ST GEORGE Illawarra veteran Luke Priddis says the Dragons will set out to exploit Manly's inexperience by crushing the Sea Eagles' confidence in the opening exchanges on Sunday.
The Sea Eagles have been crippled by injury in recent weeks and inexperienced trio Trent Hodkinson, Kieran Foran and Terence Seu Seu will be asked to shoulder much of the attacking load at Jubilee Oval.
But Priddis told BigPond Sports Weekend on Saturday that the Dragons couldn't afford to take their eighth-placed rivals lightly.
"We've got three grand finals to play. Manly are going to turn up with a nothing-to-lose attitude," he said.
"They've been in three of the last five grand finals so they've still got a few internationals in that side. They've obviously got a lot of injuries but they've still got some key players that can perform on the day."
With a forward pack boasting Ben Creagh, Michael Weyman and Neville Costigan, Priddis said the Dragons would look to make their most of their size advantage early.
"We're a good pack and we've got some big blokes coming off the bench in young Trent Merrin and Saff (Jarrod Saffy)," he said.
"But once again, we've just got to get out there and let Manly know they're in for a tough game right from the start.
"Any side, if you give them that little bit of a sniff, they'll grow in confidence and they'll play accordingly."
Hodkinson, who was narrowly pipped by Brisbane's Matt Gillett for the Dally M Rookie of the Year award, and Foran have both had breakout seasons for the Sea Eagles.
But the pair's output has slowed in recent weeks, and Foran heads into Sunday's final with a shoulder injury clouding his fitness.
Despite their travails, Priddis believes the Sea Eagles youngsters will take the field at Jubilee Oval expecting to play the game of their lives.
"These are the sort of matches where blokes can make a name for themselves," he said.
"Young Terence Seu Seu, only three games throughout the year, but he's a pretty classy player. He's quick out of dummy half and if you give him half a chance, he'll go through and he'll set someone up or he'll score himself.
"These young blokes, they've got nothing to lose and they can make themselves a name in the game and get the glory ... all the pressure's on us."