Manly’s interchange chargers pushing club towards the promised land

Jack Byrnes Roar Pro

By Jack Byrnes, Jack Byrnes is a Roar Pro

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    Trent Barrett, take a bow. This is on you.

    Last year we raved about Manly’s scrap heap heroes – guys like Akuila Uate, Curtis Sironen and Shaun Lane repaying the faith showed in them by Coach Barrett and driving the Sea Eagles all the way to September.

    Now Kelepi Tanginoa has crashed the party and looks like he just might be the king of the lot. In Tanginoa, Lane and a rejuvenated Lloyd Perrett, Manly now foster one of the most ferocious interchange benches in the NRL.

    Barrett has assembled a no-frills, low-cost bunch of rejects and wound them up to cause havoc from the pine.

    And it’s no easy task; to come on and maintain the intensity generated by a certain Martin Taupau is one of the toughest jobs in rugby league. With a co-driver in the shape of Addin Fonua-Blake, Manly’s formula one front row are laying the ideal foundation for the smaller men around them to do the pretty stuff – and all of this while Darcy Lussick sits on the sidelines.

    Martin Taupau in particular has arguably become the game’s premier front-rower. While still prone to the odd rash pass or error, on Sunday Kapow’s punch and offload killed the Eels before the game even got going.

    Manly coach Trent Barrett

    (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

    With this sort of drive and vigour, Daly Cherry-Evans is able to showcase just why Bob Fulton cooked up the $10 million fantasy and forced it into reality.

    In short, DCE is a world-class halfback.

    Like Taupau, the electric number seven had Parramatta down and out within the first ten minutes at Lottoland. Rarely will you see a playmaker leave a greater mark on a football game.

    While Blake Green was fantastic at times last year and continues to be so for the Warriors this term, to claim his departure from the club would kill off Cherry’s influence was an insult to his ability. This is a man who is good enough to take Manly to another premiership regardless of who partners him at the scrum base.

    Sunday’s demolition showcased every facet of Manly’s game that proves they’re a genuine threat. As Andrew Johns said during Channel Nine commentary, no team attacks the ruck better than the Sea Eagles. Through a collectively pristine offloading ability the Manly pack allow Api Korisau, Tom Trbojevic and DCE to toy with bigger defenders from the first whistle.


    (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

    To have Tommy Turbo floating around an offload friendly middle is a luxury very few can afford.

    Out wide Manly have made light work of their Dylan Walker-free start to the season. While the Dally M Centre of the year has been missed in moments, Brian Kelly has shown glimpses in two games that he is a potential rep player of the future. Defensive frailties have been ironed out and we’re beginning to see more polish when the ball is in his hands.

    To come away empty-handed in Round 1 would have been somewhat disappointing for Barrett and his coaching staff. The game was there to be won but 23,000 screaming Novocastrians didn’t let it happen.

    This week Lottoland made background noise while the Sea Eagles crashed, bashed and steamrolled their way into the premiership disco.

    Indeed 2018’s Manly are a bench-driven force to be reckoned with.

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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • March 19th 2018 @ 8:06am
      Forty Twenty said | March 19th 2018 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      Manly’s pack and powerful bench can be traced back to the 1960’s. A young star named Bob Fulton was trying to win Manly’s first title playing behind packs which were not as strong as they needed to be.

      All that changed when players like Malcom Reilly and John O’neill strolled into town.

      When a mate told me several years that Bozo was back in town to help I was delighted because I was 100% sure he would fix up our pack. He had a big challenge but one local junior was with the club who you could build a pack around, , Jake T just like Terry Randall was in the 70’s.

      • March 19th 2018 @ 1:46pm
        i miss the force said | March 19th 2018 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

        yeah, it can be traced back to the 60s. maybe wait till you beat someone decent. average bench at best

        • March 19th 2018 @ 10:36pm
          Forty Twenty said | March 19th 2018 @ 10:36pm | ! Report

          If we beat a decent team it will be a fluke with such an average bench.

    • March 19th 2018 @ 8:09am
      bazza200 said | March 19th 2018 @ 8:09am | ! Report

      Manly won at home.
      parra played bad
      But Manly were the best team on the day by a long way.
      2 rounds and 1 win doesn’t make them title contenders.

    • March 19th 2018 @ 9:23am
      Paul said | March 19th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

      So Manly lost the first round against last year’s wooden spooners then flogged Parra? Very strange start to the season.

      The Sea Eagles obviously have a useful first 17 but I wonder what will happen when injuries, form loss and playing away from Brookvale, start to take a toll.

      Celebrate a strong win by all means but I’m not sure you’ll be as happy with Barrett and co as the season progresses

      • March 19th 2018 @ 9:52am
        Tom G said | March 19th 2018 @ 9:52am | ! Report

        Blacktown Workers(Manly Reserves) beat Wentworthville (Parramattas) 46-0 on the weekend too. So depth isn’t the issue it was in previous seasons.. I’d be more worried if I was an Eels fan given their two sides coughed up 100-0 between them

      • March 19th 2018 @ 10:17am
        Forty Twenty said | March 19th 2018 @ 10:17am | ! Report

        Any team who gets injuries to key players and loses form are likely to struggle and the Eagles are no different. We have plenty of forwards ready to step up if injuries take hold and some very good backs. Tom Wright will be ready very soon and could be anything.

        Newcastle shut down our attack well in round one and we made too many mistakes but they aren’t the same team from last year and they were good last year at times as well.

        The teams with suspect forwards and little depth are the ones who need to be more concerned and if you think Manly are in that class you could be mistaken.

      • March 20th 2018 @ 8:43am
        madmax said | March 20th 2018 @ 8:43am | ! Report

        The same goes for all teams!!

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