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Hasler's 'nitpicking' helping Garrick go to next level

Reuben Garrick enjoyed a dream debut season but that hasn't stopped Manly coach Des Hasler and his staff "nitpicking" at some finer points of the winger's game.

Moving to the Sea Eagles after being denied a shot at the Dragons, the goal-kicking Garrick proved his worth with a team-best 16 tries as they defied the odds and reached week two of the finals.

The 22-year-old was then selected in the successful Prime Minister's XIII, Australia World Cup 9s and Junior Kangaroos teams.

But Garrick refuses to rest on his laurels and the pre-season grind has begun to ensure he avoids second-year syndrome, with Hasler and co identifying a few minor areas where the speedster can improve.

"I just really want to work on my game and take it to another level next year," Garrick told NRL.com.

"Especially with the coaching staff like Des and Chad Randall and Michael Monaghan, they're nitpicking. It's good, we need them to do that.

"There are just technical things like with my defence, coming out of yardage certain ways, techniques I can use to find a quicker play-the-ball.

"Just little things like that I want to incorporate into my game and also build some consistency and go a lot better than I did this year, hopefully. That's the plan."

All of Reuben Garrick's tries from 2019

Having been involved with St George Illawarra since he was a junior, Garrick admitted Hasler's methods were foreign to him when he came to Manly.

"I had to adapt pretty quickly because he'd tell you otherwise," Garrick said.

"Stuff like the defensive systems. Everyone knows now that Manly jam with Des. Learning that system - I'd always been an up-and-hold and slide [defender] and only jam when you're on your try-line.

"It was a complete shock to the system to learn that."

Hasler is renowned for being a straight shooter with his players and Garrick credits that blunt feedback as a key to unlocking his potential.

"He was really into you if you miss that mark - if you miss it by a tenth of a second it could lead to a try," Garrick said.

"If you make a little mistake at training he's into you. He was the same the whole way through the season though, which was good.

"You know when you're about to get roused at or whatnot. But he's been so good for my game and I think having that accountability there brought upon a lot more consistency."

Given he started 2019 as a relative unknown, Garrick exceeded expectations by excelling as he played every match in the season.

However, the magnitude of his achievements didn't truly register until he recently went home to Gerringong on NSW's south coast.

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"It's a footy-orientated town, so every person's sort of stopping you saying congratulations and stuff like that," he said.

"Up in Sydney here with all your mates, you don't really see that. But when I went back everything was sinking in, how good a season I had.

"I'm back in training now and I'm not taking anything for granted. Head down, arse up for the rest of the pre-season and heading into the Nines and trials."

It's during the unforgiving summer that Manly will build on the incredible resolve they showed last season to overcome a pile of injuries and make the playoffs.

Garrick said it was no accident the Sea Eagles responded to adversity so well.

"That bond and willingness to compete for each other is definitely trained or gained in pre-season," he said.

"If you see one of your mates not working as hard as what you think you are, you have to let them know to keep them accountable.

"You don't want to let your teammates down and they don't want to let you down. I think that's a lot of what our culture is built on. It's a good ideology to go by."