Manly in ti­tle hunt to stay

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - PAUL CRAW­LEY

EX­PERTS and fans across the game have been wait­ing for Manly to fall over all sea­son.

And as far as Trent Bar­rett is con­cerned, they can keep wait­ing.

“Well, it is round 20 next week and we are still there,” Bar­rett said in the wake of yes­ter­day’s 28- 16 come­back win over the Wests Tigers, that pushed the Sea Ea­gles up to third spot on the NRL lad­der. “There is a lot of be­lief here. “I still think the last re­ally good per­for­mance we put to­gether was against Cronulla ( in round 16).

“But we have man­aged to tick ( the wins) over. We just have to keep go­ing.”

The five tries to three win over the Tigers pushes Manly to 26 com­pe­ti­tion points, be­hind Mel­bourne on 30 points and the Roost­ers 28.

Also on 26 but be­hind Manly on per­cent­ages are Bris­bane, Cronulla and North Queens­land.

Bar­rett said ev­ery week from here was go­ing to be im­por­tant.

And he said it starts this Sun­day when Manly takes on his old club St Ge­orge Illawarra in Wol­lon­gong.

“Again, you are go­ing to play a very des­per­ate side down there at WIN Sta­dium hang­ing on to eighth spot,” he said.

“As I said to the play­ers, we are go­ing to be play­ing teams each week ei­ther fight­ing for a top four fin­ish or fight­ing to stay in the hunt to jag an eighth spot po­si­tion.

“It is funny, as soon as Ori­gin fin­ishes the stakes go up.

“And we need to keep im­prov­ing. That is the aim.”

While they were far from at their best yes­ter­day against the Tigers, you still can’t help but ad­mire the way Bar­rett has been able to trans­form this rag tag bunch of no names and mis­fits.

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