Manly mirrors mentor Des 13/08/2008 Adam Lucius Sportal It's a little known fact Manly coach Des Hasler used to busk at Circular Quay. To date, it's the craziest thing Des has done in his life. The only time he's let his guard down in 47 years, discounting the two middies he sunk after the Sea Eagles won the 1987 title. This is a man whose idea of excitement is cheating at snap. A bloke who is so tight he asks for change from beggars. They say teams often take on the personalities of their coach. The Sea Eagles are Des Hasler. Just like the coach in his playing days - Hasler went flat out over 287 first grade games - Manly keeps working for the full 80 minutes, asking questions of you the entire time. They give nothing away on the field and are just as miserly away from it. Hasler's favourite term to describe the maroon and whites is 'flying under the radar' - and his players follow the mantra to the letter. When's the last time you heard anything remotely contentious emanating from Brookvale? They just don't do controversy on the northern beaches. On the field it's hard to remember the last time a side received an easy ride against them. Even in defeat they hurt you. That was evident last Friday night when the Sea Eagles pushed, probed and provoked Melbourne all the way. That they lost 16-10 was incidental. Manly got more out of losing than the Storm did in winning. Like standing up to the school bully and finding out you hit as hard as him, the Sea Eagles buried a lot of demons at Brookie Oval. The scars of last year's heavy grand final loss will never fully heal but they can be lasered. Manly doesn't fear meeting Craig Bellamy's men down the track. They went toe-to-toe with the best, going down in a split points decision. Other teams looked on with admiration. The Roosters, for one, say the Sea Eagles displayed the blueprint for upsetting the premiers. Get up in their face and out-Melbourne Melbourne - for every second of the 80 minutes. The Sharks did the same thing back in Round 2. The Storm are still the team to beat and deserve respect. But Manly won't carry any baggage should their paths meet again on grand final night. If they do and the Sea Eagles come out on top, Hasler has promised to reprise his busking days and belt out a tune from one of his favourite bands (who else?),The Eagles, when the season is done. If the 2007 Grand Final was 'Heartache Tonight', a victory 12 months on would have Dessie singing 'New Kid in Town' - and probably asking for a few coins in the guitar case.