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Manly hurting ahead of Sharks clash

NZN 16/05/2016 Laine Clark

No pain, no gain.

Manly's New Zealand international Lewis Brown says that is the approach they have adopted ahead of Saturday night's NRL clash at Cronulla, revealing that coach Trent Barrett "wanted us to hurt" after their last round loss to Brisbane.

Bench utility Brown conceded team spirit was low in the Suncorp Stadium dressing room in the wake of their 30-6 defeat last Saturday night.

And it seems they wouldn't have had it any other way.

Brown hoped the experience would steel Manly (11th; 4-6 record) ahead of their crunch clash with No.2 Cronulla this weekend.

"I hope so. I wouldn't look at it any other way," Brown said.

"After the game Baz (Barrett) wanted us to hurt.

"We want a fire in the belly and hopefully that can lead us in the right direction against Cronulla this weekend."

Manly have lost three of their last four games but are only two points outside the top eight.

"The pleasing thing for us is that we haven't hit nowhere near our straps and we will get some key players back," Brown said.

"We are still in a good position. For us it is about building momentum and becoming consistent.

"We can't let those teams above us (on the NRL ladder) get too far ahead."

Manly were the last team to beat Cronulla, 22-12 in round three at Brookvale Oval.

But they will face a very different Sharks outfit this weekend.

Cronulla have won seven straight and are buzzing from their last round 62-0 demolition of Newcastle.

"They are the full package," Brown said.

"They beat the Broncos ... and they will be building from the game in Newcastle.

"We know we are in for a tough game."

Fullback Brett Stewart (hamstring) and enforcer Steve Matai (neck) are likely to return against the Sharks.

But they will be without Martin Taupau who faces a three game ban for a lifting tackle on Brisbane's Matt Gillett.

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