EVEN Geoff Toovey doesn’t know which Manly side will run out against Newcastle at Brookvale Oval on Sunday afternoon.
Manly go into the NRL clash only slightly more desperate to get a win on the board than the Knights.
Sitting in bottom spot with just two wins, the pressure is beginning to pile on coach Toovey after a 2-6 start to 2015 and with questions being asked about the impending departures of star halves Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans.
Manly eased the pressure valve slightly with a gutsy win over Melbourne before the repesentative round break.
Manly are 2-6 thus far in 2015. Picture Scott Barbour.
However, for Toovey, the week’s hiatus couldn’t have come at a worse time and he feared it had halted whatever momentum they had gained by beating the Storm.
“That bye weekend may have thrown a spanner in the works,” he said.
“It would have been nice to stay on that roll but we’re at home (against Newcastle).” The Knights will want to get their season back on track — after squandering their 4-0 start with four straight losses.
But it’s Manly that are still down on troops and searching for answers to their attacking woes.
While captain Jamie Lyon will return against the Knights, his inclusion is offset by the suspension of his centres partner Steve Matai and a hamstring injury to Foran.
Manly will have to undergo yet another backline reshuffle with their instability contributing to their limp start to the year. Statistics show that Manly sit at the bottom of the league for the most important attacking statistics.
According to Fox Sports Stats, Manly are making the fewest linebreaks (2.6 per game) and busting the fewest tackles (15.4 per game) in the NRL this season.
They are also making the least metres of any team (1260m per game) and scoring the fewest points (13.5 per game) “We’re still bottom now ... But we know we can win if we can play some good football, it’s just a matter of producing it week-in and week-out,” Toovey said.
“Unfortunately before the Melbourne game we lost a couple of close matches. We were in those games for most of the match but let it slip away. We just need to focus for 80 minutes.”
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sp... dailytelegraphnrlndm (Daily Telegraph | NRL)