Press conference: Jamie Buhrer on Round 8
Although Manly have come under scrutiny in the past weeks, nib Newcastle Knight Jamie Buhrer believes that this match will be just as tough as the last time the two teams met in Round 1, with the Sea Eagles looking to bounce back into form and prove to their fans that they are still a force to be reckoned with.
"It's certainly going to be a tough game for us," Buhrer stated ahead of the match.
"Manly have had their share of scrutiny and they won't be lacking for any motivation. Going down to Brookvale is always a tough task."
Buhrer is certain the key to taking away a win at Brookvale is the ability of the senior players in the group to step up and ease the pressure on the young halves.
"Our wins this year have come off the back of the boys working hard for each other and I am hopeful that we can do that again Friday night.
"I'm confident in them blokes (Connor Watson and Jack Cogger) to fill in for Mitchell. Though it's not necessarily up to them to replace Mitchell, it's about us all collectively helping to make sure we are shouldering that load.
The 28 year-old second rower, who recently celebrated his 150th game in the NRL, has full confidence in teammate Aidan Guerra taking on a co-captaincy role.
Guerra's ability to direct and lead players both on game day and during training sessions has reassured the team that the loss of Mitchell Pearce will not be too damaging to the performance of the Club.
"Aidan has been a leader from the moment he got to the Club. With Mitchell's injury it was a no brainer to go to Aidan... he is very vocal both on and off the field and I have no doubt he will handle the responsibilities well," Buhrer stated.
"We have a really deep leadership group here and that spreads across the whole team. It certainly hurts to miss Mitchell for an extended period... not only through his playing ability but also his leadership."
Although Brookvale held a special place in Buhrer's heart previously, the clash against the Sea Eagles will be strictly business for the red and blue star, who is returning to his previous home ground for the first time.
He says he's looking to break the hearts of faithful Manly fans.
"I don't think it feels different. It's different in the sense that I am a Knight now and I'm going down there to win.
"I'm going down there to break the hearts of the Manly fans."