Des Hasler earns a place among the greats Phil Rothfield Sports Editor-at-large The Daily Telegraph October 03, 2011 Last Tuesday night the Men of League organisation, through a panel of experts, named the top five coaches in the game's history. They were, in order, Wayne Bennett, Jack Gibson, Bob Fulton, Phil Gould and Harry Bath. Personally I'd now put Hasler at No.4 and Gould at five. Who else has won a premiership by a record-breaking scoreline of 40-nil against a team (Melbourne Storm) that spent $1million more than him on the salary cap? Who else has lifted a broke and busted club like Manly were in 2004 to become the team and club of the last decade and the pride of the league? Who else in the coaching ranks has built such an indestructible bond with his players? Who else could have turned around the disaster of their 2009 season launch and use the bitter wash-up as the ultimate motivational tool? He took on NRL boss David Gallop on behalf of his players and built the strongest camaraderie and team spirit in the game. Yesterday's victory was so typical of Manly's season-long form and consistency. Every single player contributed from fullback to front-row and the men on the bench. What about fullback Brett Stewart with that first try, bursting on to the inside of Daly Cherry-Evans' pass. Will Hopoate made more metres than any other player on the field. He is a massive loss to rugby league. Michael Robertson scooped up Glenn Stewart's grubber kick to dash away to set up Cherry Evans' try just before half-time. The centres Jamie Lyon and Steve Matai were both outstanding and inspirational with their bloodied heads wrapped in bandages. And the halves - what more can you say about Kieren Foran and Cherry Evans. Outstanding kicking games, slick passing, great leadership. And the forwards ... where do you start ... Churchill Medal winner Glenn Stewart absolutely awesome, Choc Watmough a real powerhouse, Brent Kite a typical workhorse performance. And that's the thing about this Manly team. They're not a team of champions but a champion team. They play for each other like no other side does and Hasler has them playing with machine-like authority every week of the season. The Warriors lost no admirers with their stirring second-half comeback as Shaun Johnson set the stadium alight. What a player. What a superstar. Too bad the Warriors didn't really start playing their spectacular ad-lib footy until they were down 18-2 and the chance of a comeback victory was almost impossible. They threw everything at the Sea Eagles who had just enough fuel in the tank to defend their line and hang on for a richly deserved victory. Much-loved Eagle drops in to get the Lowe-downÂ THE most welcome visitor at Manly's final training session at Brookvale on Saturday morning was the club's former chief executive and much-admired Graham Lowe, who quit mid-year for health reasons. And the most notable absentee was the current chief executive David Perry, who the players have little time for since he sacked Peter Peters for that appalling crime of calling the extremely attractive Megan Barnard a good sort.