Interesting observation from Phil Gould in the SMH... We are now a quarter of the way through the home and away season. Many people will say it is far too early to be analysing team's positions at the competition table. However, one thing is notable. Seven teams (Parramatta, Brisbane, North Queensland, Bulldogs, Melbourne, Souths and the Sharks) are all averaging conceding 16 points or less per match, in defence, through six rounds, whilst the remaining nine teams are averaging greater than 20 points per match in that department. The gap between the seventh-best defensive team (Sharks) and the eighth-best defensive team (Penrith) is currently a tick under five points per match. I write about this because a quick study of the final competition tables over the past five seasons (2011 to 2015) shows that no team conceding on average 16 points or less in a match through a season has missed the finals in this period. One team, (Canberra Raiders in 2012), has made the eight when averaging greater than 20 points per match. I'm sure for the teams outside the eight who have ambitions to play finals footy this year, the emphasis in the coming months has to be on defence because history is not on their side if they maintain their current average of points conceded per game. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/...to-hurt-us-20160412-go4ug4.html#ixzz45gSvQHLd Manly are currently 10th and have conceded 130 points (average of nearly 22 points per game) so in order for them to make the finals they will need to sure up their defence. So Barrett should be concentrating on this. If they can get this right then their attack should follow. Looking at Parramatta, they have conceded only 65 points (1st in the league at only 11 points per game). So it could be a tough ask for Manly. They will need to work out how to unsettle Parramatta's strong defence.