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The Roar

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Are Manly just making up the numbers in 2020?

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Roar Rookie
3rd August, 2020
24
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Manly seem to have been largely on the back foot all season in 2020.

Although the score was fairly close in Round 1 against the Storm, the Eagles looked well off the pace.

A win against the Chooks in Round 2 looked good on paper but they were the better team and we won for one reason only – Turbo played.

We also beat the other grand finalist from 2019, the Raiders, yet it was based on heroics and didn’t convince me that we were on track.

A win and a controversial loss against the high-flying Eels looks good on paper once again, but we seemed to be on the back foot for much of the time.

This time last season we were thumped at home by the Titans. We then lost to the Panthers leaving us in the lower end of the eight, with just a forlorn hope of making a challenge for the crown.

In theory we are in a similar position to 2019, now with Turbo out of action again. It’s worth hanging on to some hope but it would be easier if we had a decent attack and defence.

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The combined try haul this season from Brendan Elliot, Brad Parker, Moses Suli and Rubin Garrick is four.

Some players in the NRL are scoring that many in half a game by themselves.

What’s gone wrong?

The most obvious issue is Turbo spending more time in the grandstand than on the field once again and then injuries to other players are a minor factor.

But the absence of Manase Fainu is a massive issue as well. Fainu is a real gun player who causes the opponents plenty of grief with his tricky play and strength which the other key players could feed off.

Another big problem at the moment is that hardly any players in the team are in great form, most are doing ok but when you look at most other teams you have heaps of players jumping out of their skin with great performances.

The only real stand out was Turbo with Daly Cherry-Evans great at times.

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Brendon Elliot at fullback tries very hard but he looks very much like a park footballer in survival mode and it can’t be doing anything for team morale to see him having zero impact in attack or defence and being mauled every time he runs the ball back.

The reasons for any sort of optimism this season are pretty flimsy but I’ll hang on to a bit because a fit Turbo could wake a few players up from some sort of semi hibernation and this season still has plenty of twists and turns to come I suspect.

It’s hard to remember the last season at Manly where it was fairly smooth sailing all year and maybe 2021 will be the one.

It will be ten years on from the last title and ten years since a great run with injuries and other dramas if it happens.

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