Sport NRL Manly Sea Eagles look at defence to turn form around

Manly Sea Eagles look at defence to turn form around

Manly say its their leaky defence that must change with the Sea Eagles leaking more points than any Des Hasler coached side in a decade. Photo: Getty
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Manly have put the emphasis back on defence as they try to save their NRL season from buckling under the weight of a heavy injury toll.

Already without Tom Trbojevic and Dylan Walker, the Sea Eagles have lost Addin Fonua-Blake for a month to a knee injury.

Fellow front-rower Martin Taupau is also in a race against the clock to face Newcastle on Sunday, as is centre Brad Parker.

While Manly insist it’s not panic stations yet at Brookvale, they know they must turn things around fast.

And it will begin with defence after leaking 68 points in the past fortnight.

Manly’s once watertight line has conceded just over 20 points a game this year, a rate at which no Des Hasler-coached side has been breached in a decade.

“That’s where we need to be better, we’ve let in a fair few tries in the past couple of weeks,” captain Daly Cherry-Evans said.

“That’s something we pride ourselves on more than what we have been able to show our past few weeks.

“We need to start showing a bit more belief in our processes.

“No matter who is out there this week we need to have 17 players out there willing to do their best.”

Trbojevic’s absence in Manly’s attack has been much of the focus this year, but it’s also in defence where they are missing their superstar No.1 at the back.

The Sea Eagles averaged just 12.5 points against them while Trbojevic was in the team over the first six rounds, compared to 26.6 since.

The 24-year-old had further scans on his problematic hamstring this week and is still angling for a return in either round 15 or 16.

“The scan shows he is where he should be at,” his brother Jake said.

“It’s routine, it’s as expected … He’ll just keep going and progressing.”

But regardless, his and the other representative stars’ absences continue to be no justification for poor performances as far as Cherry-Evans is concerned.

“It’s certainly no excuse for us not to be winning footy games,” Cherry-Evans said.

“There is a big race for the top eight and we will be involved in that.

“I will back us to get the right amount of wins to sneak in at the end of the year.

“It’s certainly not panic stations on our end.”

-AAP