Headed out today to watch Manly play Wenty in NSW Cup at Ringrose Park. With Wenty's position on the table it was always going to be a tricky game for Manly to win. That said I was interested to see how Ricciardi and others played, as there were a few on standby after origin for first grade. For those who don't want to read my report, the news isn't good. END SCORE Wenty won 58 - 18 Tries: R Wollaghan, T Robinson, N Skinner Conversions: L Higgins 3 .................. You'll need to excuse me a little as I don't know all the players names. Michael Oldfield didn't play, so Ben Falcone started at fullback, with Jamie Anderson in the centres, and Domenic Nasso on the wing. For the first half Manly were in the game, despite looking a little flat at times. Manly had numerous chances to score more points, but bombed tries at crucial times. Trent Reilly dropped a sitter which had Manly right on the Magpies line. Jamie Anderson had Falcone outside him with a hole big enough to drive a truck through, and hogged the ball instead. Second half they made a few key changes (Nasso back to fullback, Anderson and Falcone on the same wing). With Wenty forwards bashing away it wasn't long before things went from bad to worse. Falcone and Anderson had the worst defensive reads I have ever seen. Half the time the winger was so far in field he may as well been playing in the second row. Wenty exploited this badly and really hammered that side of the field. Once it got to about 32-18 Manly seemed to all but give up. Nasso, Riccardi, Robinson, Annear and Skinner dug hard but it was beyond the point of no return and the floodgates opened. Numerous times Nasso found himself with a two on one overlap and powerless to prevent a try. Annear put on a few good hits during the game, but it wasn't enough. Once the big men from Wenty hit the line or offloaded before it, they'd go straight through the first line of defence. The other tactic they were using was pushing the ball one way, then spreading it quickly to the Anderson/Falcone side of the field, catching them completely out of position, and strolling over the line. If news can get any worse, whilst Gary Riccardi did finish the game, he was clutching at the hamstring/knee and hobbling towards the end of the game. Not sure how bad the injury might be, but he didn't seem too comfortable out there. All in all Manly didn't turn up today it was only the clock that stopped the game really blowing out. Wenty played okay, nothing really spectacular, and certainly with Shackleton and Roberts ($400k a season odd of NSW Cup playing brilliance) didn't really impress as much as I'd have thought the side would. With Roberts performance today I wouldn't say he played himself back into first grade, Shackleton either. With Manly's performance, nobody would push for a first grade promotion (except in positions where players wouldn't be dropped). One huge thumbs up though goes to Tim Mannah in the crowd who was signing autographs for kids, and when approached by two kids to play pass the ball with them at half time, joined in. It's great to see players giving their fans the time of day. Tough day at the office in all grades for Manly it seems. Ahh well you'll bounce back I'm sure.