Manly players felt they had "let the jersey down" during a morose aftermath to their thrashing from Melbourne as their attention now turns to avenging a similar carve up six months ago by the Roosters.
The Sea Eagles' 40-12 loss to the Storm last Friday night has put Manly's season on the line and in danger of being bookended by thumping losses at either end of an otherwise impressive year.
A miserable 46-4 defeat to the Roosters in round 1 cast doubt over Des Hasler's extension talks as Manly slumped to a 0-4 opening month, blowing out their premiership odds to beyond 100-1.
For all their pyrotechnics since then, Friday's defeat proved a "wake-up call" for six Sea Eagles making their finals debut, with the aftermath at Townsville's QCB Stadium particularly confronting.
"It wasn't pleasant," prop Taniela Paseka said of the dressing room scene.
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"After the game, we had a chat in the locker room after everyone had showered, we stayed back and had a chat.
"It was very quiet. No one really spoke. We were very disappointed, I was very disappointed, we felt like we let the jersey down so it really hurt us.
"The boys put their hands up. It was done then.
"It's never easy, especially with the amount of points they put on us, we're a better team than that ... to relive that wasn't a good feeling. But it was also good so we don't let it happen again to ensure we don't let it happen again.
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"We're in the same spot again and I have faith that we'll get out of this."
Captain Daly Cherry-Evans conceded an element of complacency or expectation could easily have crept into Manly's mindset against Melbourne, where a slew of early handling errors and penalties ensured they were never really matched the premiers.
Former Wests Tigers prop Josh Aloiai meanwhile played his 104th NRL game but his first finals outing in the Storm loss.
Not since the season's opening month has a Sea Eagles dressing room been so despondent.
The 42-point shellacking the Roosters inflicted in round one still lives large in Aloiai's mind, but with a focus on Manly's rise and development in the months since.
"That hurt that day and I want the opportunity to get one back," Aloiai said.
Hasler confident Sea Eagles can turn it around
"You look at our squad and all the individuals, how much they've grown and evolved, they're just totally different people.
"Some of the guys that didn't have much NRL experience are [now] high on confidence and have played so much more NRL football.
"One thing you can count on with this squad is the belief won't waiver. We're a team that has battled adversity from the start of the year from every kind of angle.
"We're a team that has huge character and you can expect us to bounce back and bounce back big this week."