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Flipping the script: How Manly cope with loss of stars

Danny Levi has given an insight into the Sea Eagles' self-belief and revealed how captain Daly Cherry-Evans inspired his players to overcome injuries to three backline stars to beat Canberra.

The 14-6 triumph was lauded as one of greatest wins in Manly history after the loss of five-eighth Dylan Walker and centre Brad Parker in the opening four minutes and superstar fullback Tom Trbojevic early in the second half.

Aware that his teammates were deflated by the injuries, Cherry-Evans "flipped the script" and his words of encouragement drove the Sea Eagles to victory.

"Chez was actually coming up to us and he was telling us how exciting it was," said Levi, the Manly hooker.

"He said ‘this is an exciting time, it’s a really good situation where we are going to have to step up’ and everyone did that.

"It was just about being under that adversity and seeing what we are made of.

"I think that’s what really excited us and it just shows with this club it doesn’t matter who you put out there.

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"We are all willing to do the job and it is just a really big confidence boost for us that we are not relying on certain players - whoever is there is going to step up and fill those shoes."

Cherry-Evans said it was much harder to replace injured backs than forwards in games but he had faith in the depth of the squad.

"As the skipper it is probably my job to keep the boys motivated on what we have got, not what we don’t have," Cherry-Evans said.

"I just flipped the script a little bit and said ‘I know that sucks but we have got a good opportunity to get one of the best wins of the season here.

"The boys really bought into that. They all had big smiles on their faces and before you knew it we were hanging on for one of the better victories of the season so far."

Trbojevic will be sidelined for about eight weeks with a hamstring injury, while Walker is facing six weeks on the sidelines after being assisted from the field with an ankle problem.

"The Turbo Effect" at Manly is massive. When the NSW and Australian representative plays, their chances of winning sky-rocket.

He has played under three coaches at Manly - under Des Hasler, the Sea Eagles have won 14 of 18 games with Trbojevic in the No.1 jersey for a 78% success rate but that drops to 36% from five wins in the 14 games he's missed.

Under Geoff Toovey, the team went 5-4 (56%) with Trbojevic and 6-9 (40%) without him while during Trent Barrett's time as coach, Manly were static at 40% in the 68 games with him in the line-up (27-41) and without his services (2-3).

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Cherry-Evans conceded it was impossible to replace Trbojevic for Sunday’s clash with Cronulla or in the games ahead but he was sure Brendan Elliot would do the job at fullback.

"We are pretty confident we can still win games," he said.

"We don’t need people to be Tom Trbojevic when they fill in. There is more than one way to play, there is more than one way to win a game.

"The variables will change but it is more around the structures and the belief we have in the side. They don’t vary. We have got a lot of faith in the boys coming in.

"Unfortunately there are people who are going to be injured for the next couple of weeks but the reality is that the season goes on and this team keeps going on – that’s the attitude we have in mind at the moment."

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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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