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Manly's stunning last-minute 110-metre team try lit up the final round of the NRL but Daly Cherry-Evans says the flamboyance showed they were mentally prepared to face Melbourne.

Sea Eagles winger Reuben Garrick could've quite easily run a grubber dead with seconds left on the clock in their 46-18 win over the Cowboys but kept the ball alive to set up their eighth try of the Saturday night stoush.

Cherry Evans revealed on Monday he had "got into" Garrick a few weeks ago for failing to get out of the in-goal area and that line of messaging clearly stuck with the winger, who finished the regular season with a record-breaking 304 points.

"He said he felt like he was in trouble if he didn't have a crack at getting it out," Cherry-Evans said.

"He came up to me after the game and said 'is that what you wanted?' and I said 'that's not a bad effort'. It was pretty funny how he had that in his mind.

"That's just the environment we've created. We do challenge each other and we do always want to take the positive.

"We want to take the challenging moments within games of footy. We're not shying away from that sort of stuff.

"I think that shows in the expansive footy we play, even up until the 79th minute we're still creating opportunities."

Don't blink: It's NRL finals time

The Sea Eagles will need every piece of their competitive nature when lining up against the Storm, who beat Des Hasler's men 28-18 a month ago at Suncorp Stadium.

Cherry-Evans said the Sea Eagles had learned plenty of lessons from that encounter in round 21.

"It was the first time we came up against a strong Storm side and based on where our season was heading it was a pretty humbling night," he said.

"They won the game by a fair margin by the end of it. Our young fellas took a bit out of it and understanding the physicality that you need to play with against the Storm.

"The concentration, you just can't lapse at any moment. We'll be better prepared but I'm not selling them short, they're a good side and minor premiers for a reason.

"We have to back ourselves. We've come this far backing ourselves and playing with confidence and belief.

"We're not going to stop now even though we know it's a big challenge ahead of us. We're excited about it."

Saab produces two big defensive plays back to back

In a scary thought, Cherry-Evans added Tom Trbojevic, who finished the regular season with another five-star performance, could get even better in the finals.

Trbojevic will remarkably play just his second finals game in seven seasons on Friday night due to injuries cruelling previous post-season campaigns.

"It's a pretty rare form he's in and as a teammate it's exciting to have a front-row seat to all of this," Cherry-Evans said.

"Hopefully his best footy is yet to come which might sound crazy but the way we've been building as a side and the way Tom's been involved in that you would like to think our best footy is ahead of us.

"It will have to be if we're going to go deep into the finals."

 

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