Well, okay Josh, point taken, though the term existed a long time before the Giants came bumbling along.
I don't think there is much of an investigation needed. Manly's season ended disappointingly but with the injuries to Ballin and Buhrer coming at a bad time, coupled with injuries to Brett Stewart (v Cowboys) and then the suspension of Watmough for the Bulldogs game, the bits and pieces Manly pack almost pulled off a miracle in the elimination final.
Inevitably, the older guard will need to be replaced. The Glenn Stewart saga was unfortunate but had he been fully fit throughout the season, it might have made a difference. In the salary cap era, re-generation is often a cruel but necessary process. I know guys like Matai and Watmough were angry that the Eagles didn't try to keep G Stewart but they simply didn't have the finances to do so. As great as Stewart is, he is reaching the end of a fantastic career, and money needed to be found to invest in the next generation of players like Foran, Cherry-Evans, Hiku, Tafuoa etc.
I think the loss of Brett Kite was a big one for Manly in 2014 and is often overlooked.
What I meant Griffo, was, how was it possible for the Socceroos to be ranked any lower than 32 at the end of the World Cup. They made it, yet countries like Czech Republic who didn't, did not go down in ranking, yet Australia did?? This makes no sense. I get that qualification paths might not be seen as equal or the same but in World Cup qulaifiers, you can only beat what's in front of you, countries don't choose to play each other, they are drawn against each other.
So yes, I would have the top 32 as the 32 sides who compete in the World Cup. Once teams start playing in regional tournament qualifiers, the rankings can start to change.