Manly star Daly Cherry-Evans says the team’s destiny is in their own hands after they escaped with a 15-14 golden-point triumph over the Warriors in Perth on Saturday.
Cherry-Evans nailed the match-winning field goal off his non-preferred left foot to lift the Sea Eagles to consecutive wins for the first time since March.
The result means Manly are now just two wins adrift of eighth spot.
It’s a far cry from earlier this season, when a seven-match losing run lurched the club into crisis mode.
Cherry-Evans said the player group were quietly confident of making a late dash for the finals.
“Although it’s still a very high mountain for us to climb to get to the finals, we have confidence and we are building nicely,” Cherry-Evans said.
“We are building at the right time of the year.
“I dare say there’ll be a lot of teams looking over their shoulder and hoping we don’t play finals football.
“Our destiny is in our own hands, which is the best part about it.”
Manly have an excellent chance to make further inroads when they take on the struggling South Sydney and Newcastle in the next two rounds.
Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett said he was proud of the way his team have rebounded in recent weeks.
“It’s a huge win for us,” Barrett said.
“They’re playing for each other, I know that. The biggest thing for me is they care about the result, and they care about each other.
“That’s 90 per cent of the battle as a coach. I love coaching them. They rip in every day.
“We’re still alive. We’re going to have a big two months if we’re going to make the finals. All our next six games are in Sydney, which is a bonus.”
Although Cherry-Evans was the hero on Saturday night, Sea Eagles players were quick to acknowledge the efforts of teammate Jake Trbojevic, who charged down Shaun Johnson’s match-winning attempt early in extra-time.
“Jake’s play at the end typifies what the team’s about at the moment,” Barrett said.