Manly coach Geoff Toovey says winning the minor premiership isn’t as crucial as it was in his playing days.
Manly coach Geoff Toovey believes the minor premiership is a great achievement for any side but denies it is a focus for his Sea Eagles who sit two wins clear at the top of the NRL ladder with five regular season matches to play.
The premiership favourites dispatched a tough Brisbane 16-4 on Friday night at Brookvale Oval to move a step closer to finishing the 26 rounds atop the NRL ladder.
It is a feat the club last achieved in 1997 when Toovey was captain.
But he says things have changed since his playing days.
“Let’s face it, I think our game and our competition would be the toughest in any sport in any land around the place, so to finish at the end of the regular season at the top is a pretty tough thing to do,” Toovey said.
“But I don’t think it’s like the old days where they had a top five and the minor premiers actually got an advantage. The new system doesn’t really help you out in holding up at the end.”
Star playmaker Kieran Foran said Manly didn’t want to lose momentum so close to the finals.
“It’s (the minor premiership) not the be all and end all, it’s just a reward for your efforts throughout the year, it’d be nice to get it I guess for the amount of effort we’ve put in this season,” he said.
“It would be disappointing to fall out of those spots now. We just want to cement a top four spot and give ourselves every chance going into the finals.”