Sea Eagles plotting stealth course By Paul Kent July 10, 2008 MANLY like playing Cronulla in big games; every time the do, the Sea Eagles beat the Sharks. "We beat them in the '73 grand final and then again in '78," Manly media manager Peter Peters said. "They might have beaten us in one or two semi-finals but when it comes to the big ones we've always knocked them off." Peters is the former player, the current official and eternal agitator. And if no club enjoys winning like Manly, then no Manly great quite likes winning like Peters. "Yeah," he said, "it's been a long time now. Since '67. The beach boys are bringing it on again." Saturday's game marks 30 years since that grand final, and it comes as the teams hold down two of the three spots of joint leader. Come Saturday, they know that one must fall. Typically, it has led to a deliberately low-key approach from both clubs as around them the hype goes wild. Teams make a league, but blockbusters make a competition. Peters's taunts are trauma to the ears of Manly coach Des Hasler, a strong disciple of the school of deeds not words. Hasler's mantra is Under The Radar. So low under the radar does he try to fly with his Sea Eagles that he won't acknowledge to being under the radar, instead suddenly noticing that Cronulla are under the radar. "But we don't get fooled by that for one minute," he said. "They play mentally tough, grinding hard football. We're not a benchmark. The benchmark sides are the Melbournes, Roosters and Cronulla. We're just there to make the numbers up." If there is a problem with being under the radar, it is that it can actually work - as was seen in the recent State of Origin series. When 34 players ran out in Origin III, for instance, only one Manly player was among them. On the bench. Brent Stewart was benched despite a strike-rate of a try in every four matches he plays. Brent Kite missed the call even though he is a current Australia prop. Matt Orford is a victim of his early reputation, no one catching up on his game and where it has lifted to. Josh Perry is invisible since leaving Newcastle. And nobody can see Anthony Watmough behind him. "That doesn't bother us at all," Hasler said. "It doesn't even enter into our thinking. "We have probably benefited from it, to be honest, being able to keep our continuity, keep winning through the Origin series. "That's the way it goes. If you get picked, great, if you don't, life goes on." Occasionally though, frustrations have been picked up above the radar, as Orford let slip after Manly's sixth consecutive win, against Gold Coast, last Friday. "They never put Manly in the act or rate us as a good-quality football team," he said. "That's fine by us ... we are confident in what we're doing here." Confident, and heading to Toyota Stadium, where it is cold and windy, and that's just the welcome from the fans. While Manly like playing Cronulla in big games because they always win, the appeal for Cronulla is just as strong, according to Peters, who put it as only a Manly die-hard could. "Cronulla," he said. "They like playing us because every time they've got to the grand final, we've knocked them off."