Photo by Colin Whelan copyright © nrlphotos.com :    Tom Symonds grabbed by Tim Mannah                           NRL Rugby League, Round 24 Parramatta Eels v Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at Parramatta Stadium, Friday August 22nd 2014.

Sea Eagles not panicking despite loss

Tom Symonds says it’s not time for the Sea Eagles to hit the panic button following Friday night’s shock loss to the Eels.

The second-rower is unconcerned about his side’s recent performances, insisting the Sea Eagles’ premiership hopes haven’t been dented.

As last year’s grand finalists prepare to step up their charge to go one further in 2014, Symonds is adamant his side will turn the screws against the Panthers on Sunday afternoon, in a match that could well decide the minor premiership.

“It’s not ideal but we’re not panicking at this stage. We’re still in a very nice position heading into the finals and hopefully we finish the regular season off with two wins,” Symonds said.

“We’re confident we can bounce back and get back into the winners circle. We need to start stringing a couple of games together before the finals.

“The Panthers have been plugging along nicely and they’ve managed to keep winning despite a few injuries, so it’s going to be a tough one.

“Back at Brookie for our last home game, so if we could get a big crowd there that will help us. Last year they beat us in the corresponding round, so we’d like to return the favour on Sunday.”

In a rare sight for Sea Eagles supporters, Geoff Toovey’s men failed to fire in the second half of their match against Parramatta, leaking 22-unanswered points to have rival clubs breathing down their necks in the race for the minor premiership.

“Geoff [Toovey] was obviously disappointed with the second half. We set ourselves up pretty well. We were under the pump a little in the first half and we handled it well, but the second half Parramatta were just all over us,” Symonds said.

“Our defence was pretty poor, we made some bad reads and they had all the momentum and came home with a wet sail.

“We were feeling pretty comfortable at half time and then they got that one try in the second half and then after that they had all the momentum. A few bounces went their way, but full credit to them, they deserved the win, we just weren’t good enough.”