Walsh in their line-up the Panthers are capable of scoring from anywhere on the park and Manly second rower Joe Galuvao said his former team Penrith will ensure the visitors are on their game.

"For the past month we haven't played too well, we have had some tries leaked the past couple of weeks," Galuvao said.

"Maybe we have let ourselves down.

"We evaluate how we are going week-in, week-out and we always set goals for ourselves.

"We came together and said we really have to make an impact in the latter stages of this year and make sure we play consistently from here on in.

"We will continue to raise the bar for ourselves because if we are not doing that we are going to be off the pace later on in the year."

The Panthers recorded arguably the most heart-stopping win of the season last week, eclipsing the Eels in golden point extra time.

The mountain men are placed in eighth spot and their finals destiny is in their own hands.

Manly coach Des Hasler said Penrith pose dangers right across the park.

"I think they would be really buoyed by the fact they had that win over Parramatta," said Hasler.

"Their past month of footy has been really strong at the Panthers.

"They've got a really good side. Petero (Civoniceva) in the middle, the halves are going really well and Lachlan Coote is really starting to hit his straps. There's also Jennings on the fringe and Luke Lewis."

Penrith second rower Trent Waterhouse (knee) is expected to make his return, while the status of Luke Lewis (shoulder) remains unknown.

Lewis said beating the Sea Eagles would give Penrith confidence that they are capable of making some noise in the finals.

"It's massive for us, it's a huge game," he said.

"We've got a massive job ahead of us but it's something all the boys are looking forward to and it's a good test to see where we're at and to see what we've got to do over the next six or seven weeks coming into the semis."

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