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To Improve or not to improve ?

BOZO

The Incomparable Immortal Bob Fulton
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I can see improvement

***Foran
At 9 we now have a player that can read the game well and can lead our team with the right options . The return of Fainu will also be a massive improvement
***Schuster
At 6 we now have the most exciting young prospect in the game that will turn the number six into sexy once again.
Tom , Walker Suli
In the backs we will have strike power once again
***Paseka
AFB is a big loss and we could not have a bigger and better replacement than the massive Paseka who is getting better every game and possibly become the best in the game
***Haumole Olakauato
Big and strong enough to give us some added punch in the back row
*** Some new signings to follow as well as some up and coming young stars like young Turbo competing for top spots

I grew up in the Newtown area and I did not follow league back then because the Jets players did nothing to Inspire me
These 2020 Manly players remind of the Jets players
Players that are tryers but not real flyers that are capable of getting their team flying into the finals and competing without Tom holding their hand in the back line
IMO these players are one of the most underwhelming backs that I have seen supporting our great club . The sooner we get more competitive back up players the sooner we can start competing once again then capitulating when we get injuries to our star player .
The proof in in the pudding as they say ...
Bottom
8
Back line
Funa
Hoppa
Parker
Harper
Garrick
Croker
 

tookey

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More importantly, how long after the "my body is the best it's felt in years" news article will it be before Foran breaks down with a season ending injury?
At least Schuster will be happy with this post
 

Mataiforerver

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Yes

Out: AFB and Thommo, then nuffies

In: Foran, hopefully Saab, Schuster regular game time, Cust more regular game time, Trbojevic and Dylan fit, Davey, Foran, hopefully Garner and most hopefully a hooker of any sorts.

Fit Tom --> Top 8 minimum
 

wombatgc

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More importantly, how long after the "my body is the best it's felt in years" news article will it be before Foran breaks down with a season ending injury?
How about a bit of reverse psychology from him at his first press conference for the year.....
" Too be honest, it’s a wonder I made it to the press conference without doing a season ending injury. I’m offering to pay out punters odds of 100/1 that I wont make it through two games in a row. Easy money.
I haven’t really been putting in the whole off season.....whats the point ya know.
The big decision for me next season is do I go back to my Thor/man bun look? This is what keeps me up at night."
 

wombatgc

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Also, if there’s no second tier comp, we will be farked.
 

mutley

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There is no chance in hell of foran playing hooker, hes a running 6 and thats why he has been signed, schuster will get his chances when foran is injured and out rounds 3-9, 16-19, 20-26 inclusive
 

Mr Manly 007

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I don’t see Manly improving at all . So far the roster is weaker for 2021 than it was this year. Hasler as coach needs to reinvent himself because the game has caught and passed him the past 5 or 6 years . Seriously we lost 13 games out of 20 this year - it’s embarrassing and people want to have themselves on that will will improve . I can’t see it and very few people outside the club see it when I ask their opinions & People who have coached NRL .
 

Mr Manly 007

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There is no chance in hell of foran playing hooker, hes a running 6 and thats why he has been signed, schuster will get his chances when foran is injured and out rounds 3-9, 16-19, 20-26 inclusive

you forgot about 10 weeks he will be out for in pre- season and getting injured in the warm up.
 

Mark from Brisbane

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I don’t see Manly improving at all . So far the roster is weaker for 2021 than it was this year. Hasler as coach needs to reinvent himself because the game has caught and passed him the past 5 or 6 years . Seriously we lost 13 games out of 20 this year - it’s embarrassing and people want to have themselves on that will will improve . I can’t see it and very few people outside the club see it when I ask their opinions & People who have coached NRL .

So maybe 5 games out of 26 in your opinion ??

That’s definitely wooden spoon territory isn’t it ??
 

Mr Manly 007

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So maybe 5 games out of 26 in your opinion ??

That’s definitely wooden spoon territory isn’t it ??

mate it’s a worry.
im very concerned- I even asked my mate Brian Smith how he could fix Manlys roster - or if he would . A quick reply of “no thanks”
 

Wombat64

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I didn't write this .... so don't blame me.

Tom Trbojevic’s injury issues were too big a hurdle for Manly to overcome in 2020.

His return will significantly boost the Sea Eagles’ finals hopes next season but they must find a way to win when their star fullback isn’t on the field.

Nick Campton takes a look at the key questions facing the Sea Eagles in 2021.

Kayo is your ticket to the best sport streaming Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

2020 ladder position: 13th

Ins: Jason Saab (Dragons), Christian Tuipulotu (Roosters), Josh Aloiai (Tigers), Kieran Foran (Bulldogs), Andrew Davey (Eels)

Outs: Danny Levi (released), Brendan Elliot (released), Joel Thompson (St Helens), Tony Williams (released), Corey Waddell (Bulldogs), Addin Fonua-Blake (Warriors)

Players in the 2020 Rich 100: 5 — 1. Daly Cherry-Evans ($1.25 million), 12. Tom Trbojevic ($900,000), 29. Jake Trbojevic ($800,000), 46. Marty Taupau ($700,000)

Coach status: Manly may have missed the finals last year but Des Hasler’s spot at Brookvale is still very safe.




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The two-time premiership winner signed a two-year contract extension with the club that should keep him at the Sea Eagles until the end of 2023, which should put him in striking distance of Bob Fulton’s record for most games as Manly coach.

The Sea Eagles cannot replace Tom Trbojevic but must find a way to win without him. Picture: AAP

The Sea Eagles cannot replace Tom Trbojevic but must find a way to win without him. Picture: AAP
What is their game plan, and how do they need to tweak: The Sea Eagles made the finals in 2019 despite a host of injuries and a top heavy roster mainly due to Hasler’s ability to draw good, consistent football out of unheralded players like Brendan Elliot and Corey Waddell while also helping the likes of the enigmatic Moses Suli make the most of their considerable ability.

However, 2020 proved there are limits to even what Hasler can accomplish – despite boasting a strong cadre of middles in Jake Trbojevic, Addin Fonua-Blake and Martin Taupau, as well as an Origin-calibre halfback in Daly Cherry-Evans, losing fullback Tom Trbojevic was enough to sink the season entirely.

Manly never recovered from losing their star custodian and his recent injury troubles gives them two problems to solve – how can they keep him on the field, and when he isn’t there how do they keep from falling apart? There is no replacing a player of Trbojevic’s calibre, but finding a reliable back-up should be a priority for Hasler over the off-season.

Where will Manly finish in 2021?

Results

Where will Manly finish in 2021?​


Top 4
18%

5-8
36%

9-12
36%

13-16
10%
379 Voters

How did they go in free agency: Kieran Foran’s return to Manly is the Sea Eagles’ highest-profile signing but their most important might be Josh Aloiai, who they snagged from the Tigers.

Addin Fonua-Blake’s discipline may have let him down at times, but he was the best forward at the Sea Eagles in terms of yardage and Aloiai faces a tough task to replace him. The Samoan international has been one of the NRL’s quiet improvers in recent years, but he must step things up again if he’s to live up to the billing.

Jason Saab and Christian Tuipulotu have joined from St George Illawarra and the Roosters respectively and given their potential don’t be surprised if they’re the starting wingers come Round 1. Back-rower Andrew Davey joins from Parramatta and helps round out the squad.

Will development contract upgraded kids make an impact: Tolu Koula and Kaeo Weekes are both exiting utility backs, but given Manly’s plethora of backline options they’re unlikely to come into first grade contention unless injury were to strike. Keep an eye on them both at the back end of the season but 2022 is more likely to be their year.

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans will resurrect his halves partnership with Kieran Foran. Picture: Getty Images

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans will resurrect his halves partnership with Kieran Foran. Picture: Getty Images
What players can they reinvent: When Foran left Manly at the end of 2015 he departed as one of the best players in rugby league for a lucrative deal with Parramatta after a heady bidding war between half the clubs in the NRL. Five years, three clubs and countless injuries later he returns to where everything began for one last chance at extending his career.

Foran’s football smarts and toughness have never been in question, but his body just hasn’t held up to the rigours of a full NRL season for a long time now – having said that, he can still form a good partnership with Cherry-Evans, which would also allow Dylan Walker to move out to the centres and boost Manly’s strike power.

Hasler bandied about the idea of Foran playing hooker for a time but asking Foran to handle the defensive duties in the middle of the field, given his injury history, shapes as a tall order.

Who takes the next step: A little over a year ago, Manly had the luxury of choosing between Api Koroisau and Manase Fainu as their dummy half. The Sea Eagles chose the impressive Fainu and allowed Koroisau to leave, only for the young rake to become embroiled in a court case that kept him sidelined through all of 2020 and could well keep him off the field for much of 2021.

Taking a shot at the stumps on Danny Levi didn’t work out, with the former Knight showing little of his best football in 2020, so now utility Cade Cust shapes as Manly’s first-choice hooker for Round 1. Cust is not without his talents — he’s a fine competitor with a good running game in the halves — but switching to hooker full-time will take some work and the Sea Eagles have little depth outside of the 22-year old.

The best 17 for next year:

1. Tom Trbojevic

2. Jason Saab

3. Dylan Walker

4. Brad Parker

5. Jorge Taufua

6. Kieran Foran

7. Daly Cherry-Evans

8. Marty Taupau

9. Cade Cust

10. Josh Aloiai

11. Curtis Sironen

12. Haumole Olakau’atu

13. Jake Trbojevic

14. Josh Schuster

15. Taniela Paseka

16. Jack Gosiewski

17. Sean Keppie

2021 squad: Morgan Boyle, Daly Cherry-Evans, Lachlan Croker, Cade Cust, Andrew Davey, Kieran Foran, Manase Fainu (stood down), Tevita Funa, Reuben Garrick, Jack Gosiewski, Morgan Harper, Sean Keppie, Haumole Olakau’ata, Brad Parker, Taniela Paseka, Jason Saab, Josh Schuster, Toafofoa Sipley, Curtis Sironen, Moses Suli, Jorge Taufua, Martin Taupau, Jake Trbojevic, Tom Trbojevic, Dylan Walker

Fox Sports Lab’s Aaron Wallace says: Manly won just 35 per cent of their matches in 2020 — Des Hasler’s worst ever season as an NRL coach. They conceded 40 points five times, and lost six games by 18 points or more. A poor season by anyone’s standards.

It seems that Tom Trbojevic will carry a lot of weight on his highly publicised problem hamstrings.

In the past two seasons Manly have won almost 74 per cent of the 19 games he has played, but just under 30 per cent of the 27 games he has missed. They are almost a 10-point better side defensively when he takes the field.

Finish the past five years: 13th, 6th, 15th, 6th, 13th

Odds are: Premiership – $17, top-four finish – $4.50, top-8 finish – $1.75, most losses – $26
 

Mark from Brisbane

“ Triggered Boomer”
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I didn't write this .... so don't blame me.

Tom Trbojevic’s injury issues were too big a hurdle for Manly to overcome in 2020.

His return will significantly boost the Sea Eagles’ finals hopes next season but they must find a way to win when their star fullback isn’t on the field.

Nick Campton takes a look at the key questions facing the Sea Eagles in 2021.

Kayo is your ticket to the best sport streaming Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

2020 ladder position: 13th

Ins: Jason Saab (Dragons), Christian Tuipulotu (Roosters), Josh Aloiai (Tigers), Kieran Foran (Bulldogs), Andrew Davey (Eels)

Outs: Danny Levi (released), Brendan Elliot (released), Joel Thompson (St Helens), Tony Williams (released), Corey Waddell (Bulldogs), Addin Fonua-Blake (Warriors)

Players in the 2020 Rich 100: 5 — 1. Daly Cherry-Evans ($1.25 million), 12. Tom Trbojevic ($900,000), 29. Jake Trbojevic ($800,000), 46. Marty Taupau ($700,000)

Coach status: Manly may have missed the finals last year but Des Hasler’s spot at Brookvale is still very safe.




FROM OUR PARTNERS

Stream Euphoria On Foxtel Now Watch every episode On Demand

The two-time premiership winner signed a two-year contract extension with the club that should keep him at the Sea Eagles until the end of 2023, which should put him in striking distance of Bob Fulton’s record for most games as Manly coach.

The Sea Eagles cannot replace Tom Trbojevic but must find a way to win without him. Picture: AAP

The Sea Eagles cannot replace Tom Trbojevic but must find a way to win without him. Picture: AAP
What is their game plan, and how do they need to tweak: The Sea Eagles made the finals in 2019 despite a host of injuries and a top heavy roster mainly due to Hasler’s ability to draw good, consistent football out of unheralded players like Brendan Elliot and Corey Waddell while also helping the likes of the enigmatic Moses Suli make the most of their considerable ability.

However, 2020 proved there are limits to even what Hasler can accomplish – despite boasting a strong cadre of middles in Jake Trbojevic, Addin Fonua-Blake and Martin Taupau, as well as an Origin-calibre halfback in Daly Cherry-Evans, losing fullback Tom Trbojevic was enough to sink the season entirely.

Manly never recovered from losing their star custodian and his recent injury troubles gives them two problems to solve – how can they keep him on the field, and when he isn’t there how do they keep from falling apart? There is no replacing a player of Trbojevic’s calibre, but finding a reliable back-up should be a priority for Hasler over the off-season.

Where will Manly finish in 2021?

Results

Where will Manly finish in 2021?​


Top 4
18%

5-8
36%

9-12
36%

13-16
10%
379 Voters

How did they go in free agency: Kieran Foran’s return to Manly is the Sea Eagles’ highest-profile signing but their most important might be Josh Aloiai, who they snagged from the Tigers.

Addin Fonua-Blake’s discipline may have let him down at times, but he was the best forward at the Sea Eagles in terms of yardage and Aloiai faces a tough task to replace him. The Samoan international has been one of the NRL’s quiet improvers in recent years, but he must step things up again if he’s to live up to the billing.

Jason Saab and Christian Tuipulotu have joined from St George Illawarra and the Roosters respectively and given their potential don’t be surprised if they’re the starting wingers come Round 1. Back-rower Andrew Davey joins from Parramatta and helps round out the squad.

Will development contract upgraded kids make an impact: Tolu Koula and Kaeo Weekes are both exiting utility backs, but given Manly’s plethora of backline options they’re unlikely to come into first grade contention unless injury were to strike. Keep an eye on them both at the back end of the season but 2022 is more likely to be their year.

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans will resurrect his halves partnership with Kieran Foran. Picture: Getty Images

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans will resurrect his halves partnership with Kieran Foran. Picture: Getty Images
What players can they reinvent: When Foran left Manly at the end of 2015 he departed as one of the best players in rugby league for a lucrative deal with Parramatta after a heady bidding war between half the clubs in the NRL. Five years, three clubs and countless injuries later he returns to where everything began for one last chance at extending his career.

Foran’s football smarts and toughness have never been in question, but his body just hasn’t held up to the rigours of a full NRL season for a long time now – having said that, he can still form a good partnership with Cherry-Evans, which would also allow Dylan Walker to move out to the centres and boost Manly’s strike power.

Hasler bandied about the idea of Foran playing hooker for a time but asking Foran to handle the defensive duties in the middle of the field, given his injury history, shapes as a tall order.

Who takes the next step: A little over a year ago, Manly had the luxury of choosing between Api Koroisau and Manase Fainu as their dummy half. The Sea Eagles chose the impressive Fainu and allowed Koroisau to leave, only for the young rake to become embroiled in a court case that kept him sidelined through all of 2020 and could well keep him off the field for much of 2021.

Taking a shot at the stumps on Danny Levi didn’t work out, with the former Knight showing little of his best football in 2020, so now utility Cade Cust shapes as Manly’s first-choice hooker for Round 1. Cust is not without his talents — he’s a fine competitor with a good running game in the halves — but switching to hooker full-time will take some work and the Sea Eagles have little depth outside of the 22-year old.

The best 17 for next year:

1. Tom Trbojevic

2. Jason Saab

3. Dylan Walker

4. Brad Parker

5. Jorge Taufua

6. Kieran Foran

7. Daly Cherry-Evans

8. Marty Taupau

9. Cade Cust

10. Josh Aloiai

11. Curtis Sironen

12. Haumole Olakau’atu

13. Jake Trbojevic

14. Josh Schuster

15. Taniela Paseka

16. Jack Gosiewski

17. Sean Keppie

2021 squad: Morgan Boyle, Daly Cherry-Evans, Lachlan Croker, Cade Cust, Andrew Davey, Kieran Foran, Manase Fainu (stood down), Tevita Funa, Reuben Garrick, Jack Gosiewski, Morgan Harper, Sean Keppie, Haumole Olakau’ata, Brad Parker, Taniela Paseka, Jason Saab, Josh Schuster, Toafofoa Sipley, Curtis Sironen, Moses Suli, Jorge Taufua, Martin Taupau, Jake Trbojevic, Tom Trbojevic, Dylan Walker

Fox Sports Lab’s Aaron Wallace says: Manly won just 35 per cent of their matches in 2020 — Des Hasler’s worst ever season as an NRL coach. They conceded 40 points five times, and lost six games by 18 points or more. A poor season by anyone’s standards.

It seems that Tom Trbojevic will carry a lot of weight on his highly publicised problem hamstrings.

In the past two seasons Manly have won almost 74 per cent of the 19 games he has played, but just under 30 per cent of the 27 games he has missed. They are almost a 10-point better side defensively when he takes the field.

Finish the past five years: 13th, 6th, 15th, 6th, 13th

Odds are: Premiership – $17, top-four finish – $4.50, top-8 finish – $1.75, most losses – $26

Fair comments

2021 will be defined by

**Tommys injury issues

**No hooker of note

Everything else will mould in pretty well.

If Tom ( as I suspect ) only lasts a few weeks and Cust doesn’t cut the mustard then we’ll potentially struggle to do any better than 2020.

BUT, if the reverse happens the sky is the limit.
 

manly al

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Need our best line ups available for the majority of next season to get improved results but Des and the coaching staff have to step up to the plate too with some better attacking and defensive structures . Sides like the Warriors and Titans had their share of set backs and disadvantages last season but the respective coaches still had them playing some positive footy with some good defensive efforts as well . Not to mention the increased tempo with the new rules to adjust to better as well . Tom fit and at his best and to a lesser extent D C E can warrant their high pay grade but need something better from Jake and Marty to justify theirs . Not uncommon to have some squad players on big bucks but need them available and firing on a regular basis to get the main benefit and help their sides . Again still have to find a way to play some smarter and sharper footy and get some steel back in defence before any improvement can really start to be a reality
 

davohan123

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really comes down to this.

turbo playing Majority of season and finding a quality 9.

they will be the defining issues.

if Tom doesn’t last this season which I suspect will be the case we probably won’t be improving much on 2020 but if he stays fit I genuinely think 5-8th is possible for us.
 

Woodsie

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In 60 years of following the club ... I have never seen a more pathetic summation of our position ... than our entire season and success relies on one player being fit ...

Snake to a degree.. but not even Fulton had that much affect ..

If that is where we are truly at ... that out of a squad of 30 players that have been professionally put together by a team of recruitment and retention experts ... only one player carries the entire weight of our fortunes ...

We are majestically screwed without the benefit of a reach around ....

How did it come to this ...
 

maxta

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I reckon your musical chairs option could well be right....as the Top 6 in 2020 are likely to be thereabouts....just hoping Manly to fill an available spot and if key players remain fit and healthy, feel this will happen.
 

manly al

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Showed at the end of 2019 that Manly could still be competitive and win games without Tom [ but maybe not the big one] Decimated by injuries last season but really found it hard to come to terms with some of the most negative and boring play , playing tactics and mediocre defence that i have seen from a Manly side in recent times . Think that having a player of Tom 's calibre on the paddock really can make a difference in winning the close ones in particular . Same probably applied to Snake as well . Can ;t get away from the fact that Tom is our main Go To player but also of course have to find a way to win if he is not available [ though let 's hope at very minimal time going forward ]
 

davohan123

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I didn't write this .... so don't blame me.

Tom Trbojevic’s injury issues were too big a hurdle for Manly to overcome in 2020.

His return will significantly boost the Sea Eagles’ finals hopes next season but they must find a way to win when their star fullback isn’t on the field.

Nick Campton takes a look at the key questions facing the Sea Eagles in 2021.

Kayo is your ticket to the best sport streaming Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

2020 ladder position: 13th

Ins: Jason Saab (Dragons), Christian Tuipulotu (Roosters), Josh Aloiai (Tigers), Kieran Foran (Bulldogs), Andrew Davey (Eels)

Outs: Danny Levi (released), Brendan Elliot (released), Joel Thompson (St Helens), Tony Williams (released), Corey Waddell (Bulldogs), Addin Fonua-Blake (Warriors)

Players in the 2020 Rich 100: 5 — 1. Daly Cherry-Evans ($1.25 million), 12. Tom Trbojevic ($900,000), 29. Jake Trbojevic ($800,000), 46. Marty Taupau ($700,000)

Coach status: Manly may have missed the finals last year but Des Hasler’s spot at Brookvale is still very safe.




FROM OUR PARTNERS

Stream Euphoria On Foxtel Now Watch every episode On Demand

The two-time premiership winner signed a two-year contract extension with the club that should keep him at the Sea Eagles until the end of 2023, which should put him in striking distance of Bob Fulton’s record for most games as Manly coach.

The Sea Eagles cannot replace Tom Trbojevic but must find a way to win without him. Picture: AAP

The Sea Eagles cannot replace Tom Trbojevic but must find a way to win without him. Picture: AAP
What is their game plan, and how do they need to tweak: The Sea Eagles made the finals in 2019 despite a host of injuries and a top heavy roster mainly due to Hasler’s ability to draw good, consistent football out of unheralded players like Brendan Elliot and Corey Waddell while also helping the likes of the enigmatic Moses Suli make the most of their considerable ability.

However, 2020 proved there are limits to even what Hasler can accomplish – despite boasting a strong cadre of middles in Jake Trbojevic, Addin Fonua-Blake and Martin Taupau, as well as an Origin-calibre halfback in Daly Cherry-Evans, losing fullback Tom Trbojevic was enough to sink the season entirely.

Manly never recovered from losing their star custodian and his recent injury troubles gives them two problems to solve – how can they keep him on the field, and when he isn’t there how do they keep from falling apart? There is no replacing a player of Trbojevic’s calibre, but finding a reliable back-up should be a priority for Hasler over the off-season.

Where will Manly finish in 2021?

Results

Where will Manly finish in 2021?​


Top 4
18%

5-8
36%

9-12
36%

13-16
10%
379 Voters

How did they go in free agency: Kieran Foran’s return to Manly is the Sea Eagles’ highest-profile signing but their most important might be Josh Aloiai, who they snagged from the Tigers.

Addin Fonua-Blake’s discipline may have let him down at times, but he was the best forward at the Sea Eagles in terms of yardage and Aloiai faces a tough task to replace him. The Samoan international has been one of the NRL’s quiet improvers in recent years, but he must step things up again if he’s to live up to the billing.

Jason Saab and Christian Tuipulotu have joined from St George Illawarra and the Roosters respectively and given their potential don’t be surprised if they’re the starting wingers come Round 1. Back-rower Andrew Davey joins from Parramatta and helps round out the squad.

Will development contract upgraded kids make an impact: Tolu Koula and Kaeo Weekes are both exiting utility backs, but given Manly’s plethora of backline options they’re unlikely to come into first grade contention unless injury were to strike. Keep an eye on them both at the back end of the season but 2022 is more likely to be their year.

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans will resurrect his halves partnership with Kieran Foran. Picture: Getty Images

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans will resurrect his halves partnership with Kieran Foran. Picture: Getty Images
What players can they reinvent: When Foran left Manly at the end of 2015 he departed as one of the best players in rugby league for a lucrative deal with Parramatta after a heady bidding war between half the clubs in the NRL. Five years, three clubs and countless injuries later he returns to where everything began for one last chance at extending his career.

Foran’s football smarts and toughness have never been in question, but his body just hasn’t held up to the rigours of a full NRL season for a long time now – having said that, he can still form a good partnership with Cherry-Evans, which would also allow Dylan Walker to move out to the centres and boost Manly’s strike power.

Hasler bandied about the idea of Foran playing hooker for a time but asking Foran to handle the defensive duties in the middle of the field, given his injury history, shapes as a tall order.

Who takes the next step: A little over a year ago, Manly had the luxury of choosing between Api Koroisau and Manase Fainu as their dummy half. The Sea Eagles chose the impressive Fainu and allowed Koroisau to leave, only for the young rake to become embroiled in a court case that kept him sidelined through all of 2020 and could well keep him off the field for much of 2021.

Taking a shot at the stumps on Danny Levi didn’t work out, with the former Knight showing little of his best football in 2020, so now utility Cade Cust shapes as Manly’s first-choice hooker for Round 1. Cust is not without his talents — he’s a fine competitor with a good running game in the halves — but switching to hooker full-time will take some work and the Sea Eagles have little depth outside of the 22-year old.

The best 17 for next year:

1. Tom Trbojevic

2. Jason Saab

3. Dylan Walker

4. Brad Parker

5. Jorge Taufua

6. Kieran Foran

7. Daly Cherry-Evans

8. Marty Taupau

9. Cade Cust

10. Josh Aloiai

11. Curtis Sironen

12. Haumole Olakau’atu

13. Jake Trbojevic

14. Josh Schuster

15. Taniela Paseka

16. Jack Gosiewski

17. Sean Keppie

2021 squad: Morgan Boyle, Daly Cherry-Evans, Lachlan Croker, Cade Cust, Andrew Davey, Kieran Foran, Manase Fainu (stood down), Tevita Funa, Reuben Garrick, Jack Gosiewski, Morgan Harper, Sean Keppie, Haumole Olakau’ata, Brad Parker, Taniela Paseka, Jason Saab, Josh Schuster, Toafofoa Sipley, Curtis Sironen, Moses Suli, Jorge Taufua, Martin Taupau, Jake Trbojevic, Tom Trbojevic, Dylan Walker

Fox Sports Lab’s Aaron Wallace says: Manly won just 35 per cent of their matches in 2020 — Des Hasler’s worst ever season as an NRL coach. They conceded 40 points five times, and lost six games by 18 points or more. A poor season by anyone’s standards.

It seems that Tom Trbojevic will carry a lot of weight on his highly publicised problem hamstrings.

In the past two seasons Manly have won almost 74 per cent of the 19 games he has played, but just under 30 per cent of the 27 games he has missed. They are almost a 10-point better side defensively when he takes the field.

Finish the past five years: 13th, 6th, 15th, 6th, 13th

Odds are: Premiership – $17, top-four finish – $4.50, top-8 finish – $1.75, most losses – $26
Well going by that trend 6th it is in 2021. Being at so many games live this year and the heartbreak that followed will take finishing 6th next year in a heartbeat.
 

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2020 Ladder

Team P W D L PD Pts
1 Panthers 20 18 1 1 299 37
2 Storm 20 16 0 4 258 32
3 Eels 20 15 0 5 104 30
4 Roosters 20 14 0 6 230 28
5 Raiders 20 14 0 6 128 28
6 Rabbitohs 20 12 0 8 169 24
7 Knights 20 11 1 8 47 23
8 Sharks 20 10 0 10 0 20
9 Titans 20 9 0 11 -117 18
10 Warriors 20 8 0 12 -115 16
11 Tigers 20 7 0 13 -65 14
12 Dragons 20 7 0 13 -74 14
13 Sea Eagles 20 7 0 13 -134 14
14 Cowboys 20 5 0 15 -152 10
15 Bulldogs 20 3 0 17 -222 6
16 Broncos 20 3 0 17 -356 6
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