The Manly Sea Eagles are alienating their supporter base in the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition and their performance on Sunday did little to help turn things around.
Playing on their home ground, the Sea Eagles turned in a nightmarish performance during the first half of their match with the Wests Tigers, going into the break down 26 – 0 and going off to a chorus of boos from the faithful.
No amount of verbal scourging by Sea Eagles’ Coach Trent Barrett could stop the stalking Wests Tigers.
After the break, there was not much of an improvement at Brookvale. The Sea Eagles scored 12 points, but surrendered an equal number, so the final outcome of 38 -12 will be hanging over the heads of the Manly players for the upcoming week.
Commentator Braith Anasta had some insights into the situation, particularly the decision by Manly to rush star fullback Tom Trbojevic back into action following an ankle injury sustained in round four against Canberra.
Like many rugby players, Trbojevic declared himself “100 percent confident” that he was sufficiently recovered to play Wests and the medical staff concurred, but given the outcome, it would appear that Trbojevic might have been just as well off to stay at home with his foot up.
“I’ve got a bit of a gripe with them playing Tommy Trbojevic,” Anasta told the Sunday Ticket. “I think he’s still injured. From the first run, the first time he got tackled, he was limping. I don’t think he should be on the field. He’s a young kid, he’s got a long season ahead of him, he’s a superstar of our game and I believe they brought him back too quick.”
Other agreed with Anasta, including Matty Johns, who said, “There’s no way that ankle is right.”
Appearing on Johns’ TV show, Brett Finch provided to obvious instances where Trbojevic could be seen noticeably in distress.
“He got an inside ball of (Lachlan) Croker in the first half and just sort of propped up and stopped,” Finch said. “And when Jake, his brother, put him through late in that game, he got into the backfield and he just couldn’t run.”