MANLY second-rower Glenn Stewart credits veteran teammate Steve Menzies with having had an enormous influence on his rise to the verge of World Cup representation for Australia.
Stewart did not want to talk about his chances of surviving the final cut for the squad yesterday - "I'm only thinking about the Warriors game," he said of the grand final qualifier at the SFS on Saturday - but his form has only improved since he made the preliminary squad, and the Sea Eagles' run deep into the finals series will further help his chances.
But where has his tremendous season come from? Is it purely the result of natural improvement and expert coaching, or is he getting some great advice as well?
"I was trying to do a bit too much last season," Stewart said. "I was just a bit too enthusiastic, and that led to a few mistakes. I've pulled back a bit this year, and tried to be smarter about picking the right times to get involved, and that's made my game better.
"'Beaver' has been great for me. He's had more influence on my game than any other player I've known. He isn't one to force his opinion on you, but if you've got a problem with your game and you go to him for a chat, he's more than happy to help. You learn just by watching him. Beaver's got so much experience.
"I've learnt off a few other players as well - Ben Kennedy, while he was here, and Anthony Watmough. Then Josh Perry came along this year, and I've learned a lot from him about laying the platform out there."
Stewart believes Manly's game levelled off late last season, which ended with their devastating 34-8 loss to Melbourne in the grand final. But he believes they have timed their run better this year.
"We came out of the blocks really quickly last year, but fell away a bit towards the end," he said. "This year, we've built up more from the start of the season, and remained very consistent.
"We found it a bit hard to adjust while 'Killer' [five-eighth Jamie Lyon] was out injured. Losing a player in a key position like that is always difficult. But since he's been back we've been able to go back to our old game plan, and become a much more complete team again.
"I think we're much better prepared to handle all of the hype that comes with playing at this time of the year, too, but there's no point in even thinking about maybe playing in another grand final, at this stage. We've got to concentrate on trying to get past the Warriors first."