Manly coach Des Hasler has accused the Broncos of achieving the very thing he craves - flying under the radar.
The third-placed Sea Eagles are set to collide with fifth-ranked Brisbane in the opening leg of Friday's double header at Suncorp Stadium.
But while his own side is arguably the form team of the competition having won five of their past six matches, Hasler is adamant the Sea Eagles are the underdogs heading into the clash.
"Let me tell you a little bit about this Brisbane side ... people think we're guilty of flying under the radar as a side but I think Brisbane have been the most impressive side probably along with the Dragons this year," Hasler said on Tuesday morning.
"They are playing some really good-quality football, their younger players have matured, their defensive record speaks for itself and they're really playing for each other."
"It should be close to being a full house at Suncorp again on Friday and I think it's going to be a fantastic game of footy."
Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin rested several representative players following the one-off Test match against New Zealand earlier this month. And while Hasler admits he's not sure whether his opposite number will give his five Queensland players the night off he insists the Broncos will be a tough assignment either way.
"I don't know (if Griffin will rest players) so we're just preparing for Brisbane at full tilt," Hasler said. "But even so, when Brisbane played the Storm (without their stars) they probably should have won."
When reminded that his own team is not travelling too badly this season, Hasler was up to his old tricks.
"Yeah it's not too bad, we're sort of getting along but we know we've got some improvement left in us," he said. "So this will be a real good test for us against this Brisbane side."
Meanwhile, the Sea Eagles will enter the clash without winger Michael Robertson but are expected to be boosted by the return of full-back Brett Stewart.
Robertson was ruled out with an infected knee on Tuesday, ending his impressive run of 139 consecutive NRL games since making his debut against North Queensland in Round 2, 2006.
"I'm as shocked as anyone," Robertson, who is only expected to miss one week, said.
"I remember some discomfort during the match (against the Titans eight days ago) but I didn't think it was serious."
Hasler admits Robertson's injury is a blow but confirmed Stewart is on track to return from a hamstring injury.
"We're pretty sure Snake (Stewart) will be right to play this week providing he can get through the rest of this week," he said.
"He had a good break and we were able to rest him so providing he gets through what he needs to get through this week he'll be a starter."