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Wiser Garrick confident he's better equipped to tame Sivo

"I don’t think I'll be showing him my outside too often."

That, in one sentence, is what Manly winger Reuben Garrick learned when marking flying Fijian Maika Sivo in their round 18 match at Lottoland against the Eels.

"And I'll definitely have to try and disarm that fend pretty quickly," Garrick quickly adds, reminding everyone that Sivo's power is in his arms as well as his legs.

The rumble continues at Bankwest Stadium on Friday when 98-kilo Garrick takes on 105-kilo Sivo once more.

"He's a handful that's for sure," he said.

"He's a very big body and very athletic. It will be a tough match-up for me but I also feel confident in myself in handling it the best I can.

"The way we defend hopefully we can shut things down before the ball gets out to him."

Garrick and Sivo are almost neck-and-neck in tries for their clubs. The Gerringong Lions junior has 16 tries for the Sea Eagles and the Gundagai Tigers winger has 17 for the Eels.

Sivo's breakout year

It's Garrick's rookie year and it hasn't always been a smooth ride. The back five at Manly has been like a saloon bar door, apart from Garrick's steady presence.

There was no centre in Dylan Walker for 10 weeks, Tom Trbojevic has been in and out with injuries and then State of Origin appearances, Brad Parker has battled a few niggles, Moses Suli has moved from right to left and back again.

And yet Manly find themselves with another shot at the top-four spot if results fall their way in round 25. Regardless, the Sea Eagles are playing finals for the first time since 2017.

"I think it's about Des [Hasler] keeping us all on our toes at every video session," Garrick said.

"That's probably the hardest thing to learn is to know your role doesn't have your name exclusively on it.

"You've got to know everyone's role in the side so if you're called upon you can do it. That’s a real testament to Des to get us that ready and prepared if the time comes and there's changes.

"And obviously we are good mates here too. When we're at training we have fun together even though it's hard work.

"Our best footy is when we are playing flat and fast and helping your mates out as you would in real life."

Garrick's goal-kicking has also been a blessing for the Sea Eagles.

Sea Eagles defiant despite Trbojevic's season-ending surgery

He took over from Daly Cherry-Evans early in the season and is the side's top point-scorer with 54 goals alongside his 16 tries for 172 points.

That places him fifth in the NRL behind some very illustrious company in Latrell Mitchell, Jarrod Croker, Cameron Smith, and Adam Reynolds.

"I worked in the pre-season on it with Daly and a couple of the other boys," Garrick said.

"And I also worked hard with our goal-kicking coach Damien Hill.

"A lot of credit goes to him. When I got called upon for the role, it was an opportunity so I didn't want to let it slip. I'm very lucky that Daly has let me keep the reins for the time being."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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