It’s a well-known fact that the Warriors have made it harder than any other team in the Covid-19 era – but the Kiwis seem to have settled for moderation this season.
Playing outdoors in the last two seasons, they have shown some courage and often pushed rival clubs.
But this season they are bitterly disappointed.
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They have lost nine of their 13 games, boasted of the league’s worst defense and completely lost their way.
Manly lost their two best players, Daley Cherry-Evans and Tom Trobozevich, the Warriors should have expected something on Saturday night.
But they were not ready for the game and lost 44-12, with several attempts by Manley scoring with embarrassing ease.
I hear coach Nathan Brown will continue the season under pressure – but he could be sacked at the end of the year if the team’s performance does not change dramatically in the coming months.
Olakauatu in power
The future is bright in Manly
Manly fans got a glimpse of the future in Brookville on Saturday night – and Seagulls fans left Brookville with a wide smile.
The big take-out from the game was Josh Schuster’s fifth-eighth transfer – a test that had been planned by Des Hasler for some time.
At the start of his third career in the number six jumper, Schuster was outstanding, making an effort and starring in several more.
Garrick Manly responds to the challenge
At 106kg, Schuster is not your typical five-eighth but he has great hands, a good turn of speed for a big man and the courage to try something.
With Kieran Foran moving to the Titans next season, Schuster will be Manly Pivot for the next few years – and as a result the future looks rosy.
Center Riders turn the season around
The Raiders have returned to the final hunt with five wins in their last six games – and the two main reasons for the change are their young center Sebastian Chris and Matthew Timoko.
The pair gave the Raiders a real strike power out and their second-half effort proved the difference as Canberra lost to the Rosters 22-16 yesterday.
Chris, 23, has made five tries in his last four matches, while Timoko, 22, has made two tries in the last three.
They’ve been a breath of fresh air for riders in recent weeks – and the Viking Clappers love it!
Strong attacking young gun stance
May up with the greats
Taylan May is still a child in terms of first grade experience but Wing Flyer already holds the record for the greatest triscoring panther of all time.
Rhys Wesser made 113 tries for the Panthers in the 1990s and 2000s – including six home games in a row at Penrith Park.
And when May crossed against the Bulldogs on Friday night, he became the first person since the legendary fullback to score in six consecutive games at Bluebet Stadium.
May was a fantastic discovery for the Panthers, replacing the injured Brian Too at the start of the season and holding his place after the Blues Origin winger returned.
The 20-year-old has made 12 tries in 11 NRL games – and could challenge Weisser’s 113-try mark over the next decade.
North Queensland’s remarkable record
Any team hoping to lose to the Cowboys this season will have to collect points in the first half – as the second-half points against the Townsville boys are a thin pick.
Todd Petten’s men have lost just 42 points after a break in 13 games this season – a staggering average of less than four points per game.
This is one of the main reasons why the Cowboys are firmly in the top four and the 2022 Surprise Packet.
Even without Queensland State of Origin stars Ruben Cutter, Jeremiah Nanai, Valentine Holmes and Tom Deerden, the Cowboys destroyed the low-performance of the 32-6 Titans.
And that was after the Titans scored in the first half … and then failed to score a point against the Cowboys wall in the second half.
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