Are Manly REALLY a top 4 team?


Journey Man
I thought to put this question into perspective, I will look at the last 2 months (after bye, and after Origin) of football:-

Ok, we have the BYE next week. That's week one.

28th July, Manly played Parramatta with Parra having 12 men for fourty minutes, plus Tsoulos, Tahu, Tim Smith, Michael Vella, Paul Stringer & Wade Mcinnon all out. We were belted in the 1st 1/2, and we looked like a poorly coached team. We lost by 13. Week two against a team coming 10th. (Loss 31-18)

23rd July, Manly met a near full strength Penrith @ Brookvale Oval. Whilst it was Manly's second biggest come back of all time history, it doesn't really show a good testament of how poor we played @ Brookvale in the 1st half. Manly JUST scraped home against a team coming 11th at the time. Week three. (Win 32-30)

15th July, Manly met Rabbits at Rabbits home ground. Manly looked as though they controlled the game throughout, but severely dropped in intensity in the 2nd 1/2 to only JUST scrape home. If Ben Walker pulled a pass off that any normal 1/2 back would have eaten for dinner, we may have been only the 2nd team this season to lose to The Rabbits at the time. Week four. (Win 26-20) - Phew.

8th July, Manly play a very out of form Roosters. Frankly, Manly dominated for probably 70 minutes of that match, and was one of the better wins of the season. A desperate Roosters (coming 2nd last), at night, away, and with us under strength. That showed a glimmer of quality that Manly could be a top 4 team. We just needed to be consistent. Week five. (Win 33-16).

31st June (channel 9 game, and a chance for us to show publicly we can be a force), Manly play Newcastle @ Brookvale Oval. Again, Newcastle were a tad out of form, and used us to play themselves back into a winning way. The crowd was a little daunted after losing the previous two games. We definitely had lost our fortress mentality by that stage. Our defence didn't come up, and we looked to lack attacking direction. Excuses being used were injuries to key players. Week six. (Loss 26-12).

25th June, Sunday arvo at Brookvale, against a team that has appaulling results at Brooky. Brisbane would have to break a very long term hoodoo to beat us. Like is as the case with Manly 2006, we played for patches, and again had to come from behind.
Unfortunately for the Brookvale faithful, Manly lost at home, on a Sunday afternoon, with the fans desperate to see a glorious win. There were a few shocking defensive flaws for all to see with certain players in this game. Week 7 (Loss 16-10).

17th June, Manly versus Sharks at Shark Park. While the result was close, Manly's kicking game and back three were terrible. We never looked like we were in the game, and our forwards were dominated. As with most other games this year, we had a few players (they know who they are) who carried the rest of the team. Week 8. (Loss 15-12).

Now Manly have the bye, and face Newcastle @ Newcastle, Melbourne in Melbourne, and The Bulldogs @ Brookvale (with Souths and co. in there as well). I am very concerned Manly may miss the finals all together on for and against, as teams like Parramatta are springing up the leaderboard. I also believe that with the personel we have, Manly should not only be winning around 50% of the games we play. I blame Des Hasler for that. Parramatta looked like a much better coached team (a theme that springs up quite often). Robertson at Fullback? Certain players picked week after week?

Unfortunately, Manly are still in the middle tier group of teams. I just hope (much like last year) we aren't spectators as a group fore the rest of the year.

Another thing springs to ming. Why was Beaver, Choc & Stewart laughing the guts up on the sideline, when we were being smashed? I remember Mason, Williams & Matua when we played The Bulldogs absolutely filthy that Manly were winning.

Anyways - that's my say. I hope some can appreciate the realism, and I also hope some can give constructive feedback.


Reserve Grader
I Think a Better Indication will be when we are Back to Full strength ,which we havent been for quite awhile ,considering the quality of players we have had out we Have not been that Bad


Journey Man
One thing in our favour is that we have won ugly with a ot of very good players missing and we sit in 5th/6th.

The real test of our mettle will come after the bye when we are back at full strength but with a difficult run home.

If we stagger through those 4 weeks you can probably put a line through us for 2006. If we win 3 or 4 of those then we will be feared in the finals.


First Grader
We are a top 6 side imo. We may not have been playing the best in recent weeks but when you consider our 5 or 6 best players have been out injured or playing injured (Orford & Kennedy) we have done pretty well. If you take out players of that class from any side they would struggle.

Looking at the current scores we still may only be 2 points out of 4th place at the end of this weekend, however I cant see us beating Newcastle & the Dogs to claim a top 4 spot.

Another positive is that we have never thrown in the towel this season and had a flogging, even with our best players out. We always seem to be competive, that gives me a little confidence come finals time.


First Grader
My worry is the slow start to every match. What is that about? We seem good at playing catch-up but we shouldn't be relying on this to come from behind because when we take on a good side we can't. We certainly looked tired and jaded at Parra on Saturday night. They looked crisp, purposeful and determined to win, while we didn't. Is it the coach who should take a good hard look at himself in that room of mirrors?


Manly won't be serious top four material until the depth is improved, there's 15 or so good/decent first graders there and the rest are fringe first graders at best, you can't be dominate for 26 weeks with that unless you have a dream run with injuries/suspensions.

Canteen Worker

First Grader
The games against the Dogs, Knights and Storm will tell. With 10 points left on offer (with a bye and the Bunnies in there as well) we will need at least six but more likely 8 to be a top 4 team.

Not impossible but we will have to lift. Mind you to do something in the semis we have to beat the same sides so it is now time to stand up and show what is the real Manly. With the good guys back we will have no excuses.


Winging it
If I was a betting man (which i am) I would say we will NOT make the top 4. I have a bet from the beginning of the season which is for exactly that and I just can't see me collecting. The bookies currently have us at $2.75 to make the 4 so the real money has spoken.

Everyone keeps saying that we are missing the full team. How often does any of the top teams field a full strength outfit? Not often and yet they manage to claw the wins each week. We should have beaten the slimes on the weekend yet just weren't up to it. Watmough is out and I hear cries of our defense is now down, but the reality is that his form is down and I doubt it would make a difference. Beaver obviously will. I said it once before, but take out BK and we would be sitting 12th.


Reserve Grader
If we end up finishing in the top 6 then it will be a successful season.We dont have the playing roster of the Broncos,Storm,Dragons or the Bulldogs.....yet,so any improvement on last season's 8th place finish,in my opinion,will be looked on as a success.

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