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Mid season Report

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Simonmyers11, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. Simonmyers11

    Simonmyers11 Well-Known Member

    +3,570 /133
    Sea Eagles Mid-Season Review
    Wed 10 Jun, 2015, 6:55pm
    By Andrew Bryan, EMAIL


    A decade of success could come to an abrupt end with little more than a whimper this season for a Manly Sea Eagles side plagued with injuries and off-field bickering. While critics believed the Sea Eagles would struggle in 2015 with the departures of long-serving stalwarts Glenn Stewart and Anthony Watmough, few could have predicted the Sea Eagles would sit last on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder at the halfway point of the season with a 3-9 record.

    Player movements have dominated headlines since December, with Kieran Foran opting to leave the club at the end of the year to join the Eels and halfback Daly Cherry-Evans agreeing to a highly publicised move from Manly to the Gold Coast, only to renege just before the Round 13 deadline to declare himself a Sea Eagle for life.

    Coach Geoff Toovey has faced the same heightened scrutiny, with the club legend seemingly a dead man walking despite leading the Sea Eagles to a grand final, preliminary final and a one-point semi-final loss in his three years in charge.

    For Manly fans, it has truly been a year to forget after an unprecedented era for the club where they have made the finals every year since 2005.

    The run home: A four-round stretch from Round 19-22 could be make or break for the Sea Eagles as they clash with four top-eight sides in a row.

    The Sea Eagles will need to win all six games against the lowly ranked teams and hope to jag a couple of wins against Rabbitohs (Round 16), Cowboys (Round 19), Warriors (Round 20), Broncos (Round 21), Rabbitohs (Round 22) and Roosters (Round 25) if they are to sneak into the finals.

    After the Round 20 clash with the Warriors across the Tasman, Manly's furthest road trip for the final six rounds will be Canberra.

    Game to remember: With only three wins in the books, games for Manly to remember have been few and far between this season. Two of those victories have come against longstanding rivals and competition high flyers Melbourne, both by just two points. Without those wins, Manly would have started the season 0-8.

    The one that got away: A one-point loss to the Panthers at Brookvale Oval in Round 10, followed by a heart-breaking 18-14 loss to the Cowboys a week later when the Sea Eagles led for all but two minutes of the contest, could prove to be the season-defining games. The competition points lost in those consecutive games is the difference between sitting pretty in ninth and being anchored to the bottom of the ladder.

    MVP: Off the field Daly Cherry-Evans has dominated headlines all season, but on the field, he has been arguably Manly's best. Instrumental in their victories and often their best in losing efforts, the media scrutiny hasn't affected his efforts on the field. Manly's No.7 has the fifth most try assists of any player in the competition, not bad for a team coming 16th.

    Stats that matter: Manly have made the fewest kick return metres (1686), the second-fewest line breaks (31) and fourth fewest completed sets (330) in the competition. Their inability to penetrate the line or get their sets off to a good start has been a constant downfall this season.

    Fantasy stud: Daly Cherry-Evans is the standout, averaging a whopping 61 points per game to easily top Manly's list. Blake Leary has been the surprise packet of the year, averaging a respectable 43.4 points and rising in value $152,000 for smart or lucky Fantasy coaches.

    Injury report: The tale of the Sea Eagles' campaign is laid bare in the injury department. Kieran Foran was injured in the opening game of the season and it has been a long tale of woe ever since. Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Brett Stewart, Jamie Lyon, Steve Matai, Jamie Buhrer, Tom Trbjoveic, Clinton Gutherson, Josh Starling and Brenton Lawrence have all spent extended stints on the sidelines, with Manly unable to keep the same 13 let alone 17 on the park at any stage during the season. Geoff Toovey would pull his hair out, if he had any.

    What they are saying: "We can't afford to keep giving quality sides easy field position," coach Geoff Toovey said.

    "We thought the last month of football we have played some good footy, there have just been specific areas of games that have let us down. When you aren't winning matches it is pretty hard, it just tends to snowball and things don't go your way."

    Predicted finish: It just hasn't been their season and while they have the potential to make a late-season charge, the record indicates the Sea Eagles will continue to struggle in 2015. The club has never won the wooden spoon since its inception in 1947, so we'll back them to do enough to avoid it, without troubling the top eight. 14th.

    I found the stats about Manly having made the fewest kick return metres, the second fewest line breaks and 4th worst completion rate compelling. There has been so much criticism of the forwards, and while I agree they have struggled with go forward, I cannot knock their effort. I feel they are having a real go each week. I am more disappointed with the efforts of our star studded back line. Yes, you need go forward to give the backs space, but we have been in great attacking positions many times this year and our normal fluent, crisp back line has been no existent.

    Like the stats suggest, lethargic kick returns, handling errors, bad positional play in defence. Lyon and Matai have had very average years in both defence and attack this year, playing injured, but looking so slow. I worry more about teams going around us out wide then through the middle.

    If Manly can get their back line in order and sure up that fringe defence and are able to convert some more points in attacking positions we are not that far off winning games.

    Look at the ladder. Could of been right in that game against Broncos who are coming first. Then we had the Cowboys beat and lost it at the death. They are coming second. We should of beat the panthers the week before. We beat Melbourne twice who are coming third. And this is a team with injuries and playing not to their best. I still see us competing for a top 8 position if they can keep a near full strength side for the remainder of the year and get on a roll with a few wins and get that confidence back.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Fluffy

      Fluffy Well-Known Member

      +5,623 /204
      Good summation.

      We should get a few more back on deck and up to match fitness in the next month so should keep improving.
      • Like Like x 1
      • HappilyManly

        HappilyManly MWTS Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

        +19,029 /367
        Snake's lack of meters is apalling, as is his goal line defense.:cool:
        Compared with every fullback in the NRL, who regularly run 200, he is yet to do so this year.:mad:
        The tackles he used to regularly pull off to defend our line is now gone :(

        Taufua, Jake, Mateo and Leary have also missed weeks through injury.
        14 out of Top 25 is a huge dent in 2v's ability to get the cohesion for the momentum required to win games
        Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
      • Simonmyers11

        Simonmyers11 Well-Known Member

        +3,570 /133
        I think all the backs (except DCE) need to lift, especially working it out of our own 50m zone. Need to make more metres and quicker play the balls, work for a penalty. The handling and finishing is what has also cost us this last month. We could of easily won another 3 games. The forwards have been solid (nothing amazing) but holding their own and their have been periods in the games where Manly have been way on top and not converted that dominance into points. Handling errors and lapses in concentration has what has cost us recently, not the go forward.

        Against the Broncos, all those first half tries came on the back of dropped bombs and knock-on's. Then we some how got back in the match and should of came within 4 points but for another handling error and been on top. Add further errors, Lyons injury and some bad luck and another game lost. Same with Cowboys and Matai's missed tackle which cost us a win. Had plenty of possession and field territory to beat Panthers and put them away but couldn't and that was another game we should of won - but somehow lost!!

        Not having an 80% goal kicker has also hurt. Been a couple of games this year we have scored the same number of tries as the opposition but lost on conversions. We even scored more tries than st george and couldn't kick one conversion.
      • HoldenV8

        HoldenV8 Well-Known Member

        +10,517 /173
        Unfortunately, since his numerous leg injuries, Snake's kick return metres have been on a steady decline for a few years now as he allows the wingers to do most of the work. He's still one of the best fullbacks going around, but when you look at other #1's around the NRL and how many metres they make for their sides through kick returns, his numbers are definitely not good (before last Sunday RTS was averaging close to 250 per game. Snake is yet to hit 100 in a game this season, his best being 92). He is still one of the best support players in the game and I don't think his defence has dropped all that much. Still knows how to score tries and is our leading scorer this season.

        Our wings leaked a lot of tries in the early rounds. Its been getting better, but Jorge is definitely a liability under the high ball. Opposition teams rarely kick to Peta's usually bomb safe wing when Jorge is ready to spill a bomb (or not even get near it) on the other side. I'm starting to wonder whether having Turbo Tommy on Jorge's wing with Jorge moving to the back row wouldn't be a bad idea. Jorge is a winger who plays like a forward anyway, and lord knows we need Tom's pace and skill in the side on a weekly basis. He's too good to be languishing in the U/20's or NSW Cup every other week.

        Before the season you'd have been hard pressed to find a better and more experienced centre pairing than Killer and Skivy. Unfortunately this season has seen Killer missing through injury more often than not, and it usually happens in games leaving us one short. And Skivy unfortunately rarely seems to come out of a tackle not clutching at his shoulder or neck. Younger, faster centres are also finding them easier to run around this year.

        Foran has been missing for most of the season, even when he wasn't out injured. Has shown life in the past 2 games, but its too little, too late I'm afraid. Hopefully his form of the past two weeks lasts for the rest of the year and improves (then dies in the arse at the Speels).

        I agree that DCE has probably been our best player this year. Out of form early on and playing injured, but he never gave up and played his way back into some form. Unfortunately hasn't had much help at 5/8 this year, nor has he been given much room to do anything by the forwards. Is again leading the NRL in 40/20's.....unfortunately we haven't been good enough to take advantage of that.

        The forwards have been good at times, but woeful at others. Jake Trbojevic has been the standout. Mason has been a bit of a flop and its baffling why he's in the starting 13. Burgess has been ok without ever getting above that. We missed Leary after Mason jumped on his back. Horo has been good at times. T-Red has spent more time covering injuries in the back than he has in the back row. The Matt Ballin tackling master class continues to roll along, but his lack of running game makes our attack predictable and we probably would benefit from having Hodges in the side. BJ and Star have been conspicuous by their absence, as has JSL. Ligi Sao has been good but has an alarming tendency at times to have 'Choc Hands'. And we are definitely missing Ferris.

        One thing that has definitely hurt us is not having a top line goal kicker, nor a good back up. Killer has kicked fairly well this year with 15/20, but at most other clubs he would probably be the back up kicker. That job (back up) was probably going to Gutho before his injury. We've also used Skivy, DCE, Peta and Wolf to kick. Goal kicking is definitely our weakest spot.

        I wish I knew what to do about the situation this team is currently in. A lot less injuries would help.....
        • Like Like x 1
        • Agree Agree x 1
        • The Who

          The Who Well-Known Member Premium Member

          +7,250 /173
          When you see how the Titans spread the ball, and the speed of their backs, its evident that our backline can no longer match it.
          Then there is our forwards: simply no intimidation. Where is our enforcer?
        • Simonmyers11

          Simonmyers11 Well-Known Member

          +3,570 /133
          Its no wonder Teams go around Manly with ease
          • Agree Agree x 1

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