It's time to take a look back on the weekend it was for the Sea Eagles in our weekly 'The Things We Learnt' column.
Tough times don't last
Following the loss to the Tigers, I wrote 'it was bad, very bad'. Well, after the Eels match, you can choose your own words, and most have already. Yes, it was horrible and unacceptable (again). The discipline is poor and the amount of errors, be it drop ball or kicking out on the full, is enough to pull your teeth out (I say hair, but that went a while ago). Times are certainly tough for the Sea Eagles, on and off the field, but quality teams overcome adversity. Besides, the sky hasn't fallen in despite the presence of dark, heavy clouds surrounding Narrabeen HQ for many reasons. I have no doubt Coach Trent Barrett and the boys will dig themselves out of this terrible form slump. Let's all just hope it's sooner rather than later. And besides, you can't keep a great club like the Sea Eagles down for long, no matter how much some try.
The opening 20 minutes against the Eels was just a carbon copy of what happened against the Wests Tigers. Manly hardly saw the ball and were forced to constantly defend. Sure, their handling wasn't great and we were on the end of several penalties, but Parramatta didn't cross for their first try until the 27th minute. With all that amount of tackling, there was little left in the tank to attack with. By half-time, the Eels enjoyed 67 % possession and completed 17/19 sets compared to our 33% possession and 7/12 sets. Let's just hope for a much better start against Newcastle this Friday night at Lottoland.
'Pop' gets another new partner
Spare a thought for centre Brian Kelly. Sunday's match saw 'Pop' have his fifth wing partner in seven weeks when Akuila Uate shifted to his left side, resulting in Brad Parker playing outside of Dylan Walker. In a beaten side, Kelly looked sharp in attack and just keeps getting better every week for a 21-year-old in just his second season in the NRL.
Points beat cheap talk
The Wyong Roos found out that muscle alone just can't win you games. The Blacktown Workers boys overcome plenty of niggling and some cheap words to crush the Roos at Berkeley Vale in the Intrust Super Premiership on Saturday. Half Jackson Hastings was very solid, scored a try, and directed the team well, as did five-eighth Joey Lussick. Tom Wright proved a handful in the centres while powerful centre Moses Suli (pictured below) had his best game since joining the club. Prop Toff Sipley had a big game and forward Lewis Brown never stopped working. It might have been a long drive back home, but it was well worth it for the boys from Blacktown.
Rise, young Sea Eagles
Just want to send a good luck message to our Harold Matthews team for this Saturday's Preliminary Final against Penrith Panthers. This will be an absolute beauty of a clash at St Marys Stadium. The Panthers knocked out the Bulldogs with a 38-4 victory on the weekend while the Sea Eagles had the weekend off following their heart-stopping win over Parramatta the week before. Sea Eagles Coach Trevor Ott has done a great job with this terrific, young team. Kick-off is 10.30am.
Stop the trains!
The Sea Eagles head to good old Belmore Sports Ground on Saturday in a double header against the Bulldogs. First up is the Jersey Flegg match at 1.15pm. Can Manly keep building on their two good wins over the past fortnight? Then, at 3.15pm, our Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles will look to keep their momentum going following their fine win over Wyong. It is shaping up to be a great afternoon of footy at one of the grand old suburban grounds of rugby league. Plus, by attending, you will once again see the sight of footballs flying onto the railway tracks and those CityRail trains slowing down to watch the action. Ah, the memories.
Friday night footy
Sea Eagles fans, we are back home this Friday night for a very important clash against the Newcastle Knights. The 6pm kick-off presents many challenges for fans in trying to make the game as they rush home from work. It would be great to see the Sea Eagles faithful there with your flags and in full voice as we aim to end this three game losing streak to get our season back on track. Plus, we owe Newcastle one from the Golden Point loss in the season opener. See you there!