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NRL: Croker targets strong start

Manly hooker Lachlan Croker says the Sea Eagles are in great condition as they prepare to kick off the 2022 NRL campaign against Penrith on Thursday.

Manly are priced at 4/5 to finish in the top four of the NRL this season and will be keen to get off to a strong start for once.

Shocking start

Manly got off to a shocking start in 2021 when losing their first four games, conceding 156 points in the process. It was their worst start in their 75-year history, but they recovered to finish in the top four.

Des Hasler's men also haven't won a round one encounter since 2013 and face a tough opening examination when they play the reigning premiers on Thursday.

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However Hasler has adopted a different method this pre-season with all of his big guns getting plenty of minutes in the trial games.

Fit and ready to go

Croker believes it could pay off as the players are feeling fit, sharp and ready to go.

"A lot of that had to do with last year and the way we performed," Croker told reporters ahead of the game. "It was good to get a few games out of the way. A wise man once told me records are there to be broken.

"We're looking forward to getting out there on Thursday and putting an end to a record we don't like.

"I heard it (the record) mentioned before. I can't imagine it weighs on the boys' minds too much. At the end of the day it's a game of footy and we've prepared to go out there to win."

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