It really struck me on Saturday that the team has got the feel of one that is lacking a burning desire to go back to back. Since Round 1 we have lacked spark. Before everyone jumps down my throat, I'm not questioning their commitment, or their effort, they are all performing as one expects professional footballers to. However, that seems to be just the problem, they are professional in their efforts but just seem to lack that extra 1 or 2% of extra drive or desire that makes all the difference between winning and competing. Perhaps 2008's record GF win, WCC win, and media stories beating them up as the greatest Manly side ever have seen them think they have achieved it all, and has taken the fire from the belly. Coupled with the drama around Brett and the subsequent suspension and maybe they have subconciously put this season in the "what have we got to prove" basket. It's no coincidence that the new guys (Bailey and Rodney) and Cuthbo (no GF appearance) are going the extra yard as they still have something to achieve. A couple of players who made Australian reps honours on the back of our great run home last year are resting on those laurels. It's a mark of a great side that can keep that hunger burning after a Premiership and it's little wonder that back to back hasn't been pulled off for a while. In all honesty they don't have the smell of a side that want to prove their greatness. Our performances have been below par for what was served up during the finals last year, Brett or no Brett. We were brutal and hungry then. I hope I'm wrong but unless there is a massive turn around in attitude this weekend then I can't see us defending our title.