Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs: Five key points
Manly continued their run to the NRL Telstra Premiership finals with a comprehensive win over South Sydney. Here are five key points from the clash at Brookvale Oval.
Combinations key for Manly's form
Another big win for the Sea Eagles on their unlikely run to the NRL finals has many thinking they could be a threat to the premiership this year.
But where was this unbelievable form earlier in the season, and what's changed since then?
"We're starting to get a few troops back to full fitness," Manly captain Jamie Lyon said after the big win.
"I know we've still got a few on the sideline but it definitely helps getting on the field and shrugging off a few injuries.
"The attitude (as well), training all week's been top notch."
Coach Geoff Toovey agreed that key players returning from injury are a vital component to his side's turnaround in fortune.
"The combinations, particularly in the backs where our experience lies, has been disjointed. At the beginning of the year we had a lot of injuries in that area and some other issues there as well," Toovey said.
"Those injuries have been settled we've got some good combinations now for a couple of weeks in a row."
Maguire blames lack of possession for Souths' struggles
The Bunnies finished the match with just 40 per cent possession on Friday night and Michael Maguire was quick to declare that such a lack of time with the footy simply isn't good enough.
"We didn't give ourselves an opportunity with possession of the ball in that first half and we started the second half in a similar fashion," Maguire said.
"Manly were able to capitalise, they built a lot of pressure on us, they got back-to-back sets, we defended for a long period of time and when you're doing that you're feeding the opposition."
Asked what he put the lack of ball control down to, Maguire said: "moments in the game when we weren't at our best."
However the major positive got out of the performance was the fact that his side "got through unscathed."
'Turbo' needs to be nurtured into NRL footy
After Tom Trbojevic's standout performance against the Broncos last week, many were left amazed that he missed out on selection for Friday night's clash.
However the decision proved to be a good one for Toovey as Peter Hiku ended up scoring a hat-trick in his place.
After the match Toovey revealed other factors to take into account when considering the selection of the young gun.
"Tom's come up and filled in when we've had injuries this year, he's done a fantastic job," Toovey said.
"I think his future is well and truly bright in rugby league. He's going to be a superstar too.
"We've got too nurture him as well."
Bunnies in awe of Manly's class out wide
Manly took the game to the Rabbitohs with brilliant fast-paced attack that their less energetic opposition simply had no answer to.
Coach Maguire accepted there were little his charges could do at times against the class of their opposition backline.
"They're a good team, they've got Foran, Cherry-Evans and Stewart out the back and when they move it sidewards and you're fatigued because of all the defence you've got to do it shows on the scoreboard," he said.
"When you've got experienced players like Manly do they take their opportunities."
Skipper Greg Inglis also took time to praise his opposites.
"They play for the 80 minutes unlike us," Inglis said.
"They're a very good side, when they're on they're on and they showed the last two weeks when they turn up to play they do turn it on."
Lyon breaks another Brookvale record
With his last goal kick of the game, Jamie Lyon became just the third player in Manly history to score 500 points at Brookvale Oval, joining Matthew Ridge (587 points) and Graham Eadie (952) points to break the mark.
While Lyon was pleased with the achievement he wasn't exactly pumping his own tires talking about it.
"Probably should have got it a bit earlier if I could kick a few more goals," Lyon said.
"I'll take it, there are a couple of big names on there (Ridge and Eadie) and hopefully I can get a few more."