Manly ready to get in grind with Panthers

·2-min read

Manly's tough and ruthless reputation has taken a hit across the past three weeks but coach Des Hasler is prepared to get into the grind when the Sea Eagles take on Penrith.

Last season's NRL grand finalists have not missed a beat with three wins on the trot but will head to Lottoland on Thursday night with a poor record to overturn against winless Manly.

The good news for Hasler is that the Panthers will be without star No.1 Dylan Edwards. The bad news is that the visitors will simply replace him with boom centre Stephen Crichton, who played fullback throughout his junior days.

But if Manly can hold the ball against the flashy youngsters from Penrith, Hasler backs his men in an old-fashioned grind out.

"They've got Tyrone May on the bench too so the Panthers side are very disciplined in what they do," Hasler said.

"We're going to have to really grind it out and be ready to go set for set with them.

"That's what we need to do to win this game."

Lottoland has long been a destination of doom for visiting teams but that notoriety has lessened slightly over the past few seasons.

However, the dust is still on Penrith who have only won three of their past 14 games at Brookvale, dating back to 2012.

"They've got quality players in that side," Panthers coach Ivan Cleary said on Wednesday.

"They love playing at home. Brookvale is a hard place to play.

"It's only a matter of time before they start clicking together better.

"Hopefully that's another week, but we have to expect that it's going to happen to some extent (on Thursday night).

"If we play the way we like to play and put them under pressure then there might be some doubts in there as well."

The Sea Eagles finished with a horror 64 per cent completion rate in their 38-12 loss to St George Illawarra last Friday and will need to drastically improve their performance against the Panthers.

Cleary's men have completed at more than 80 per cent for the past two weeks and have conceded just two tries in three rounds.