Fifita backs Sharks to defy Sea Eagles hoodoo
Sharks firebrand Andrew Fifita is confident his side can turnaround their eight years of misfortune against the Sea Eagles when the two sides clash on Monday night.
The Sharks haven't won at Brookvale Oval since Round 1, 2008, and have since lost 12 of their last 13 games against their upcoming opponents.
Delve deeper and it's an ugly sight for Sharks fans with the club managing just five wins and two draws at Manly's spiritual home since their introduction to the NSWRL back in 1967.
Fifita was well aware of his own Sea Eagles struggles – with his second game ever at the Sharks back in 2012 remaining the only time he has beaten Manly – though was positive their last start 30-2 win over St George Illawarra has put them in good stead.
"[Brookvale Oval's] a tough place to go and play. I've never won there. It's just a fortress. The fans are so close in, they're under your skin and the field is a cow paddock," Fifita laughed.
"This year will be a bit different hopefully. We'll go out there and give it a 110 per cent. We have prepared very well.
"If you look at the opposition they're 0-2, but we were 0-4 last year so a big focus for us at Brookvale is to keep winning. Manly are hard to beat at Brookvale. I know they were done by the Bulldogs first go but they'll be hard to roll twice in row at home."
On Manly's 0-2 start to the year Fifita could relate to the current cellar-dwellers situation considering the Sharks poor start to last season, battling to combine properly with their then new look spine.
"They have big Marty Taupau in the back row as well as Daly [Cherry-Evans] and big Nate Myles so they have a great bunch of leaders in their group. It's about gelling for them," Fifita said.
"That was the hardest thing for us last year, trying to find a way to help Mick [Ennis] gel with the other players and for him to learn how we play, especially with how Gal (Paul Gallen) and I in the team and how we like to run which he knows now.
"The Sea Eagles will start going places when they finally click as a team. You can't praise them that much because we're still expecting a big one and we won't be taking this game lightly."
Fifita also congratulated veteran hooker Ennis who is slated to play his 250th NRL game on Monday.
"It's just an honour to play with him," Fifita said.
"He's one of the best hookers I've ever played with in my life. He's just one of those players you want to play with and if I had to choose any hooker in the game it'd be Micky Ennis."