Kieran Foran says Manly are not missing the presence of Des Hasler and claims training has been harder under new coach Geoff Toovey.
Hasler ended a 27-year association as a player and coach of the Sea Eagles in acrimonious circumstances following a bitter fallout with the board and took over at Canterbury less than a month after guiding the team to the premiership.
A mixed pre-season that included a heavy loss to Cronulla and defeat in the World Club Challenge to Leeds have given ammunition to claims the Sea Eagles will struggle in the post-Hasler era.
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However, Foran said the players have been impressed by the intensity of Toovey and believes the team can replicate their 2011 success.
"If anything (intensity), it's gone up," Foran said.
"Pre-season training was just as hard, if not harder.
"Everyone's still very much on the ball and we're very much the same side as we were last year."
Although Toovey spent six years as Hasler's No.2, Foran said the former NSW playmaker has shown he's very much his own man.
"Geoff's brought a different approach this year," he said.
"When he's out there on the paddock, he's very hands on. He likes to tip the boys off when he's out there.
"He's in the video sessions every day, calling the shots, putting his spin on things and we're liking that."
The Sea Eagles have a difficult start to their premiership defence with a trip to Eden Park in Auckland to face the Warriors in a repeat of last year's grand final.
The Warriors, under new coach Brian McClellan, open their season at the spiritual home of New Zealand rugby for the second successive year, with a crowd of more than 35,000 expected for the match.
Foran is anticipating a partisan crowd to greet the Sea Eagles, and said silencing them will be key to securing victory.
"They want revenge on that grand final and they're just the team to do it," the five-eighth said.
"The crowd's going to be hostile. They're all going to get out there and get behind the Kiwi boys.
"That just comes with the territory and we've just got to be ready for it."
© 2012 AAP
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