Manly have warned South Sydney prop George Burgess to watch his back in Friday night's NRL qualifying final, with Steve Matai hunting for revenge.
When the two sides met five weeks ago at the SCG i
n a game won 22-4 by Souths, Sea Eagles hitman Matai was forced from the field writhing in pain after a nasty chicken wing tackle from Burgess early in the match.
Matai, who has a long history of neck and shoulder problems, was forced out for a week due to the ugly tackle which went unchecked by match officials but resulted in Burgess being suspended for two matches.
It's no coincidence that since the Rabbitohs rattled the Sea Eagles' cage in that dominant physical performance, Manly's premiership momentum has been significantly halted, although injuries have also played their part.
Manly officials at the time expressed their belief that Souths were seeking revenge for some shots put on by Matai when the teams met in Gosford earlier in the season.
In that round two encounter, Manly were spurred to a spirited victory when front rower Jason King managed to shake up the Burgess brothers.
No one dishes out payback quite like Matai and the New Zealand international has George Burgess' number for the finals opener.
"I'm sure he'll (Burgess) be a bit concerned," said Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey.
"It's a tough game played by some pretty tough individuals so no doubt it's going to be a very physical game and we're looking forward to it."
Asked if Matai would be looking for Burgess, Sea Eagles teammate James Hasson said: "Steve looks for everyone I think.
"He's a very aggressive player.
"Hopefully he can get a few of them as well."
South Sydney's perceived wrestling tactics have created a stir amongst rival teams in the lead-up to the finals and Toovey has given referees a pointed reminder to be on guard for illegal play in the ruck on Friday night.
"That's the refs, the refs have got to do that," said Toovey when asked what Manly can do to negate the wrestle.
The Sea Eagles are famous for adopting the siege mentality, and the backs-to-the-wall mindset has been in full force for the huge clash against the Rabbitohs with a week off awaiting the victor.
Manly have been whingeing about having to play their home final in the heart of South Sydney territory, rather than at Brookvale.
Yet in the same breath are relishing the prospect of running out onto Allianz Stadium to a chorus of boos.
"It doesn't matter if they're booing you or cheering for you," Toovey said.
The Sea Eagles appear seriously undermanned in the forwards with Matt Ballin, Glenn Stewart and Jamie Buhrer out, compared to the size of a hulking Rabbitohs pack led by Sam Burgess.
Then there's the internal war that's broken out at the club over management's decision not to offer Stewart a contract.
Toovey believes the perceived dire situation on the beaches will bring out the best in his troops.
"We're definitely underdogs this week," he said.
"All the critics have written us off which is great, we like that.
"We've got a resilient bunch of players and staff. We've got a great history at the club."