Tip sheet: 10 talking points for the Sea Eagles in 2023

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BOZO

Journey Man
Tipping Member
The Sea Eagles had a finish to forget in 2022 with off-field controversy spilling onto the paddock before Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler was shown the door in the off-season.

A season-ending shoulder injury to Tom Trbojevic started the woes before a seven-game losing streak to end the year capped a disappointing campaign overall.

Backs against the wall​

Des Hasler is gone, the off-field dramas at Manly are in full swing. The positive? It's happening in October and November. The club has five months to sort it out and for the players, turn their attention to the performances on-field.

Which, for the end of the year, were underwhelming.

The pride jersey saga no doubt took its toll in the long run but this club when everything and everyone is against them, has shown resilience better than most.

Expect that to show, especially under a new leader. The question is, how quickly can it? How much damage is done and when will it all be put behind them?

A time to regenerate​

Seibold's arrival will give the Sea Eagles a fresh start, something the club hasn't properly had since Des Hasler re-joined the club in 2019.

Hasler had his own coaching methods, unique to the NRL, but whether they worked in the current climate of an ever-evolving competition, was the question at Manly.

That's an area where Seibold should be able to flourish, having sat out the past two seasons while also working in some sections of the media and helping coach England in rugby union.

All those skills will be valuable when he takes over in November.

Seibold's point to prove​

The Sea Eagles have a point to prove as a side, and so will Anthony Seibold as an NRL coach.

Seibold's head coaches journey started positively at South Sydney but quickly went downhill during his time at Brisbane.


Regardless of who was to blame for the Broncos' downfall, Seibold has been waiting patiently for another opportunity and will walk into a squad that is full of talent.

He won't have a lot of time to get things right in the pre-season but given Manly's position overall, he'll have enough time to be given a decent stint at turning the club around.

Seibold and the Sea Eagles have history, he was one of the club's assistant coaches under Trent Barrett in 2016 before shifting to the Rabbitohs.

Tom Turbo back to full fitness​

Manly's hopes will rest on Tom Trbojevic's shoulders again in 2023 and for Sea Eagles fans, or even those who just marble at the fullback's skill, here's hoping his injured shoulder is ready to carry that load next year.

Trbojevic has proven the mental side of the game doesn't affect him but coming back from a shoulder reconstruction it would be natural for him to be tentative at first.

The Sea Eagles were forced to play without him for the second half of the 2022 season and have a terrible record without the Dally M medal winner, recording a win record of 30%.

A Sea Eagle for life​

Daly Cherry-Evans will finish his career as a one-club player in 2025 after the club confirmed a new two-year contract extension that will take him through until 2025.

At 33, DCE is still at the top of his game both at the Sea Eagles and representative level with the Maroons and Kangaroos.

The Sea Eagles captain enjoyed career-highs in several stats areas in 2022 despite the side's disappointing campaign overall. He produced more kick metres per game on average than ever before with 442.73 and forced 24 dropouts.

Cherry-Evans should notch up 300 games in 2023 after a career that has seen minimal injuries.

While Cherry-Evans is in the team, the Sea Eagles won't be shy of leadership with his re-signing a huge boost to all those around him.

Schuster's time to shine​

Josh Schuster's highlights reel during his junior days at five-eighth for the Sea Eagles should have every fan optimistic about what lies ahead.

The departure of Kieran Foran has opened the door for Schuster to own the No.6 jersey, something he's wanted since coming into first grade.


Schuster struggled in 2022 with injuries after moving into the back-row under Hasler to play next to Foran and his weight blew out as a result.

However, his decision to knock back a trip to the UK for the World Cup is a positive one for Manly with the 23-year-old training hard over the off-season in a bid to make sure he's ready to make the most of his opportunity.

Koula a star in making​

Tolu Koula took advantage of Manly's mixed season to be among the shining lights for the club in 2022.

He racked up 20 appearances for the Sea Eagles with his purple patch of form coming between Round 14 and 22.

He crossed for six tries in his maiden season and added 72 tackle busts to his tally.

With Trbojevic occupying the No.1 jersey, Koula has the potential to own the right centre spot for years to come after making a strong first impression.


Garrick's value vital​

Reuben Garrick's future is edging closer to being resolved but his value to Manly shouldn't be questioned with the winger filling in for Tom Trbojevic at fullback and looking the part throughout the season.

Garrick's personal year didn't reach the great heights like 2021, where he produced a record-breaking points season for the Sea Eagles, but with Jason Saab's ACL injury and Jorge Taufua departing, they can't afford to lose him.

Fellow winger Christian Tuipulotu also had a breakout season with 11 tries in 19 games and will look to build on his first full season in first grade next year.


Haumole's re-signing boost​

In a period of uncertainty and angst, it hasn't stopped Tongan forward Haumole Olakau'atu from adding an extra season onto his long-term contract to go through until at least the end of 2025.

This is positive news for the club given the current disruptions going on, Olakau'atu could've easily held off given he was already contracted for a further two seasons.

The 24-year-old has quickly become one of the most destructive back-rowers in the game with his combination alongside Daly Cherry-Evans getting better with every game.

Sea Eagles prop Sean Keppie has also signed a long-term deal in October, in another tick of approval for the club.


The case for Jake​

If you're ever going to question whether a squad of players don't care about the predicament they're in, look no further than Jake Trbojevic showing the passion and emotion towards his teammates either on the field or in the sheds.

The heart and soul of the club, Trbojevic is the man to lead the side forward, particularly in the pack where there has been changes over the past few seasons.

But as for on-field performance, Trbojevic had the quietest season of his NRL career with his numbers dipping from previous years.

Notably, while Trbojevic's defensive game has remained strong, his attacking side has suffered in recent seasons under Des Hasler.

In the four years before Hasler's arrival the 28-year-old produced 65 offloads and was a threat in attack while churning out plenty of work in defence.

He managed just 19 in four seasons following under Hasler, including just three offloads in the past two years.

If anyone might benefit from the Sea Eagles' call to bring in a new coach, it could be the Sea Eagles fan favourite, who is tied to the club until the end of 2026.
 
Good balanced article .... especially like his/her/it's comments regarding Jake's role in a Seibold team.
 
Good balanced article .... especially like his/her/it's comments regarding Jake's role in a Seibold team.
I hope Seibold can rejuvenate Jake who just seemed like a tackling machine just going through the motions


In the four years before Hasler's arrival the 28-year-old produced 65 offloads and was a threat in attack while churning out plenty of work in defence.

He managed just 19 in four seasons following under Hasler, including just three offloads in the past two years.
 

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