The Newcastle Knights are hoping their decades-long rivalry with Manly will spark the team in Monday night's NRL clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium.
The Knights and the Sea Eagles have worked up a healthy rivalry that started with Newcastle's first-ever game in the NRL and peaked during Newcastle's maiden Premiership after their dramatic last-minute win over Manly in the 1997 Grand Final.
However, Newcastle's 2010 season hangs in the balance.
After a mid-season surge the wheels have fallen off the Knights' charge with consecutive losses against the Raiders and Cowboys to leave Newcastle six points out of the top eight.
Therefore, Knights coach Rick Stone said he hoped the rivalry will help spur the Knights in Monday night's must-win clash against the 2008 Premiers.
"The boys enjoy playing Manly as there is a little bit of a history and bit of a rivalry between the two clubs and there is no doubt our blokes will be fired up to throw a spanner in Manly's works on Monday," Stone said.
"It is generally one of our better crowd pulling games – the history runs fairly deep."
"Manly seems to be better off financially, Newcastle seems to be the battlers and that is the way the crowd, particularly the local crowd, play it out."
"If you don't support Manly they are probably the most hated team in the NRL with rugby league supporters - I think Manly enjoy that sort of tag and I am sure the Newcastle people enjoy that sort of rivalry as well."
Stone said Newcastle enjoyed a good record against the Sea Eagles at EnergyAustralia Stadium but the Knights would have to be on the top of their game to keep their season alive.
"Our record here and on Monday night is pretty good. We have had some luck against Manly up here," he said.
"We haven't had too much success against them at Bluetongue or Brookvale over the past couple of years but particularly at this venue we have performed well against them."
"The core of the real good Manly side is there but (Anthony) Watmough and Glenn Stewart are two key players to their team and even though their halves are young and inexperienced they have big futures and I think Des (Hasler – Manly coach) would be happy with their progress and consistency this year."
The Knights head into the match with some injury concerns. Prop Dan Tolar and centre Junior Sa'u sat out training last week in an attempt to be fit for Monday night.
Meanwhile, veteran back Adam MacDougall, the only player from either side to have featured in the 1997 Grand Final to still be playing, is also under an injury cloud but is expected to take his place in Monday night's crucial clash.