The chance to redeem themselves in a grand final replay in front of their home crowd may just be what Manly is looking for in today’s Jersey Flegg clash against Parramatta.
The Sea Eagles started their premiership defence in the U20s competition with a horrible 58-10 loss to the Newcastle Knights at Cessnock Sportsground last Saturday.
Manly Coach Wayne Lambkin said the team just didn’t measure up.
“We trailed 6-4 after 20 minutes and were then down 30-4 at half-time,’’ Lambkin said.
“Seven minutes after half-time, we were down 42-4.
“We didn’t handle the adversity. We had a player drop the ball over the line when we were down 6-4 because he wanted to push off a defender.
“Then we threw an intercept pass on the second tackle after a penalty. From there, we didn’t see the ball until after half-time.
“We were not able to transition into the next part of the game by making a set of six and getting the ball back. We just let errors get on top of us.”
Lambkin said the players were looking to bounce back at Lottoland against the Parramatta Eels after a positive week at training.
The Sea Eagles beat the Eels in the final minute of last year’s U20s Grand Final.
“We enjoy playing against Parramatta and we built up a bit of a rivalry there last year. I’m sure the boys will be up for the game.”
Manly will have nine players in Alfred Smalley, Tevita Funa, Semisi Kioa, Bilal Maarbani, Cade Cust, Jaiden Tarrant, Blake Andrews, Haumole Olakau’atu and Michael Fenn in the side to play Parramatta from the grand final winning team.
The Eels will have five players in Noel Aukafolau, Dylan Brown, Sean Keppie, Oregon Kaufusi and Dylan Clifford from their grand final side.
Jersey Flegg Rd 2
Manly v Parramatta
Sunday, March 18, 1.50pm kick-off, Lottoland
Sea Eagles team
1 Zaan Weatherall
2 Alfred Smalley
3 Tevita Funa
4 Semisi Kioa
5 Bilal Maarbani
6 Luke Metcalf
7 Cade Cust (c)
8 Jaiden Tarrant
9 Max Barry
10 John Tuivaiti
11 Blake Andrews
12 Haumole Olakau’atu
13 Jordan Main
14 Michael Fenn
15 Sosaia Talivakaola
16 Kees Nicholson
17 Kurt Schultz
18 Finn Heath