NRL 2023: Manly Sea Eagles season review

DUFFMAN

Bencher

NRL 2023: Manly Sea Eagles season review​

Story by Mark Molyneux • 6h



NRL 2023: Manly Sea Eagles season review
NRL 2023: Manly Sea Eagles season review© Provided by Sporting News

Do you ever get the feeling like you’ve been here before? For Manly the sense of déjà vu must have been overwhelming when they watched Tom Trbojvic come reeling out of a tackle during Origin II.
Their talisman’s season had been cut short through injury yet again and with it, the Sea Eagles’ hopes of featuring in the finals went up in smoke as his Sky Blue jersey was fashioned into a makeshift sling while he exited stage left.


Did the Sea Eagles over-deliver or under-deliver in 2023?

The Sea Eagles UNDER-DELIVERED this season despite losing their star fullback to a torn pectoral and having to contend with a new regime with plenty of inexperienced players.

Following a disappointing campaign last year, the club’s powerbrokers decided it was time to rip it up and start all over again with Des Hasler moved on and Kieran Foran also jettisoned to the Glitter Strip.
MORE: Gold Coast Titans season review - Justin Holbrook axed as club fails to impress
Anthony Seibold took over the reins, while Josh Schuster was entrusted to make the No.6 jersey his own. The results were decidedly mixed as both men struggled at times in their new positions to get Manly moving in the right direction.
Meanwhile, in the familiar confines of Trbojevic’s absence, Manly lost four of 12 matches.

When did it fall apart for the Sea Eagles?

Apart from the aforementioned moment when Trbojevic was injured during representative duty, it is hard to pin-point a precise game where Manly looked finished.
The Sea Eagles were incredibly inconsistent and could never string more than two wins together all season.
Early in the year they put on a gritty performance against the Storm which brought back memories of old Manly sides scrapping it out at Brookvale, only to go down with a whimper to the Titans just two weeks after the win over Melbourne.
They would continue to swing from one extreme to the other with a 58-18 win over the Dolphins followed by a 34-4 loss to the Eels.
After bagging wins over the Sharks and Dragons as the home straight came into view, Manly then lost three games in a row for the first time in the season to slide out of contention for the top eight.

The best period to be a Sea Eagles fan


Manly’s best two spells were at the bookends of the campaign with Seibold’s time in charge starting with a bang when they posted 31 points against Canterbury in the opening round.
They then edged Parramatta in a high-scoring affair which saw Schuster bag three try assists as he and Turbo combined to blow apart the Eels.
The Samoan international appeared set to explode but that match at 4 Pines Park on a Thursday night proved to be as good as it got for the young gun in 2023.
A one-point loss to the Bunnies and another high-scoring affair with Newcastle, which ended in a draw, marked the first month of action with all signs pointing towards Seibold’s side being able to post plenty of points and mix it with the best. Although, it didn’t exactly work out like that.
With the pressure then relieved as finals footy slipped out of their grasp at the end of the year, Manly put 42 points on the Bulldogs and 54 points on the Tigers to provide a bit of late entertainment.

Shining light: Daly Cherry-Evans

While everyone and everything else falters all around him, Daly Cherry-Evans just keeps on keeping on.
The Manly skipper is the picture of consistency and was once again the support beam which held up the side throughout the year alongside Jake Trbojevic.
The 34-year-old is in the twilight of his career but that doesn’t mean his impact is being reduced with the halfback continuing to be incredibly reliable as he notched over 20 NRL appearances for the seventh year in a row.
In fact, across his decorated 13-year career, DCE has made less than 20 matches in a season just once and that was in 2016 when he played 19 games.
Cherry-Evans scooped the Roy Bull 'Best and Fairest' Award at the end of the season after constantly coming up with the big play for his teammates.
He joins Jake Trbojevic and Glenn Stewart as being three-time recipients of the accolade.
MORE: Every club's Player of the Year and award winners

Daly Cherry-Evans 2023 NRL stats

Games22
Tries9
Try Assists18
Linebreak Assists19
Forced Drop Outs16
Avg. Run Metres88m
Tackle Efficiency92%

Will the Sea Eagles improve in 2024?

After slipping into disarray at the end of last season following the pride jersey drama which threatened to destroy the club, Manly flipped the script in 2023 with a promising finish to the year as they finished in 12th spot.
Admittedly their back-to-back victories came against the lowly Bulldogs and Tigers, but the performances of a number of young guns caught the eye and hinted at a brighter future on the Northern Beaches next season despite falling one place on the ladder compared to last year.
Tolu Koula took his opportunity in the No.1 jersey to make good on his frightening potential and played so well discussion was sparked about Turbo being moved into the centres to accommodate him.
That shouldn’t happen, but it is at least comforting to know that if disaster strikes again in 2024, Manly have a ready-made replacement who could pick the club up off the canvas if Turbo is absent.
Meanwhile, Luke Brooks’ arrival from Concord should also ease some of the attacking burden on DCE.

Sea Eagles player movements 2024

Gains: Luke Brooks, Tommy Talau, Jaxson Paulo
Losses: Samuela Fainu
Unsigned: Aaron Woods, Brad Parker, Ethan Bullemor, Kaeo Weekes, Morgan Boyle, Morgan Harper, Raymond Vaega
 

StuBoot

Bencher
No mention of the massive injuries to our forward pack, that was what killed our second wind.
Yep, it's the usual simplistic narrative.
Take three props out of any squad, a star fullback and add a dysfunctioning 5/8 and see how you go?
Also Jake was missing for around 4-5 weeks too - say what you like but he's the glue in the middle.

The Knights coach was about to get the flick until Ponga came alive.
Take Walsh out of the Broncs for an extended time as well as Haas and Flegler and see how they go?
Mitchell out at Souffs and Walker loses his mojo too.
Cowboys couldn't back it up without Drinkwate and Taumalolo for extended periods.

Same for most squads.

We keep getting told how close and even the comp is and it is, we missed the 8 by two games and the Knights are on a 10 game streak...it could've so easily been the other way round...another week and the Raiders probably miss out too.
Whilst serviceable, players like Woods and Vaega played way more first grade than they should've, Bully was used as a bench prop because there was nothing else.
 
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BOZO

Journey Man
Tipping Member
Yep, it's the usual simplistic narrative.
Take three props out of any squad, a star fullback and add a dysfunctioning 5/8 and see how you go?
Also Jake was missing for around 4-5 weeks too - say what you like but he's the glue in the middle.

The Knights coach was about to get the flick until Ponga came alive.
Take Walsh out of the Broncs for an extended time as well as Haas and Flegler and see how they go?
Mitchell out at Souffs and Walker loses his mojo too.
Cowboys couldn't back it up without Drinkwate and Taumalolo for extended periods.

Same for most squads.

We keep getting told how close and even the comp is and it is, we missed the 8 by two games and the Knights are on a 10 game streak...it could've so easily been the other way round...another week and the Raiders probably miss out too.
Whilst serviceable, players like Woods and Vaega played way more first grade than they should've, Bully was used as a bench prop because there was nothing else.
Excuses for failure never become the blueprint for success
and this is why we never made the finals

For every excuse for failure they are solutions and better choices for success

Make the most affective team selections choices from your NRL 30 squad and see how you Go
Koula proved to be a live wire fullback but that choice was made in the last few rounds

Get the best out of underperforming players and see how you Go
Get Schuster playing under a Bellamy and see how he goes
and If he does not go . See how long he lasts disrupting the team before being replaced

Make the most out of your salary cap signings and see how you Go
And choices like the Slow Woods on your impact bench you have no impact and you are not not going anywhere

The moral of the story
Better choices gets you better results
No organisation hire and pay people to make excuses for failure
They hire and pay people to find solutions and get results
and in the end they fire the ones that do not deliver
THE FACT IS
NO EXCUSES HAVE EVER SAVED A FAILING CEOS OR COACHES JOB
Keep making excuses for failure and you are Fcked
 
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AlxFromNthNarra

Rarely does big posts worth reading....maybe
This review reads like someone who didn't watch any of the games, simplified the context to 1 major injury (Turbo), and just reviewed the season on paper for highights/lowlights.

Agree with @Stuey Davis’s Socks - I could coax this review out of chatGPT with only a few inputs.
 

Seagles68

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member

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