A lack of concentration and a huge amount of errors have been the downfall of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in the NSWRL Jersey Flegg competition this season.
The Sea Eagles – the defending premiers in the U20s competition – sit on the bottom of the ladder after losing their first five matches.
Coach Wayne Lambkin said it has been a frustrating opening month for all involved.
“We have most probably made more errors than we have scored points in the first five rounds, and that’s not lying,’’ Lambkin said.
“In one game, we made 16 errors. We haven’t completed over 70 per cent all year.
“We are our own worst enemies and until we learn to control the ball, and play for longer periods without worrying about the scoreboard, we will keep falling into the same problem.
“I’m disappointed, the players are disappointed, but they are starting to realise why they are losing football games and that’s because of the lack of control of possession.”
Injuries to four key players from the premiership winning 20s team from last season has also made the task of winning games a little more difficult.
Second-rowers Blake Andrews (knee) and Haumole Olakau’atu (ankle) are out for three months, half-back Cade Cust has an ankle injury, and prop Jaiden Tarrant has been battling a back injury. Their experience is not easily replaced.
However, Lambkin, remains optimistic that the tide will turn for his young men.
“I had one of my most positive review sessions with them on Monday night. I could see so many things that have changed and people changing their outlook on how they have got to play,’’ Lambkin said.
“Defensively, knowing what their jobs are. I can’t question their effort last week against Parramatta, it was fantastic.
“But we are still not winning games and it’s only because we are just killing ourselves with the footy.
“We really need to win a game so we can build our confidence as a group.”
The Sea Eagles flew out of Sydney this morning ahead of their match against the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium tomorrow.
The Warriors have won just one of their five games.
“This game isn’t out of our reach. It is a tough trip and with the injury list we have got at the moment, the guys in the team need to play extremely well, but it is not beyond them,’’ Lambkin added.
“We also can’t rely on luck. We are the ones who need to change what we are doing.”
Round 6 Jersey Flegg
Manly vs Warriors
Saturday, April 14, Mt Smart Stadium
Kick-off 12.45pm (local), 10.45am (AEST)