Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 2017 season review

Eddie Otto Roar Pro

By , Eddie Otto is a Roar Pro

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    The Sea Eagles were one of the true surprise packets of 2017, making the finals after finishing 13th in 2016.

    Trent Barrett and his men played an exciting brand of football that made the Sea Eagles one of the most entertaining teams in the NRL throughout the season.

    Season Ranking – Exited first Week of Finals 6th (Regular Season – 14 Wins, ten Losses, 552 Points For, 512 Points Against)

    Season Rating 9/10 – I go as high as nine for Manly, as expectations were generally low for a team that finished in the bottom four in 2016. After a nightmare start where they were belted by the Eels and Rabbitohs at home in their opening two games, the Sea Eagles rallied to become one of the most dangerous attacking sides in the NRL.

    The Sea Eagles form was fantastic on the road, beating strong sides like the Roosters, Cowboys and Raiders in their own backyard.

    The side looked flaky defensively, especially on the edges at times throughout the season, and that’s something they will have to get better at if they want to take another step forward in 2018.

    Coach Rating 9/10 – (Trent Barrett) – He suffered a real baptism of fire in his debut coaching season. However, I really thought Trent Barrett owned this side this year and owned their style of football.

    He looked at the roster at his disposal and got the best out of the team by playing a fast and expansive style that suited the likes of Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic. Barrett was also responsible for some shrewd recruiting, with Blake Green proving the perfect foil for Cherry-Evans, and Akuila Uate rediscovering some of his best form on the wing.

    Jake Trbojevic Manly Sea Eagles NRL Rugby League 2017

    (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

    Manly seemed a confident and happy team for most the year and, while Barrett could occasionally lose his rag in post-match press conferences, he has a good hold on what he is doing with this roster.

    Best Win – Round 5 Sydney Roosters 12 Manly Sea Eagles 18 @ Allianz Stadium – Not many sides went to Allianz and beat the Roosters this year, so I have Manly’s Round 5 triumph against the Chooks as their best win of the season. The Roosters were undefeated at the time, and Manly had started the year in patchy fashion. However, they showed their quality here, as well as resolve, to allow an attacking powerhouse like the Roosters just two tries.

    Worst Loss – Round 20 St George Illawarra Dragons 52 Manly Sea Eagles 22 @ – Despite having a largely successful season, there were a few dismal displays thrown in by the Sea Eagles, and this was their worst at WIN Stadium. The Sea Eagles didn’t bring their tackling boots for this game and, down 30-0 at halftime, they were never in the contest.

    Best Player – Daly Cherry-Evans – Cherry-Evans was back to his dynamic best in 2017 after a couple of season where his form had dipped alarmingly. While he was still snubbed by Queensland, he played like the best halfback in the competition for large periods of 2017.

    He stepped up in clutch moments with big field goals, as well as playing some sparking attacking football, whether through his passing, kicking or rejuvenated running game. He led from the front as Captain this year, and they won’t be able to ignore him at Rep level if he reproduces his 2017 form next season.

    Most Disappointing Player – Nate Myles – You would have to say it’s nearly the end of the road for an old warhorse in Nate Myles after a chastising 2017. Myles was actually traded to the Storm mid-season, after being dropped from the Queensland Origin side after Game 1.

    Myles failed to break into the Storm’s Premiership winning side and his career is at the crossroads heading into 2018. He has been a really valuable player over a number of years, but looked to be slowing down, and I’m not sure if he has too much quality football left in him.

    2018 Prospects – I see no reason why this side can’t improve further in 2018. They have a great spine, as well as plenty of players at the right stage of their career that can get even better.

    However, there is no doubt they slipped under some side’s guard this year, and they will have to be ready to deal with some of the hype and favouritism that sides with expectations have to carry.