Lambkin calls for grinding effort

Coach Wayne Lambkin knows the talent is there but he just wants to see a grinding effort from his men after a very frustrating month in the Holden Cup.

The Sea Eagles have lost their past four games to sit in 11th place on the ladder after winning their first two matches in fine style.

They should have almost got a third win at Cabramatta last Sunday but a poor start cost them dearly against St George-Illawarra Dragons.

Trailing 20-0 after 30 minutes, the Sea Eagles piled on two converted tries to trail by eight at half-time.

The hope of a strong start by Manly in the second half evaporated when they committed the cardinal sin of allowing the ball to bounce in-goal for the Dragons to score. A few minutes later, the visitors were in again for a 32-12 lead after 47 minutes.

The Sea Eagles rallied late in the game to get within six points before going down 32-26.

“They didn’t haven’t a lot of chances on us but when they did, they scored. That was the disappointing part of it,’’ Lambkin said.

“If we stopped a couple of those easy tries early, we are right in the footy game, but they don’t realise that until it’s too late.

“We then have all of this energy to make a comeback but the boys need to learn to front load that energy in the first 20 minutes and get themselves in the game.”

Lambkin can’t help but feel frustrated when he looks back on the past month of results.

A drop ball on the Cowboys try line in the final minute saw victory go begging in round three before the Sea Eagles allowed the Bulldogs off the hook in round four.

Manly then turned in a shocking performance in round five against the Roosters, losing 66-14, before last week’s narrow loss to the Dragons.

“We have thrown games away now against Canterbury and St George-Illawarra. It is very disappointing. You don’t get those opportunities back,’’ Lambkin added.

“I’m hoping the Roosters was a one-off performance. We know we can compete but we have got to get on the right end of the scoreboard and get some confidence back.

“At the moment, we are just hanging in. They need to stick to a plan and play the entire 80 minutes out.

“It doesn’t have to be fancy, or by 20 points. We just need that win to get our confidence back.”

The Sea Eagles play the sixth-placed Melbourne Storm at Pittwater Rugby Park on Saturday at 10.45am. The match has been transferred from Lottoland.