They almost had their home final ripped from them and have six first-choice players worth upwards of $2 million on the sidelines.
But if Manly coach Des Hasler is showing any signs of feeling the pressure ahead of Saturday's elimination final against Cronulla, then he isn't showing it.
"We've got to fill the hill asbestos as we can," Hasler quipped on Friday.
It was a reference to the club almost being forced to move their home final away from Brookvale after traces of asbestos were found at the ground last week.
And while the suburban venue was eventually given a clean bill of health (for now), the same can't be said for their most inexperienced outfit of the season.
A suspension to key prop Martin Taupau adds to an injury list that includes star fullback Tom Trbojevic, and second-rowers Curtis Sironen and Joel Thompson.
Rotation forwards Morgan Boyle and Taniela Paseka are also sidelined, forcing Hasler to rely on two rookies and another debutant in Haumole Olakau'atu.
Front-rower Lloyd Perrett, who has played just two games this year, has also been named, while forgotten forward Tony Williams is on an extended bench.
The former Kangaroos star hasn't been sighted in first grade in over 500 days, but is all but certain to make a shock return in a finals game.
It all adds up to a near-full strength Cronulla being installed as red-hot favourites despite a horror record at Lottoland.
Which would normally play right into the hands of Hasler, who has spent most of his 17 years as coach trying to stay under the radar.
But not this time.
"It's always a good script, isn't it? But we want to be careful that. You don't want to become victims sometimes with that mentality," Hasler said.
"Sometimes that's an easy way out. We know we can be generally competitive against (anyone), no matter what way you look at them."
And he insists the finals is the perfect environment to spring an upset, particularly if you're facing a team that has lost 34 of 39 games on your home turf.
The Sharks haven't won at Brookvale Oval for over a decade.
Not that Hasler is a big believer in hoodoos.
"Once they get out there, it's anybody's guess," he said.
"If you want to start getting to the nitty gritty, there's obviously some areas that we need to be really good at, and we need to be tomorrow night.
"But you get that crowd behind you, it always helps."
The Sharks are again without fullback Matt Moylan, who failed in his bid to overcome a hamstring injury that has plagued most of his campaign.
Josh Dugan will deputise at fullback, while Aaron Gray will play just his sixth game of the year in place of the suspended Ronaldo Mulitano.
STATS THAT MATTER
* Manly have won 15 of their past 17, including their past three, against Cronulla, with their most recent loss coming in 2016.
* The Sea Eagles' three wins from 11 matches in week one of the finals is the worst percentage of any team since the reintroduction of the top eight in 1999.
* Manly have won just four of 12 games, and are averaging almost eight points less, without Tom Trbojevic this season.