Nate Myles admits the new look Sea Eagles forward pack remains a ‘work in progress’.
International forwards Myles, Lewis Brown, and Martin Taupau were just some of the big names recruited for 2016 to add muscle to the Sea Eagles, yet the forwards have failed to dominate in the opening two losses to the Bulldogs and the Wests Tigers.
“We haven’t hit our target, we haven’t helped ourselves,’’ Myles said.
“Both first half halves we have managed to knock up the tally count on our tackles. With the (new) interchange rule, we have got to be a bit smarter with that because we are just gassing ourselves early and trying to hang on.
“We are a work in progress. Our boys are fit enough and strong enough, they can play the minutes they are asked. We are just making it hard for ourselves.”
Myles said the side were hoping to build on the positives taken from the Tigers game when they tackle Cronulla Sutherland Sharks at Brookvale Oval on Monday night.
“We did enough to win, we scored enough points, but our defence isn’t up to scratch at the moment,’’ he added.
“There are a few things we just need to tone up a little bit. We just need to stick together. We are two games in but we are still getting a lot of positives out of a new side.
“Although we are not getting the wins, we are getting better and we look forward to a challenge against a good side this week. Cronulla are playing some fantastic footy. I thought they were outstanding on the weekend.”
Myles also dismissed talk of any ‘heat’ on star half-back Daly Cherry-Evans from the first two rounds as unfair.
“Daly is a fantastic footballer and I have no doubt that his footy will do the talking,’’ Myles said.
“I don’t think Daly has any reason to have heat on him at the moment. We all have got to have ‘heat’ on us.
“(Coach) Trent (Barrett) has already shown he is not shy to make some changes and for all of us, it is a good thing to know.”
Myles also paid tribute to the outstanding performance from prop Brenton Lawrence against the Tigers in his first NRL game after missing the majority of last season with a back injury.
“Brenton is a fantastic slogan for us at the moment. His work ethic, his ability to turn a negative into a positive, it showed in his performance,’’ Myles said.
“It was the Brenton of old. He had leg speed, he had drive, he created a bit of second phase play for us, and he kept us in the game.
“It was a special effort for him to get back and play first grade again after a pretty serious injury.”