The Missus and I went down to WIN on Saturday and these are a few snippets from what we observed. I agree with a lot of what has been said on this forum and have tried not to be too repetitive. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ There were heaps of Manly supporters there which was great to see and reminded me of the mid nineties when we had a large contingent of travelling fans. That is the reason the crowd was quite good. I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t think IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢m being biased with an estimate of 2-3,000 Manly supporters in the total of 16,000. We arrived with about 15 to go in Premier League with the Dragons up 14-10. From the back of the hill we heard a reasonable cheer go up and thought bugger it, another Saints try. Lo and behold, Manly had actually scored. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ The Dragon supporters are also low on confidence and it took ages for them to find any voice. It wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t until it got to about 26-6 that they made some noise. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ Taking a penalty goal when youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re up 8-6 said it all. (IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ll forgive them for the first shot at nil all). You could feel how nervous the team and supporters were about Manly getting into the game. Unfortunately, with the penalties and the dropped ball they never gave themselves a shot. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ I agree with many others that it was apparent that we didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t capitulate towards the end of the match. This is an important difference to previous years. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ The other score lines (Nth Qld, Melb etc) did make us feel better but not that much. This is because we have been raised to expect more. LetÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s hope the players also expect more from themselves. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ In my opinion, Kite was our best. Watmough also ran hard but his hands let him down. I thought Sam Harris looked good on Saturday. He was one of the only forwards to consistently get himself through the line a bit. Unfortunately he couldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t get his arms free.. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ The Duck is getting more hard yards this year after building up a bit in the off season. (He also knocked off Matt Peterson in the Boots ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ All ten pin bowling challenge on Sunday. Love the DK Lillee headband Duck!) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ We have huge doubts that Steppa will ever be true 1st grade standard. ThereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s already been enough said in various debates on the different sites. The 70 year old woman sitting next to me on the Hill kept saying ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“whoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s that No 4??ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? every time some one went through or around him. She was a Manly supporter originally from South West Rocks currently staying with her daughter in the Gong. Good on ya Granny! ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ The attack must get deeper to give the backs some space to use their pace and skills. God IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢d like to see a few of the long range tries we scored last year. Des has obviously come up with an approach this year that is based around defence as the cornerstone. Good defence and just as importantly, good handling, is why we won the first three matches. It is effective but youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ve got to implement it well to consistently win. The 2nd half handling on Saturday was the worst I can remember in years. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ Despite our good start our brand of footy, while solid, is well below some of the other teams at present. As Sue put it on another thread, we are realistically a 5-8th place team at present. Keep your perspective around that benchmark. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ Driving back to Sydney we were noticeably calmer than in previous seasons after a loss. This was a pleasant discovery and comes from having greater confidence in our team this year. I know itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s not about to all fall apart because IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ve seen a consistent substance to our play. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ Looking forward to a big crowd and a big win next Sunday.