Manly go external to break NRL funk

Manly are hoping an inspirational talk from one of the country’s most in-demand speakers can lift them out of their NRL funk and re-ignite their premiership push.

Following cancer survivor Michael Crossland’s chat with the Sea Eagles on Wednesday, players spoke glowingly of the influence his stories could have on their spiralling form.

Sitting comfortably in third spot five weeks ago, Manly have since lost five of seven and are on the cusp of dropping out of the top eight for the first time since April.

However Sea Eagles chairman Scott Penn opted to introduce Crossland, who some have labelled the secret behind Canterbury’s run to the 2012 grand final.

Sea Eagles forward Lloyd Perrett was at the Bulldogs five years ago and said Crossland had a number of powerful messages for the playing group.

“If I was going to use a cliche to sum up the whole thing, it was not to think that the grass is greener on the other side and to be happy with what you’ve got,” Perrett said on Thursday.

“I think that’s what I took out of it and I think the boys took a similar thing out of it as well.”

Teammate Shaun Lane said Crossland’s story of triumphing over adversity had given the towering second-rower a different perspective on life.

“It was about how he’s been in hospital all his life, the different adversities and things he’s had to face from a young kid all the way through,” Lane said.

“He finally achieved his dream to play baseball in America but that got taken away from him.

“And then he became a hotshot banker and he’s had all these problems with him but he’s still managed to keep coming back through really tough times.”

Perrett denied Crossland was brought in purely to address the team’s late-season woes.

“I don’t think that talk was for that purpose. I don’t think it was try to rev us up for the finals or get us across the line,” he said.

“It’s something that helps us be grateful and add those principles in our lives some of the boys already know, because we’ve had plenty of talks like that.”

The Sea Eagles currently sit eighth with two games remaining in the regular season.

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