Sea Eagles belong in NRL finals: Reynolds

South Sydney star Adam Reynolds has declared Manly “rightful” NRL finalists ahead of a crucial round 22 clash against the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval on Friday night.

After a slow start, Manly are rapidly building momentum with five weeks remaining of the regular season as they chase an 11th successive finals appearance.

Their 44-14 thrashing of premiership frontrunners Brisbane on Saturday has put the rest of the NRL competition on notice, with premiers Souths now in the crosshairs.

With proven big-game performers Jamie Lyon, Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans finding form, Reynolds conceded on Monday the Rabbitohs are wary of Manly.

“They are playing great footy, they (Foran and Cherry-Evans) are two world-class players, they are really pushing their claims to make the top eight,” Reynolds said.

“They are a good side, rightfully they should be in the eight, they have got a load of experience and a lot of talent on the field.

“It is going to be a challenge for us to turn up to Brookie with the right mentality to play good football.

“They have a lot to play for, and I’m sure they will be just as desperate as we are.”

Manly need to win their remaining five games to guarantee a finals berth while Souths have to keep winning to stay on track for a top-four spot.

Souths prop George Burgess won’t come up again against his brother Luke on Friday night, with the Manly forward to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

But Burgess said he expected to meet a motivated Manly side.

“They will be a very hungry team as they have showed in the past few weeks,” Burgess said.

“They have put some good performances together against high-quality teams. We have definitely got our work cut out.”

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