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Manly make up for lost elation

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +2,115 / 14

    Bring it on … co-captains Jamie Lyon, left, and Jason King lead the Sea Eagles into their season launch at Brookvale Oval last night. Photo: James Brickwood

    SO Des Hasler and the rest of the premiers launched their seasons last night. Only they did so 30 kilometres apart; Hasler, now with the Bulldogs, at a waterfront function centre in Pyrmont and his former players on the turf of Brookvale Oval.

    Few teams have endured such turbulence after a grand-final win as Manly has since their victory over the Warriors, but they attempted to thrust Hasler's departure, which came a week after their win last October, further into the past last night when they cut the tape on their new season, under a new coach in Geoff Toovey.

    "It's a new season," Manly second-rower Anthony Watmough said. "New dramas, new highs, new lows."

    Having said that, in some ways it's an old story for the Sea Eagles, who endured arguably higher and harder hurdles after their previous premiership. Three years ago, they were on top of the world, only to crash back down with an awful thud in one afternoon and evening - on the day of the 2009 season launch - when fullback Brett Stewart became the centre of sexual assault allegations, which were later dismissed in court. Much of the blame was laid on the launch itself, a bright and boozy affair at the Manly Wharf Hotel.

    Last night, their next post-premiership launch was toned down in comparison, held in a marquee at the southern end of the club's home ground, with the vast majority of the media kept outside. The big difference was that they had already suffered their fall and were maintaining they had already picked themselves back up by the time they launched their season.

    "That week (after the grand final), we never really even got to celebrate because of the speculation (surrounding Hasler)," Watmough said. "Whoever said we got to celebrate our grand-final victory is kidding himself. We never got to enjoy it because the speculation started after the grand final. But that's footy. We'll use that as a bit of motivation, as much as we can."

    The co-captain, Jason King, added: "It was confronting at the time, and the timing of it all was a bit of an issue. It took a lot of the players by surprise, and there was a fair bit of shock. But we got over it fairly quickly. We had a chat the first couple of days we were back at training, and realised that if we constantly focussed on it, dwelled on it, we weren't going to move progress forward as a team, and a group of men. It was put to bed then and to tell you the truth, it hasn't been mentioned at all since that day.

    "We're just concentrating on being the best rugby league team that we can, with a new coach."

    With that in mind, the Sea Eagles players are certainly not concerned about being written off as this year's grand-final winners; something which is almost unheard of for the defending premiers.

    "It's nothing we focus on or even discuss," King said. "I think at the start of last year they had us at $26, and we won the competition."
  2. Brookie4eva

    Brookie4eva Well-Known Member

    +175 / 1
    FFS, the media last year was ripping into the club for not moving on from the start of 2009, why can't the media move on and stop bringing it up all the time too.

    I'm sure there were so many better things to mention than keep refering to De$ or the crap we had to deal with in 2009.
  3. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +2,115 / 14
    At least the SMH reported on it, no mention in the telegraph

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