The results might not indicate it but Manly Coach Matt Ballin is confident his young Jersey Flegg side is moving in the right direction.
The Sea Eagles head into their home match tomorrow against South Sydney Rabbitohs at Blacktown searching for their first win of the season following losses to the Sydney Roosters (40-18) and the New Zealand Warriors (24-12) after two rounds of the U20s competition.
Manly trailed by six points with 10 minutes to go against the Warriors before conceding a try to go down by 12 in a match that saw the Sea Eagles lose two players through injury.
“For the guys to stay in the game that long against a quality Warriors teams showed a lot of effort and that their desire was there,’’ Ballin said.
“They did everything we asked of them and their structure is looking really good in attack. We just need to tighten up our defence a little bit now.”
Ballin said the team was also missing the services of hooker and captain Tyran Ott and centre Alfred Smalley who are playing for Blacktown Workers in the NSW Cup.
"Tyran and Alfred are doing really well up there so as far as our development systems are going, the signs are really positive for our boys moving forward.”
Kick-off at HE Laybutt Field, Blacktown, on Saturday is 1pm. Souths have recorded two draws this season.