James Hasson has been one of the standouts in a young crop of Manly forwards. Copyright: Robb Cox/NRL Photos

Young hardmen flourish in Eagles nest

The old heads in Manly's front row, Jason King and Brenton Lawrence, have lauded the efforts of the club's new-look prop rotation after their hard-fought 14-12 win over the Rabbitohs.

King described the efforts of the less experienced forwards – Josh Starling, Dunamis Lui, James Hasson and Jesse Sene-Lefao – as "enormous".

"I thought they were great for us; when they got an opportunity off the bench or if they started, they just did their job I thought," King said on Tuesday, in the wake of Friday's clash in Gosford.

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"I've got no doubt they will [lift this year], they're applying themselves as best they possibly can, they've fit into the team really well, they've bought into our culture, they're doing the things asked of them. All those young guys are going to have an awesome year."

King played strongly in his first game in 10 months and engaged in a running battle with the Rabbitohs' three enormous Burgess brothers, including exchanging verbals with Sam and a couple of monster hits with Luke. Yet he said he still had some work to do ahead of the clash with the Eels at Brookvale on Sunday.

"I took a little bit of confidence [out of the Souths game], knowing that I can still play, to get back out on the park and make a few tackles and a few hit-ups but I was pretty rusty and my lungs weren't that good and my defence probably wasn't up to scratch," he said.

"I took a few things out of it but [I'm] just trying to find my groove again."

Lawrence was of the view the new-look pack made a statement that should silence the doubters, and welcomed the return of King.

"[There are] a few new guys in the side that need to make a bit of a statement and I think they're doing well," he said.

"I think the guys came off our bench really well. It's good to have Jason King back, he had a good stint, he aimed up a bit. It's something we hold a bit of pride about and I think you're right [we did make a statement]."