Manly coach Geoff Toovey produced one of the greatest post-match rants of the 2012 NRL season after his premiers lost to the Bulldogs last Friday night, but he at least has the satisfaction of naming an unchanged team for Saturday's expedition to Perth where they play the New Zealand Warriors.
Toovey, who was scathing of the match officials performance after the Bulldogs won 20-12 at Brookvale Oval, had calmed down considerably at training today ahead of the announcement of an identical 17-man squad for the round 21 clash at Paterson Stadium.
Although NSW State of Origin fullback Brett Stewart is still unavailable through injury the Sea Eagles at least suffered no more collateral damage before their second Grand Final rematch against the struggling Warriors.
While the Bulldogs, West Tigers, Brisbane and South Sydney have fresh casualties - or players fronting the judiciary - the seventh-placed Sea Eagles are settled as they fly to West Australia tomorrow.
Manly, 26-20 winners when the teams last met in the opening round at Eden Park, are four points ahead of the ninth-placed Warriors who are desperate to avoid a third successive defeat after losses to Brisbane and Newcastle.
Toovey said he had been in touch with NRL referees' coaches Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper after venting his spleen at the performance of Brett Suttor and Ben Cummins on Friday and although he expected changes to be made to the obstruction rules for 2013 the dual refereeing system he railed against looks set to continue.
"They have indicated, the powers that be, that they are looking forward to listening to what the players and coaches have to say," Toovey said.
"Obviously, there are some rules that need to be clarified, I think, and the players and the coaches are all confused when it comes to the obstruction rule."
Former Parramatta and South Sydney coach Jason Taylor has been critical of both the Bulldogs and North Queensland for what he perceived to be illegal plays, while Queenslander Justin Hodges' try in the final State of Origin game - which was awarded despite the fact he had run behind one of his own players to score - was one of the most debatable decisions of the year.
The use of two on field referees was a focal point of Toovey's anger on Friday and had to be reviewed but the NRL looks certain to persist with the policy.
"I think I saw (NRL director of football) Nathan McGuirk said the other day it wouldn't be, it would be nice to be consulted on it," Toovey said.
Meanwhile, despite losses to the Bulldogs and Newcastle in their last two outings, Toovey was confident his squad were still capable of going back-to-back regardless of where they finish in the top eight.
"The Warriors showed that last year, they finished down the bottom of the eight (sixth) and all of a sudden they're in the grand final.
"Realistically all you need is a bit of luck, some good football and you end up holding the trophy above your head."
Manly Sea Eagles: Dean Whare, Jorge Taufua, Jamie Lyon (co-captain), Steve Matai, David Williams, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Jason King (co-captain), Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Tony Williams, Glenn Stewart. Interchange: Jamie Buhrer, Joe Galuvao, Darcy Lussick, George Rose, Vic Mauro (18th man), Daniel Harrison (19th man).
- © Fairfax NZ News