Crusher's 2005 Summary and 2006 Prediction Well, 2005 was a season of highs and lows for us. Whilst if someone had offered me the chance at the beginning of the year for Manly to make the 8 I would have jumped at it, by the same token, if someone had said after Round 13 that we would scrape in for 8th I would have laughed. Highs included: 1. Making the 8 - first Finals footy in 7 years 2. Continual improvement of young players - B Stewart improved significantly over the year and can now count himself one of the top 1/2 dozen fullbacks in the NRL. Watmough was the best player in the Comp for the first 7 rounds and was awarded with a SOO jersey. 3. Kennedy showed what a great buy he was. 4. Some excellent Brookie crowds. Lows were: 1. Crushing loss to Sharks 2. Blowout in Semi against Eels 3. Monas-gate - terrible for all involved 4. Dramatic form slump over latter half of Comp 5. Lousy backline, especially halves and centres Let's be honest - we don't have the talent of most teams in the Comp (including Rooters, Dogs and Penrith, who, we finished ALL above), so being realistic, 8th was job well done. However, this was no excuse for some absolutely dismal performances over the 2nd half of season. Sharks game was terrible, and I witnessed the worst half of football I've ever seen against Parra on Sunday. The effort didn't appear to be there, nor the motiviation. For this I seriously query the managment and the coaches, whose job it is to get the players up for the games and to have them performing at their peek. However, the boys did provide some great highs (beating Storm, Rooters, Dogs, Panthers, Broncos) and for the first time in years I was able to wear my Manly gear around with great pride. In 2006 it is going to be EXTREMELY tough to make the 8. The Rooters, Dogs and Panthers will be desperate to get there, whilst all the teams there this year will expect to be so again. Orford and Bell will be a MASSIVE improvement to our backline, which is the worst in the league at the moment. They will turn it around out there for sure. The question mark hangs over the pack, which we need to be dominant. Can they perform the heroics from the first half of the year? Harris and Randall are gone, and we all know King should be. That leaves the nucleus of BK, Beaver, Choc, Kite, Hecks and Dunley to shoulder the burden. I think the aim is for a top 6 birth, and thus a 2nd week of Finals football. If we are to do this, we seriously need to work on our attacking plays, of which we simply don't have any. This is the main task for the Coaches over the summer.