Barrett hails 'huge win'
Manly Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett has praised the character of his side following a come-from-behind victory over the Warriors which sees them remain in control of their finals destiny.
Down 21-14 with five minutes remaining at a wet and windy Mount Smart Stadium, Manly stormed home to down the Warriors 22-21 in golden point and retain eighth position on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder heading into the final round of the regular season.
Barrett said his team's ability to get the job done, despite fumbling their way to 11 errors across the 80 minutes, showed admirable grit and character.
"That was an awesome result for us, in the context of our season, in our bid to make the semi-finals, that's huge," Barrett said.
"It was always going to be a tough game, particularly in those conditions. I have never come over here and played an easy game.
"The character we showed, yeah we did turn over a little bit of ball and put ourselves under pressure, but the character that the team showed again under the circumstance we are in, was huge.
"Just a gutsy performance in that second half, into the wind, some of the things that went against us."
At the forefront of the dramatic comeback for Manly was halfback Daly Cherry-Evans who kicked a pair of clutch field goals, one to take the game to golden point and the other to win it in added time.
But the captain admitted he started to doubt his side could find a way back into the match in the dying stages.
"The conditions were pretty tough, so I wasn't too confident to be honest… there were probably moments I didn't think we were ever going to get in [field goal] range considering the wind we were running into," Cherry-Evans said.
"I didn't feel as though we were even going to be in a position to get a field goal away.
"But our side really rolled their sleeves up today and rolled us down the field and gave me an opportunity to get a kick away.
"Very appreciative of how hard we ran the ball. We carried the ball so strongly and that is just my job, I have got to try and finish those games off in those situations."
With the St George Illawarra Dragons securing a gritty victory of their own on Sunday, beating the Penrith Panthers 16-14, Manly may still require a win or draw in Round 26 against the Panthers to ensure they play finals footy this year.
Manly sit on 30 points alongside the Panthers and North Queensland Cowboys, while the Dragons are two points behind but have a superior points differential.