Manly Sea Eagles’ woes unlikely to be fastened by return of Tom Trbojevic, however it will not damage having him again
Ought to the alarm bells be ringing at Brookvale?
Or was Penrith’s exploitation of Manly’s frailties assisted by a prolonged damage listing, together with to star participant Tom Trbojevic?
The reply to each these questions might be sure.
One other defeat, this one a document capitulation at Brookvale, albeit in opposition to a devastating Penrith workforce, needs to be taken as a stark warning that this season could possibly be an extended and disappointing one for Sea Eagles followers.
As vital as it isn’t to panic in regards to the state of a workforce so early into a brand new season, supporters on the northern seashores can be exchanging nervous glances at one another on the Sea Eagles’ present kind.
Defensively, the Sea Eagles have been a shambles, notably so on their proper aspect.
“There was a little bit of miscommunication and disconnect and we have to deal with that,” Manly coach Des Hasler mentioned after the match.
That appeared about as larger understatement as could possibly be, illustrated completely by Penrith’s first attempt after three minutes.
Manly have been uncovered by a easy mis-read off a central scrum 10 metres out, when Jarome Luai got here throughout from the Penrith proper to create a 4 on three down the left, looping behind Nathan Cleary.
Compounding the difficulty was Manly’s formulaic strategy to closing down the Penrith attackers, with the right-side defence of Daly Cherry-Evans, Moses Suli and Jason Saab racing as much as the 10-metre line, however then stopping and ending up back-pedalling.
Cleary, at first receiver, was standing extensive sufficient of the scrum to remove any stress coming from his proper and, utilizing Matt Burton outdoors him as a decoy runner, handed to Luai, who drew the deal with of the over-eager Saab coming in off the wing, flicking the ball out to To’o, who ran over the protecting Suli and Cherry-Evans to attain within the nook.
It did not get a lot better down that left aspect for the Sea Eagles.
Of the eight tries they conceded within the recreation, 5 have been scored down that left defensive channel, with two coming down the center and one on the correct.
At NRL stage, having such a blatant and apparent fallibility in anybody space simply invitations these higher groups to probe at that time of weak point.
Penrith hooker Mitch Kenny seemed left all through the sport, utilizing Luai’s guile and the uncooked energy of Burton (one attempt), To’o (two tries) and Viliame Kikau (two tries) to hammer residence its supremacy on that edge.
In fact, it might be that having Penrith on the opposite aspect of the sphere merely served to amplify these weaknesses as the shape workforce of the competitors, who’re merely going from strength-to-strength this yr.
Cleary, again within the aspect after his enforced concussion absence, was sensible, linking beautifully with Luai and his outdoors backs due to the very good work charge of his forwards, who made simple metres and gave him the platform from which to launch assault after assault on the Manly line.
Accidents impacting Manly kind
There’s little doubt that Manly is in a deep gap for the time being, not aided by the prolonged listing of accidents.
“We’re a bit out of form, we have extra accidents to cope with,” Hasler mentioned, confirming that Morgan Boyle suffered a dislocated shoulder within the heavy defeat.
Hasler mentioned post-match that he at the moment had no second-row forwards for the time being, with Haumole Olakau-atu and Curtis Sironen each two and 4 weeks away from a return respectively.
“We would get a number of again, however we’ll maintain turning up, we’ll maintain aiming up and that is all we are able to do,” he mentioned.
In fact, there’s the absence of Tom Trbojevic at fullback too, with the star man
Hasler warned that his begin fullback is just not going to repair all of Manly’s woes.
“He is not going to make us maintain onto the ball,” Hasler mentioned.
That being mentioned, Trbojevic, as fullback, is such a key participant for Manly as a complete, in addition to an aide to Cherry-Evans.
With him within the aspect, Manly has received 14 out of 19 video games — 73 per cent — throughout Hasler’s second spell in cost.
With out him, their win charge drops to under 30 per cent.
Trbojevic has not performed a single recreation this season, and though Hasler has some extent that the Blues and Kangaroos cannot catch each ball that his teammates are dropping, he may help organise that defensive form and supply some type of attacking help to under-fire halfback, Cherry-Evans.
On Fox Sports activities, former NRL star Michael Ennis proposed Manly take the dramatic step of ditching Cherry-Evans who, as one of many workforce’s largest earners, could possibly be jettisoned to make some wage cap house.
“I fear about Manly. I do know we speak about it so much, [but there is] some huge cash tied up in Tom Trbojevic, Daly Cherry-Evans and in addition Jake Trbojevic,” Ennis mentioned earlier than the match in opposition to Penrith.
“While you have a look at the place the Manly squad is, Daly [Cherry-Evans] for me is such a high-quality participant, however for the time being what he’s with the ability to distribute to the aspect, notably within the final three weeks, definitely hasn’t been what you’d anticipate from a marquee participant.
“I wonder if Des [Hasler] has received a giant choice to make.”
By way of massive choices, Manly made their very own referring to Hasler after spherical one, agreeing to an incentive-filled two-year contract extension at Brookvale.
Near a full yr of hypothesis over the 60-year-old’s new contract ended, however with rumours of a clause suggesting finals soccer can be required to set off further years, Hasler should be involved over the path his workforce is at the moment travelling.
Since Hasler signed the contract, the Sea Eagles have misplaced by 14 factors, 26 factors and 40 factors to the Bunnies, Dragons and Panthers respectively.
Thursday evening’s 46-6 capitulation by the hands of the Panthers was not essentially the worst of these scores, however there was little to recommend a revival was imminent — with Tom Trbojevic or with out.
“You at all times undergo robust durations, that is one other one,” Hasler mentioned.
“These experiences are definitely going to be a part of our restoration.”