Sea Eagles back themselves for finals push

Captain Jamie Lyon insists Manly are backing themselves to make a late-season finals charge despite languishing in 14th position on the NRL ladder.

Lyon says his side are more than capable of obtaining the seven from nine wins required to crack the top eight.

“We just have to put a couple of games back-to-back,” he said on Monday while preparing to play his 200th game for the club.

“We love winning our games at ‘Brooky’ and hopefully we can jag a few away games as well.”

Prop Willie Mason said the Manly players had made a pact that they’d fight until the very end for a top 8 spot.

“We got ourselves into a bit of a hole but we’re digging ourselves out of it, week by week,” he said.

“Training has really picked up and our football has picked up.”

The trip to Queensland marks Manly’s first game against the Titans since halfback Daly Cherry-Evans reneged on a lucrative deal with the Gold Coast club to sign a lifetime contract with the Sea Eagles, a move that infuriated both the Titans and their fans.

Lyon said Cherry-Evans would be focused enough to put aside any crowd hostility and help Manly pick up the two points on offer.

“Daly, he’s a professional, I’m sure he’s looking forward to it.”

Monday night matches have struggled to attract crowds on the Gold Coast, with both Monday games in 2014 drawing less than 10,000 spectators.

Mason said he hopes the Cherry-Evans saga can beef up the crowd at C-Bus stadium.

“I hope so,” Mason said when asked if Cherry-Evans would feel the crowd’s displeasure.

“Probably put some bums on seats, because it’s been pretty empty up there.

“He hasn’t ruined the club, like all the garbage that’s going on in the press.

“There’ll be a few signs, a few boos, but at the end of the day, we shake hands and everyone can get on with it.”

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