Manly not ready to give up hope
Manly players know Sunday's game against Cronulla is almost certainly their last of the season but players are refusing to concede their dim finals hopes without a fight.
Manly would need to beat Cronulla at Remondis on Sunday and for the Dragons to go down to Wests Tigers, by a combined margin between the two games of 61 points – so it's a long shot.
Back-to-back disappointing losses to the Eels and Roosters have proved costly – more so after St George Illawarra's surprise loss to the Titans on Sunday. Another loss by the Dragons this weekend will mean whichever side takes eighth place would do so with 26 competition points and having lost more games than they have won.
Manly back-rower Feleti Mateo said the side definitely hasn't given up hope on their season just yet.
"If we put in a good performance then hopefully that will go a long way to giving us a chance," Mateo said.
"Collectively we just want to get the win."
With the Dragons playing on Saturday the Sea Eagles may already be out of contention by the time they take the field on Sunday. If not, they'll know exactly how many they would need to win by.
But Mateo said it won't be as easy as going out, throwing the ball around and trying to rack up a cricket score.
"It's hard in our game today, you have to build a foundation and if you go out playing like that they'll end up putting 40 on us," he said.
"It's hard to go out and play like that but we'll definitely be chancing our arm."
Fellow back-rower Blake Leary had certainly done his sums ahead of the weekend.
"If we win by 30 and Dragons lose by 30 we've still got a chance but hopefully we just get out there and put on a good performance," Leary said.
"I know this could be the last game for a few boys here and it would be great to go out on a high."
Centre Steve Matai will be approaching the game as if it was the last of the season but was still clinging to hope.
"We've got a slim chance of making the eight but we've just got to leave it all out on the field on Sunday and fingers crossed we get there," Matai said.
"If we turn up and play the way we know we can play it will be an interesting game. They want to cement their spot in fourth and we want to hopefully make the eight and finish strong so it will be a pretty good game I reckon.
"Fingers crossed we put a few points on, I'm sure it will be a busy game, the crowd will be enormous being their last home game so fingers crossed we put a good score on."