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Foxsports review of 2011

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    With the finals series now done and dusted, it is time to pick apart the campaigns of those teams who finished in the top half of the competition and were given a shot at winning it all.

    A few weeks ago we looked at the NRL's beaten brigade and where things went wrong for them. Now we cast an eye over the teams who gave their fans more reason to laugh than cry.

    Foxsports.com.au presents the 2011 season review for the best teams in the league, assessing what they did right, why they fell short and what lies ahead for them in 2012.

    Read our season review for the NRL's final frontier and tell us about your club's prospects for next season by posting a comment at the bottom of the page.

    Manly (first)
    Season rating: 10/10 – a dominant season in a year not many expected them to shine.

    What went right: It was a season that ended perfectly and, for the most part, was a honeymoon experience from start to finish. The Sea Eagles reinforced themselves as one of the toughest teams in the NRL; no side was more miserly in metres allowed (1258 pg), while also scoring more points (23.4 pg) and tries (4.2 pg) than any other team. Forced to forge their second new halves combination in as many years, Manly didn’t miss a beat, welcoming Daly Cherry-Evans into the fold while also benefitting from having a mostly healthy Brett Stewart at the back.

    What went wrong: On the field, not a lot. However the club seemed unable to get out of their own way when it came to dealing with the NRL and rugby league public at large away from the game. From the ongoing Stewart saga and Des Hasler’s beef with the administration, Manly gave neutral fans all the more reason to dislike them in 2011.

    Standout performer: Glenn Stewart. With three rounds remaining, Stewart led the way in the Dally M Medal count. While his part in the Brookvale Brawl scuppered any hope of winning the top honour, the fact remains he was close to, if not the top player in 2011. A stunning back half to the season showcased his equally sublime ball-running and ball-playing abilities, making him the most dangerous forward in the game. On return from suspension, his Clive Churchill Medal seemed justified.

    Crystal ball: No team have repeated in a unified competition for almost two decades now, however Manly appear the most likely to come close. With Des Hasler at the helm for at least one more year, and with the nucleus of the side sticking together, only injury or similar unforeseen circumstances could stop the Sea Eagles being the major force of the 2012 premiership. Protect Cherry-Evans from the pitfalls of second-year syndrome, and Manly may be on the precipice of history.

    The rest at this link

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