Geoff Toovey has praised Kieran Foran's effort to recover from a mid-week bout of influenza as he spearheaded a gritty Sea Eagles win on Friday night.
During the week Foran was given a 50-50 chance my medical staff to play against the Broncos after coming down with the flu, but Toovey said he was proud of the way Foran featured in Manly's seventh win from their last eight games.
"A couple of days ago maybe [he might have been in doubt], I think you'd have to lock him in his house to keep him away from the field," Toovey said.
"There's a bad flu going around the community in general, so we had a couple of blokes miss the limited training we had last week. Kieran came down with the flu pretty heavily a couple of days ago but we just needed to get through this game."
"It's a great effort. The fans probably didn't understand how much it took out of the players last week and we were a bit rusty and made it difficult for ourselves. We lacked a bit of polish but there was probably a couple of opportunities in the first 20 minutes that we let slip by and the Broncos they hung in there and it was close right to the finish."
Manly maintained their four point buffer on the rest of the competition, but Toovey said the title of minor premiers would mean very little without silverware to show for it.
"Let's face it, I think our game and our competition would be the toughest in any sport in any land around the place, so to finish at the end of the regular season at the top is a pretty tough thing to do.
"I don't think it's like the old days where they had a top five and the minor premiers actually got an advantage. The new system doesn't really help you out in holding up at the end."
Foran, who was "coughing up heaps of crap" during the week, said that while ruining the hard work of leading the competition wouldn't be ideal, just being in the top band of teams is all the Sea Eagles are out to achieve.
"It's not the be all and end all, it's just a reward for your efforts throughout the year, it'd be nice to get it I guess for the amount of effort we've put in this season.
"It would be disappointing to fall out of those spots now. We just want to cement a top four spot and give ourselves every chance going into the finals."
- Sydney Morning Herald
Who is your pick for international league player of the year?Related story: (See story)