Young gun: Peta Hiku in action against the Roosters. Photo: Getty Images
Manly believe they have got a fullback capable of handling Greg Inglis - even if Brett Stewart is ruled out of their blockbuster clash with South Sydney.
Stewart could be named when the Sea Eagles release their team list on Tuesday but remains in doubt for Friday night's encounter because of an ongoing hamstring injury. Unheralded back-up Peta Hiku has done a tremendous job in his absence, particularly during the finals series. Hiku ran for 297 metres and earned man-of-the-match honours in their opening finals loss to Sydney Roosters.
The former Warriors junior backed it up with a 231-metre effort against Cronulla, including two line breaks.
If Stewart is ruled out, Hiku will face the biggest challenge in the game - trying to stop Inglis. Asked how he would go about the task, he said: ''I've been trying to figure that out my whole life.
''I suppose I'll just try to throw my body in front of him. Hopefully he stops. Hopefully the boys get to him before me.''
The boys are confident that whoever gets the task, they will be up for it. ''We're so fortunate to have two great fullbacks in their own rights,'' said halfback Daly Cherry-Evans. ''Peta obviously has a strong running game, while 'Snake' [Stewart] has such great ball skills. They offer two different things but both have been great for us this year. If Snake is available he's obviously going to be a huge inclusion. Fingers crossed he returns.''
Captain Jamie Lyon added: ''[Hiku] is going great guns. He's really slotted in and all the guys love him and are happy for him.
''He's playing great footy. Hopefully Brett is right but Peta will be there to jump in. Two great fullbacks, both very well liked.''
Earning the NRL's minimum wage is just one of the sacrifices Hiku, 20, is making to further his career. He left behind his partner, Faith, and daughter, Ada Jane, at their home in New Zealand when he was signed by Manly. He is hoping they will be able to move to Australia with him once the season is finished.
''I've got a young girl, she's two,'' Hiku said. ''It's been hard living away from them but I try to see them when I can. I get phone calls when I can.
''They know I'm focused on finals footy, so they understand. Hopefully I get them over here before next pre-season.''
Had it not been for a serious car accident involving his brother - which forced him to move from the east coast to Auckland six years ago - he might well have still been playing rugby union. Instead, he could be playing in the penultimate game on league's biggest stage.
''It will be good to play more in the finals but you've got to go with the best 17. If I have to sit out, I sit out,'' he said.
''It's a real big honour to be in the finals so early in my career.''