The message is clear. Stick solid Sea Eagles fans, it was only round one!
Eight new faces in the team, a new coaching staff, and beaten by a quality opposition is how the Sea Eagles players summed up the frustration and disappointment over the opening round loss to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Brookvale Oval last Friday night.
It was also the first time the crucial ‘spine’ in full-back Tom Trbojevic, five-eighth Dylan Walker, half-back Daly Cherry-Evans, and hooker Apisai Koroisau had started a game together.
“I know our fans are very passionate but they just need to have faith,’’ said centre Steve Matai.
“Everything is going to fall into place. It is going to take a few rounds.
“Stick with us, have faith, and we will be there in the end.”
Matai also backed former centre and new five-eighth Dylan Walker to remain at six.
“There was a lot of build-up in the off season about ‘Walks’ and there was a bit of pressure going into the game,’’ Matai said.
“He has got a lot of time to form those combinations with the players outside and inside him. As long as we are all doing our jobs, he will be okay.”
Koroisau said there was always plenty of expectation on the Sea Eagles given their successful history.
“We are a different team this year and we have to do it ourselves. We have to not worry about the outside world and just focus on us,’’ Koroisau said.
“It is very early days, the combinations haven’t formed. There were just too many errors in our own half (against the Bulldogs) and we didn’t get the ball. It will come good.”
Captain Jamie Lyon reinforced the patience message ahead of the away clash to Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval this Monday night.
“We have got a few different faces in different positions. It might take a few weeks but I am sure we will get there,’’ Lyon said.
“As players, we know we can play better. It is not panic stations.”
Beware the scorned Sea Eagle!