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Why the Sea Eagles will be a force in 2012

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Why the Sea Eagles will be a force in 2012


    1. So many stars

    The reigning premiers are flush with more representative talent than any other club – so many stellar performers that they’ve barely a position held down by someone who hasn’t pulled on a jersey for his state, country or culture. The individual brilliance among the roster and their selective combinations is stunning: halves Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran joined forces to add the second most try assists in 2011 (bettered only by Broncos pair Darren Lockyer and Peter Wallace, the former now retired); Cherry-Evans went on to wear the green and gold in his rookie season; Brett Stewart scored the second most tries by a fullback behind Ben Barba; Jamie Lyon and Steve Matai added the second most line-breaks by any centre combination (23); Anthony Watmough broke more tackles than any other second-rower (77); Tony Williams ended the season as one of the game’s most damaging back-rowers, terrorising international oppositions in the Four Nations; and lock Glenn Stewart capped a huge year by winning the Clive Churchill Medal. Add the return of former Kangaroos and Blues winger David Williams and co-captain Jason King and why wouldn’t they threaten back-to-back premierships?  

    2. A point to prove

    Incredibly just three members of the Sea Eagles’ squad – brothers Brett and Glenn Stewart and Anthony Watmough – can remember a Manly coach other than Des Hasler barking orders at them. Hasler became the second-longest serving Sea Eagles coach during eight productive years at Brookvale. Under his guidance the maroon-and-whites contested three grand finals, won two premierships and missed the top eight just once – in his debut coaching year in 2004. Of course, that cosy relationship fractured just weeks after Manly’s premiership victory last October, with Hasler hot-footing it to the Bulldogs after a dispute with management over contract negotiations.

    There’s no doubt the player group was left gutted, especially given the very public spat that followed, with allegations Hasler was intent on poaching as much Sea Eagles talent as possible. But the players put their abject disappointment to the side and rallied around their club colours. Hence, despite carrying off rugby league’s greatest prize not four months ago, they have a massive point to prove: that the sum of their worth extends beyond the influence of one of the most successful coaches of the past decade. With the players’ credibility on the line, expect total focus and rousing efforts.

    3. Daly Cherry-Evans

    There will be plenty of so-called experts willing to death-ride Cherry-Evans’ 2012 season on the back of a raft of recent ‘second-year syndrome’ failures – including his Manly predecessor Trent Hodkinson’s just-average follow-up year at the Bulldogs. Our tip: don’t bet on DCE failing. Dumb, dumb, dumb. With the No.7 jersey for Queensland up for grabs and still in the afterglow of his first Kangaroos Tour, we foresee the 22-year-old at least holding his ground. And it’s some ground, too: in his Rookie of the Year season Cherry-Evans played in all of the Sea Eagles 27 games and showed unrivalled skill and impact in the No. 7. No halfback ran more each game (average nine runs), busted more tackles (117), made more tackles (24), or offloaded as often (30). Also, he ranked third for try assists (19) and line-breaks (nine), and revealed a probing kicking game – his 279 metres a match were the third most by any player.

    With the same playing roster around him and confidence sky-high, Cherry-Evans has the world at his feet. And the Sea Eagles will gratefully ride his wave of success all the way to the top eight… and beyond. (As for their ‘newbie’ for 2012, look out for towering prop Darcy Lussick to stamp his presence. The 22-year-old played just seven games in 2011 but this is his year to step up and improve on his 25 minutes on the field per game.)

    4. Business as usual

    The silver lining in the Sea Eagles’ coaching upheaval is that Des Hasler appointed Geoff Toovey as his assistant when he assumed control in 2004. That means the former Manly captain knows the ins and outs of his charges and every intricate detail of the squad’s coaching history. That should ensure stability. While it’s natural that Toovey will look to introduce some subtle variations of his own, don’t expect the Sea Eagles’ game plan to vary much. It should be remembered that Toovey, like Hasler, was a halfback who also spent some time as a hooker during his playing days. They’re cut from the same cloth.  

    5. No distractions

    Manly’s campaign to defend their 2008 title after their 40-0 blitzing of the Melbourne Storm was derailed before it even began when star fullback Brett Stewart was charged with sexual assault on the eve of the 2009 premiership. Negative headlines and backlash, plus a feud with the NRL, dominated their follow-up year; although they made it as far as the qualifying final the Stewart incident (he was cleared in late 2010) haunted their season. They don’t have that negative vibe this time around and it should show both on and off the field. Certainly they were a different side last year when the weight of the world was lifted from Stewart’s shoulders. Make no mistake: Manly will still enjoy being the side all other NRL fans love to hate – they just might occasionally do it with smiles on their faces.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Masked Eagle

      Masked Eagle Well-Known Member

      +976 /0
      Excellent reading. That stuff about DCE is good. The reason why so many players suffer the second year syndrome is that they are really only one trick ponies. Opposition clubs figure those guys out. DCE has some many strings to his bow that I'm super confident if clubs try nullify part of his game, he'll just switch it around and cruel them another way.

      Can't wait!!!
    • Clint

      Clint . Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +2,172 /34
      I re-watched the Cowboys semi the other night. It's worth another look just to watch DCE's kicking game. It was outstanding. With Foran initially being the go to man, DCE has really kicked on (pardon the pun) in this department.
    • Chip and Chase

      Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +8,579 /80
      Better to be a force then a farce. I think DCE will go up a level this year, he really is the key to our success. More experience and more confidence will see him become one of the stars of the NRL, he really does have all the skills.

      So we only have 1 player in our starting 13 who isn't, or hasn't, been a state or national rep. Pretty impressive.
    • Disco

      Disco Well-Known Member

      +1,776 /48
      Incredibly just three members of the Sea Eagles’ squad – brothers Brett and Glenn Stewart and Anthony Watmough – can remember a Manly coach other than Des Hasler barking orders at them.

      Ummm Jason King?
    • MK Eagle

      MK Eagle Well-Known Member

      +247 /0
      Happy with the report but I think the Toovey Factor deserves more of a plug.
      Such a determined, competitive individual who may give the players the kick in the ass that was missing when things spiralled downhill in 2009/2010 after the success in 2008.
      Toovey could well be the most inspirational part of the Seaeagles 2012 premiership campaign.
      See there is some mention of Toovey but after the initial dissappointment of Hasler jumping ship, I am actually pumped to have Tooves at the reigns - I see it as THE key factor.
    • arty

      arty Active Member

      +31 /0
      And Jamie Lyon being uninjured for the season and especially for the finals series. He cannot be replaced...
    • bones

      bones Bones Knows

      +9,037 /102
      Jason King can only remember back 5 years.

      ERNIE FOR NO7 Active Member

      +80 /1

      Incredible amount of pressure to place on a 2nd year player. I feel sorry for him. He has to play like a champion just to satisfy most people's expectations. On top of that he will be considering and weighing up contract offers as well as attention from the media on both topics.
    • eelcatcher

      eelcatcher Active Member

      +115 /0
      A great read and gets down to the bare essentials and the important parts. Well done. Though one distraction is the fallout from the Desgate drama, still bothers me a lot and I can imagine it affecting the players. In particular I'm still very concerned about the contracts of Keiran Foran and the Stewarts brothers. More so with Foz coz I'm quite sure the Stewart brothers will stay. I pray that they get contract extensions ASAP. Otherwise we truely are a force to reckon but get these contracts resigned soon.
      • Like Like x 1
      • SeaEagleRock8

        SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

        +10,541 /214
        Every year I await the new season hoping we will be genuine contenders for the title. Every year I am sure we can win the comp. Often we do! Some years I'm more confident than others. I knew we could win last year. But I'm more confident now than I was this time last year.

        Also, I'm sure Toovey has his own 5 year plan, or similar. It's not necessarily all about the immediate moment, it's about ensuring we stay right up the top consistently challenging for the silverware. I've no doubt he'll succeed in that goal, it all looks pretty good to me.
      • Ian Martin tragic

        Ian Martin tragic Well-Known Member

        +186 /0
        Lots of x factors as always. And we are the premiers and it's always that bit harder with everyone wanting your scalp.

        Last year's season and premiership win had the feel of ruthless professionalism; lots of games won efficiently without excessive flair. the gf win was the experienced hard heads taking their chances when they arose.

        Can they do it this year? Same squad pretty much, but a bit older on average. Pressure of expectation on DCE and Foran. new coach, new staff to get used to.

        But what a great squad! And this year B Stewart should be in better shape. He is our talisman, lynchpin, etc. DCE and Foran are indeed potential world class players, to go with Lyon and afore mentioned snake.

        Keys for me are luck with injuries, and the ability to keep the squad developing with the new guys like lussick, buhrer, mauro, oldfield, whare. If the spine stays healthy (and ballin is v. important, esp. this year) and enough of the go forward pigs we should be a handful for most of the wannabees.
      • Chip and Chase

        Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

        +8,579 /80
        I'm not placing pressure on him, just making an observation, I'm sure he couldn't give 2 hoots what I think of him. I see your point though with the level of excitement buzzing around this guy, however I will say he seems like a pretty level headed young guy and I'm sure that the weight of expectation isn't getting him down. It's hard not to have high expectations when the kid shows some very obvious talent, coupled with a very good attitude. I never fully bought into the Hodkinson "next big thing" hype, but with DCE it's hard not to be caught up in the excitement. I hope for his sake he doesn't have a second year syndrome, and I also hope he also stays fit, as injury can really rock a young guys confidence and has cruelled many a promising career.
      • Garts

        Garts Well-Known Member

        +843 /25
        Think he played under Peter Sharp
      • dowdz

        dowdz Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

        +1,079 /12
        Because we are the Manly Sea Eagles. Enough said lol
      • Hamster Huey

        Hamster Huey Space Invader Premium Member

        +1,178 /9
        All four played under Sharp in 2003. King has been on the scene since 2001.

        Not sure research is a requirement in reporting sport these days.
      • DSM5

        DSM5 Well-Known Member

        +516 /0
        The only positions that I see a weakness is Oldfield's wing spot and our front row. I just hope Oldfield gets his defense under control. I love his speed but it's his defense that's a weakness. The front row is getting little old. Kite and King worry me.
      • wobbly

        wobbly Member

        +6 /0
        don't worry , look at Joe n, new (older) breed in battle,, that's what you need to succeed!

      • MK Eagle

        MK Eagle Well-Known Member

        +247 /0
        The age factor is def a fair point DSM5 but front row is the position where players peak at the 27+ age.
        For mine King before injury was playing better than ever in 2011 & Kite as always just needs a massive rev up to perform - hopefully Tooves does the old Tommy slap face pre game.
        Oldfield has star qualities but definately still green atm with defensive deficiencies. By seasons end most improved imo.
        Think your spot on with these as our only positional concerns.

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