Veteran Jason King is well aware he is staring down his
footballing mortality, but has been in this position enough times to know Manly
can bounce back from their 40-24 thumping at the hands of Souths on Friday
The Sea Eagles were battered from pillar to post by the rampant Rabbitohs, who at one stage led 40-0 with 25 minutes remaining before Manly ran in four late tries to add some respectability to the score line.
Thirty three year old King, who last month announced he will be calling a day on his 14 years in the NRL at the end of the season, says Manly's track record at bouncing back after a heavy loss has him confident next Saturday's sudden death semi against either Melbourne or Canterbury will not be his last.
"We definitely have confidence in the coaching staff and in each other that we can turn it around," King said.
"There's no secret, it comes down to hard work... and that real desire. We've got to rely on those ingredients going into next weekend because it's do-or-die for us."
"On a personal note I definitely want to play more than just one more game of NRL football that's for sure."
The loss to the Rabbitohs, coming on the back of last week's
30-16 defeat to the Cowboys, sees Manly record back-to-back losses for the
first time in 2014. The Bunnies ran roughshod over Manly for the first hour of
proceedings, but the club can take heart from the quick turnarounds of their
two other heavy defeats this year.
In Round 5 Wests Tigers young pack ambushed Manly at sodden Leichhardt Oval, running out 34-18 winners, while after Origin I the Broncos gave them a 36-10 bath at Suncorp.
But the Sea Eagles returned to the winner's circle immediately after both defeats in emphatic fashion with a 24-6 win over the Sharks (Round 6) and a 32-10 thumping of the Bulldogs in Round 13.
Despite the heavy loss, coach Geoff Toovey said his men could take some positives from the four tries to nil they scored in the final 16 minutes.
"That last 20-30 minutes gives us a bit of a shining light and we need to carry that forward to next week," Toovey said.
"We'll take some positives out of the last 20 minutes... We have to, it's do-or-die next week.
"I thought that Souths probably dropped away a bit but we played some good football and made the luck go our way."
King echoed Toovey's sentiments, though he admitted there was little the Sea Eagles could in the face a Rabbitohs first half onslaught that had them up 22-0 at the break, and will go down as one of the most impressive finals displays in recent memory.
"They were flawless," King said. "They were doing everything you're supposed to do playing semi -final football they were completing their sets.
"Making the right decisions, their kicking game was spot on and they were putting us under pressure and running us out of juice.
"We have to be positive. We've got to be honest with each other during the week even we review the game and do some things different at training to try and improve on the areas that let us down tonight."