Brisbane are bracing for a strong on-field response from Manly in the wake of coach Geoff Toovey’s sacking.
The Broncos can all but end Manly’s finals hopes at Brookvale Oval on Saturday night, but Brisbane halfback Ben Hunt expects the Sea Eagles to be galvanised by the club’s turmoil.
“They always come out and play good football and this will be inspiration for them to come out and play for their coach,” Hunt said.
Toovey will coach the Sea Eagles for the rest of the NRL season before Trent Barrett takes over in 2016.
Hunt said the Broncos knew from experience what to expect from Manly because Anthony Griffin coached Brisbane through the season despite an announcement last July that Wayne Bennett would be taking over.
“I think it makes players want to play better,” Hunt said.
“They’re going to want to prove he is a good coach.
“They want to send their old coach out on a high. They’ve had him for a few years and I think they’ll really lift for the game and play well for him.”
Broncos fullback Darius Boyd said Manly’s position outside the NRL’s top eight belied their true ability.
“I know they’re down the ladder a bit but that doesn’t mean anything,” he said.
“They gave us a run when they came to Suncorp with a couple of lucky tries and kind of got away with it in the end.
“They’re a class side whether they’re struggling with crisis or not.
“We’ve got to take it as if they’re going to bring their best on Saturday night.”