Barrett urges Sea Eagles to be on from the outset
Manly coach Trent Barrett says another slow start against the Sharks at Southern Cross Group Stadium tonight could prove fatal.
The 12th-placed Sea Eagles were sluggish in the opening minutes of their past two matches, both ending in big losses to the Cowboys and Broncos.
They let in two and three tries respectively inside the opening quarters of those games.
"We've got to ... come out and start the game a lot better than what we did in the last two weeks," Barrett said.
"The intensity that the Cowboys and Broncos came out with caught us on the hop from the start.
"We certainly need to address that."
The Sharks may have won seven on the trot, but have a poor recent record against their Sydney rivals.
They have not beaten Manly since 2012. That was their lone win in the past 14 games against the Sea Eagles.
It was Manly which inflicted a 10-point defeat on Cronulla back in round three at Brookvale Oval, but the Sharks have not lost a game since then.
Sharks halfback Chad Townsend, who has been impressive this year, has never beaten the Sea Eagles in his career.
But he said his side's loss to them earlier in the season was the wake-up call his teammates needed.
"Being dusted by the Sea Eagles earlier in the year was honestly a massive turning point in our year," he said.
"Our combination was still building, obviously it was early in the season, and after that game we sat down as a spine.
"Michael (hooker Michael Ennis), Jimmy (five-eighth James Maloney), myself and the coaching staff. We all had a really good look at the tape and tweaked our game-plan a little bit.
"From then on, everyone has clicked into gear and hasn't missed a beat."
Meanwhile, returning Warriors lock Simon Mannering said his team would be desperate for victory against the Raiders in New Plymouth tonight.
For every win in the past six rounds, the Warriors have lost their next game and they are sitting in 13th spot.
"Preparation's consistent so generally that flows onto the field ... but it hasn't for us," said Mannering, back from a sickening cut to his mouth in his team's embarrassing 42-0 loss to Melbourne on Anzac Day.
"We have to get that right because we're running out of games."