SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 02: Curtis Sironen of the Sea Eagles celebrates scoring a try with Jake Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles and team mates during the round 26 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Penrith Panthers at Lottoland on September 2, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

2017 was a strange season for the Sea Eagles. Overall a six placed finish and a home semi-final should be considered a big win after their horror 2016 effort, but in saying that Manly fans can be forgiven for thinking perhaps their season petered out.

After beating the Panthers 28-12 the weekend before to secure a ‘home’ final, many expected a repeat effort and Manly to advance. The Panthers had other ideas and bounced the Sea Eagles 22-10.

The Trbojevic brothers were the undoubted stars of the show while Cherry-Evans had a much improved season. Blake Green was solid as always and Akuila Uate turned back the clock in producing a marvellous season. Young Brian Kelly was among the finds of the season.

I’m happy to rate Manly’s 2017 a partial success. They returned to finals footy, their star halfback re-found form, they unearthed a genuine talent in Kelly, and their two superstar youngsters became international stars.

Unfortunately for Manly fans, there were negatives and I don’t know if the club went a long way towards fixing them with their (lack of) recruitment. The salary cap saga still looms over their heads and may make this difficult.

Recruitment Grading: D

Manly have brought in Joel Thompson and Lachlan Croker to replace the likes of Nate Myles and Blake Green. Thompson is a very handy pick up as he will add experience and work ethic to a forward pack that probably looks a little underdone. The loss of Blake Green is huge and with all due respect to the talented Croker, the swap will see the Sea Eagles start from behind in 2018. Hastings may start at five-eighth as a more experienced option but Barrett preferred to play him from the bench in a utility role last year. Croker will need to hit the ground running or the pressure on the likes of DCE and Turbo could really stunt the Sea Eagles start. He’s a talented kid, but he’ll be carrying the weight of the club from a very early stage.

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Star Player: Tom Trbojevic

Daly Cherry-Evans is the biggest name and most highly paid star on the roster but for mine, it is all about Tommy Turbo in 2018. His 2017 season saw 11 tries, 17 try assists and 21 line breaks as well as an initial Origin selection before an injury, and selection in the world cup squad. All this and the Manly number one is still only 21 years of age. Young Turbo is one of the players I most look forward to watching play each week. I’m not sure the same can be said for opposition defences. I’m fairly confident in saying that Trbojevic will have another huge year, and will undoubtedly represent New South Wales. He’ll score some highlight reel tries and generally tear it up.

Strength: All-Star 1, 7 & 9

Turbo, DCE, Koroisau, that’s an awesome 3/4 of a spine right there. Koroisau has been mentioned as the most likely to be picked at number nine come Origin time if Brad Fittler opts for a more attacking option. He has a blinder of a World Cup and seems to improve year on year. DCE should thrive having been placed in such an important position. A player of his stature, and on his wages, should take on a Michael Morgan-esque role in 2018. Turbo’s abilities have been spoken about above. They don’t lack the potential to score points. Dylan Walker looked far better after a settled off-season and returned to his point-scoring ways. There’s plenty of points in this side if they fire.

Weakness: Lack of depth

There is no doubt that Manly have some absolute stars of the game. DCE, Turbo x 2, Walker, just to name a few. That said, I have real reservations about the lack of depth in this squad. The club’s struggles at number six are well documented with efforts to sign Trent Hodkinson looking unlikely to eventuate. An injury to DCE could realistically see the season over. Obviously the same goes for a lot of clubs and their star half, but he shoulders such an enormous workload that I think he’ll very obviously be targeted. The Manly bench doesn’t really possess any ready-made replacements if a forward goes down early in the year. Manly need to have a very lucky season injury-wise.

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Prediction: 10th

Most NRL fans will take great pleasure in the Sea Eagles being written off but be warned, Manly usually play their best footy when they’re backed into a corner. How many times have they looked shot only to launch an incredible comeback, as if just to annoy the general league pundit.

The lack of a recognised number six is huge. If they had signed Pearce they could very well have become a top four level side. They missed out and look set to punt on a near rookie. That places ridiculous pressure on their other playmakers.

With all due respect to their forward pack, I don’t see them in the leagues of the Roosters, Cowboys, Storm, Sharks etc. They look light and the depth of talent just isn’t there. Manly will be hoping a 2017 Brian Kelly emerges from the pack.

Manly have the ability to go a long way. If Turbo and DCE fire and Croker lands on his feet, watch out. That said, the over-reliance on one half and a 21-year-old fullback worry me.

This may be a prediction I live to regret, but I just can’t see Manly slipping into the top eight unless they bring in an experienced six before kick off. As mentioned previously that looks a big ask given the salary cap position they find themselves in.

111 COMMENTS

    • I must admit iv been waiting on the review pmsl….ill just grab a beer and get comfy before reading anymore…im so frigging excited…its christmas

  1. Turbo makes most mistakes in comp from fullback
    API misses most tackles
    DCE might turn up , that said we have the best spine in the comp ! MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

    • How about moving Turbo to centre and DCE to hooker? I realise it sounds absurd, but maybe it will work and those weaknesses can be avoided? Can Api play half and hide out wide in defence?

      • Either way they will still finish the 2018 season under the Rabbits and the Eels. Possibly also under the Knights. 🦅🎣

      • Why is it absurd? Was shifting Lockyer absurd ? Jamie Lyon 2013 ? Jarrod Hayne ?
        Oh yeah he’s paid to be a halfback that’s the only reason why , a poor reason , a reason no genuine follower of RL would accept ,

      • We may finish behind those SSTID but one things for sure , NO SPOON FOR US ! Unlike all of the above mentioned 🎣🐰🌑💩

      • Eels47 sorry but I disagree about Turbo going to centre, Turbo plays his best footy when he has the ball in his hands, he won’t he get much ball at centre. He’s still young and is still learning his role at fullback.

        I also disagree with DCE moving to hooker, he played one of his best seasons last season, I don’t see the point of moving him to hooker.

        But we do need a five eight, Hodkinson would be fine but we’re unlikely to get him.

        • OK Sheldon, careful or I will play cat and mouse with your OCD and repeatedly rearrange your replica wooden spoon collection while you are taking your regular and timed toilet break. You will be up disinfecting and rearranging them for hours and always wondering if I replaced one with a fake! Bahahahahahahahahahaha

          So like Sheldon Cooper in “Big Bang Theory” are you also a “Homo novus”? LOL

          THAT was a Freudian slip there eels47 (aka Sheldon), you really revealed the “inner geek” on that one! I used to watch the show too by the way so no judgement, don’t worry. 😉

  2. The thought of DCE at hooker has you all petrified,
    Lockyer , Killa , Inglis , JT all played out of position with success,

    • MW47 I think Manly will struggle this season without Green or an established 5/8. Manly need to purchase Carney for a successful season. Carney I cant believe will be playing up near Cairns for the local pub side for nothing. Why hasn’t a club picked him up. He is a brilliant runner of the footy with great vision and would be picked up for a bargain basement price. The NRL stated recently that if somebody put a contract on their table they would basically look at it and it will be given the all clear. He is great to have around the team on hot days as they don’t have to go far to the bubbler.

      • Woodchook I agree 100% , however our problems are greater than just a quality 5/8 who can take pressure of the worlds most expensive 7 !

        • DCE heading for a dummy half play against Saints rnd 6 was as funny as it gets… Flo gets in a tangle and DCE decides to throw him out of the road – Widdop scores un marked.
          So no hooker role for DCE.
          Tommy at FB – he will get better.
          Carney would be at the least be reliable – and dirt cheap… great for the crowds and the fear factor.

        • Oh dear. I think pedro trumped your DCE to hooker argument MW47. LOL

          I remember the “angry eagle” was not happy about that play at the time. What was it… was it DCE was taken out by a Dragons player playing the ball or there was some sort of obstruction if I remember?

  3. I think too many are discounting Manly’s chances. They have a team capable of making the 8. They are one of those fringe teams who depending on injuries and a bit of luck, can make an impact in 2018.

    • and they did just that last year, took their chances / had some bad injury runs and still made the 8.

      • It all depends if our five eight (Hastings or Croker) could do the job, they need to play a similar style to Blake Green and organise for DCE which is why he had a fantastic season.

      • If you look at the history 2 or 3 teams that make the 8 each year miss out the following year. This happens every year and has been happening for some time now. I posted the history of this on Zero Tackle a couple of months ago. So if history repeats (and it often does pedro) 2 – 3 teams that made the 8 in 2017 will miss out in 2018 to be replaced by teams that missed the 8 in 2017. The questions is WHICH teams will drop out and which teams will replace them?

        I think that you can lock in the Storm, the Cowboys and (sadly) the Roosters. Even though the Panthers (on paper) look like they could be a top 4 side in 2018 nothing is set in stone and the wheels could easily fall off… especially with Fred and Barney driving the boulder mobile!

        • I am still very dubious about the Panthers. They have the talent but they have had this for a few years now. I don’t think Griffin is a coach to win a premiership. It was only recently that he almost had a player revolt and I don’t think Moylan was the only cause.

        • “I don’t think Griffin is a coach to win a premiership”

          On the face of it I would agree with you. I call Phil Gould and Anthony Griffin, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble for a reason tommy. They are relics of the stone age and locked in the past. For all his achievements at the Panthers “Gus” is often part of the problem and I often wonder, if like Bozo at Manly, he is actually dabbling in coaching from the shadows and throwing a spanner in the works as a result.

          I feel however that with the arrival of Maloney, the development of Cleary and a very talented young side the Panthers may yet win a premiership in spite of a coach that looks to the shadows for a assistance and reads from a playbook carved in stone. The Panthers have the talent tommy and success follows Maloney wherever he goes. Don’t be surprised if a black cat crosses the Broncos path at the business end of the season and shatters Bennett’s mirror on the wall.

    • Surely you aren’t saying that Manly will make the 8? WHERE’s the fun in telling Sea Eagle fans that tommy? It’s like hand feeding a a flock of seagulls one seagull at a time, one chip a time. No, the fun is in the ruckus they make when you throw one chip in the middle and stand back and watch!

        • OK tommy, it is the silly season but I will put on my serious face. Seriously now… if the Broncos don’t make the 8 or finish out of the top 4 and fail to make it to the semi-finals do you think that Bennett will step aside and let Kevin Walters take over? Also, do you honestly think that Bennett would make a difference at the Warriors if he took on the role of head coach and left Darius and the rest of the Broncos rep players in Brisbane?

          Remember, we are being serious now tommy. Btw, my answer to both questions is NO.

        • It depends on the reasons. If there is no valid reasons for an average season beyond poor form Bennett will and should be under pressure. With the new structure around Origin Brisbane will be less impacted with loss of players and will have few excuses. Kevin Walters is a winner and I think his desire to take over from Bennett will be dependant on the reasons behind the departure.

          No I don’t think Bennett would help the Warriors as head coach. Maybe as a director of football like Gould. Two reasons, one Bennett is nearing the end of his coaching relevance. That said he would do an excellent job as a mentor to a young coach or conducting internal club audits. Secondly the Warriors issues run way too deep for ANY head coach to fix.

        • I agree with all of the above tommy except for the fact that I think it is time for Bennett to step aside and hand the Broncos reins to Walters. He could easily stay on as a “Director of Football” at Red Hill. In fact it would be a natural progression. I really think it is time tommy. I fully realise that the majority of Broncos fans won’t agree but I believe the Broncos need fresh ideas. Hopefully that will be just the tonic that Souths need as well.

          As I have posted here before, the Warriors need to change from the top down. The same way Souths did when Crowe took over the club. They need a new coach (not a Kiwi an Aussie) and they need at least 6 or 7 quality first graders who also are not Kiwi nationals in their squad and making up at least half their team. Right now I think the Warriors are more focused on their cultural identity than on being a competitive and consistent football team which means you recruit the best regardless of whether they are Kiwi or not (i.e Issac Luke, Adam Blair, and Tohu Harris).

        • I don’t think Bennett could fill a role of football director at Brisbane. I think it would be a disaster. He is too linked to the internal working, culture and structure of the club to make unbiased observations.

        • You are probably right tommy in that view. Jokes about Bennett aside, the club has been in HIS shadow for too long (except for a brief period where he went “on the road” and Broncos fans never stopped crying for him to come back. The truth is all things end. Even Bennett’s reign. IMO the Broncos need to air the joint out and breath new life into the club. The Broncos have a great junior nursery and have no problem recruiting players to the club but after all 11 years and no premiership and only 1 GF appearance surely it is time for a change? Remember the 1 premiership that Bennett can claim in the last 11 years was with the Dragons not the Broncos. Bennett is not some magical talisman or panacea to the Broncos problems or the answer to their hopes of winning another premiership no matter how many bronze statues they erect to the bloke his time has passed and he should bow out gracefully.

          Walters will do a great job I am sure and has waited long enough for an opportunity. Bennett was 37 years old when he first got the chance to coach first grade at the Raiders. Kevin Walters is now 50 and has been waiting patiently for an opportunity to take on the role of head coach at the only club he has ever dreamed of coaching. Does he have to wait to be Bennett’s current age before he gets a chance? To quote one of QLD’s favourite sons, “Turn it up!”

        • I think he favours the domestication policy for the feral seagulls that infest our beaches and football venues. He is not happy to see your lot scrounging to survive. Fly while you are free before you are locked in a cage and taught to say rude words and phrases just to be fed a chip! Bahahahahahahahaha Freedom has it’s dignity after all. 😉

        • Well it worked for Rabbits why not seagulls. My granddaughter thinks those fat, fluffy pet rabbits are sorta cute. Thank Wally they are still illegal up here in gods country.

        • Yes but Rabbits are cute and cuddly and don’t make a ruckus like seagulls and they don’t mug you for a carrot tommy!

          “Thank Wally they are still illegal up here in gods country.”

          Along with public marches, impartial sports coverage, and a selection of books which are still banned and burned annually at the winter solstice every June where books are still ritualistically burned at midnight in front of an effigy of Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

        • After 3 decades is getting tougher and tougher to find more banned books to burn. We have had to resort with burning the hopes and dreams of NSW fans every year. Coincidentally this tends to happen around June. It is an awkward situation but we make do.

        • ATTENTION HOLMSEY!!! ATTENTION HOLMSEY!!!

          Are you paying attention son? THIS is how you can use humour to turn the tables WITHOUT getting personal. Look at examples as well between WoodChook and myself and the Eels “Chipmunks” Alvin, Simon and Theodore with me and MW47. You don’t always have to get personal when you are cornered in an argument (which will always happen if you don’t have much of an argument to begin with).

          @ tommy

          Bravo! Very funny. You get the silver medal tommy, but unfortunately the gold medal is mine and I am on the podium listening to my anthem “Glory, Glory to South Sydney”. LOL

        • Agreed, except Holmsey, it’s not funny to refer to the “3 wise men” as Alvin, Theodore, and Simon.

          Funny is something more like, DCE to hooker, or the “baggage brothers” (the twins), catching and holding onto the ball, Manly making the 8, that sort of thing.

          Sorry, sorry sorry, but sometimes “Ned” just gets carried away.

        • OK Ned Ryerson, let’s try this again and try to pretend like we have not gone over this 100 times before…

          I told you mighty, be careful about using the “3 wise men” tag, “it GRATES on me mighty!” and remember it can easily be changed into the “3 stooges” again. I told you mighty, that was a free pass in keeping with the festive season and Christmas cheer it is now way passed it’s expiry date. I don’t think any group of supporters has a mortgage on wisdom and judging from the multitude of repetitious and cyclic disagreements by many here (including myself), it seems there are few on this site that can truly be called “wise” except perhaps for “the ZT Jedi council”. How about my original suggestion of “the 3 Amigos” as a compromise?

          Mighty? Don’t start me mighty! DON’T start me!

        • mighty!!!! You are THIS close to being referred to as “Brick Tamland” (The Anchorman) for perpetuity!

          Now choose, “3 Amigos”, “3 chipmunks”, “3 stooges” OR “Brick Tamaland” and “Lloyd Christmas”/”Harry Dunne” (Dumb and Dumber). Your choice? No pressure…

          “LOUD NOISES!!!” – Brick Tamland

        • Hmmmm?

          Well I can’t speak on behalf of compadres, as I am only one third of said trio, however I was thinking me, MW and you could form our own little trio, and be the good, the bad and the ugly, respectively. Thoughts?

        • That was bad Ned so your part has already been cast. The “angry eagle” doesn’t quite go with “the good” so I guess he will have the only remaining possibility while I am happy to take whatever is left, reluctantly.

          I’m not too sure if Pappa Smurf will be happy with that though. In terms of RL forums I think he believes he has “Clint Eastwood” covered.

          OK, how about “the 3 Musketeers”? (“All for one and one for all”) It sums the 3 of you up perfectly but without any negative connotations. It’s either that or “the slippery eels”.Ned. After that the bag is empty so take your pick. Talk it over with Simon and Alvin if you wish. 😉

  4. I like Hodkinson and what he has achieved on and off the field but I don’t think he will be an asset to Manly if they sign him. He will probably play only 8 games next season.
    Focusing on Lachlan Crocker and the other up and comers will prove to be a more prudent decision.

    • I agree I think Hodkinson’s knees are not up to the demands of a full season. They are better off blooding a rookie.

    • The Tigers desperately need a quality HB and while coach Cleary bides his time waiting to welcome “junior” the the Tigers Hodkinson would pair well with Josh Reynolds. I really don’t think that Benji is up to it anymore and Hodkinson “on one leg” would be a better option than Benji or Brooks. Lolohea is destined for the halves and he would learn a lot from Hodkinson until the Tigers can sign a “young gun” FB like Jahrome Hughes. Once Lolohea moves to 5/8 Reynolds will finally be free to move to hooker where he started his career and where he would be able to better serve the team.

      Any serious thoughts on that one tommy?

      • As above I don’t think Hodkinson can play a full season and therefore would be a waste of cap space. He was only an ok player at his best. I think Brooks has potential and is their best option.

        • Brooks is a player that others will say “has potential” until he start to go grey and the same people say he is over the hill and passed it. Brooks “potential” was a mirage created by the genius and skill of both Tedesco and Moses. They are now gone, along with any chance of Brooks “find said potential” again.

          Think about players like Nathan Cleary, Ash Taylor and Angus Crichton. They are not content to coast on their potential but rather they exceed these initial expectations and are not restrained by them. Greg Inglis and Israel Folau likewise, similarly Billy Slater and Jonathan Thurston. Oh crap! I just named 4 QLDers (even though 2 of them are from NSW… “THAT’s in QLD!” LOL

        • Btw, I think we all tend to overplay the “potential” card when it comes to talking up or making excuses for players.

        • Like Benji who is already playing in the halves at the Tigers and warmed the bench for the Broncos in Brisbane?

        • Yep but at the very least Benji is a club legend. Also Hodkinson at his best was nowhere in the same class as Benji at his best.

        • In that too you are right. Benji at his best was one of THE best! He is also a club legend and all jokes aside can be proud of a career that reached heights that most who have played the came have never come close to. Hodkinson is a journeyman footballer with good skill and consistency but he has never been exceptional I agree.

  5. Sea eagles will make the 8, maybe just but will be there…
    Thought it was funny about our pack and bench being bad.
    Taupau, lussick, sironen, Thompson, Jake,
    Will run all over roosters mentioned pack.
    Also a bench of AFB, Perrett, paseka and Hastings, is very very solid and won’t be intimidated very often at all

    • Damn, that’s a pack that should lay a foundation. The question is whether the halves can set up the backs who should finish the job if given the chance.
      Position 6 for mine.

      • It’s a very solid pack, not much experience in our depth but here is depth just young guys showing potential…
        The halves will be right,
        Dce runs the right side and apparerelt Croker on left, but turbo like going left so he will take a lot of pressure off him.
        Walker is a big loss early and hopefully after a nasty injury will come back like last year, cause he is as important to us and anyone

  6. No Holmsey? Can’t blame him, he is probably sick of all the crap that comes his way from another Manly supporter , no doubt he would have liked to have expressed his opinion and i for one would have been interested to read what he had to say.

    Holmsey what do you think of Manly’s season? please let us know.

    • Yeah. I agree Penso. Holmsey is a bit one eyed and can be easily baited and then drawn into conflict but when he is talking footy I like reading his posts

      • Yeah, me too, Penso, Screamingeagle. I like reading his posts. It’s pretty much par for the course for me that he talks up his team. It’s that sort of passion that makes a website like this all the more emotive. He’s not deserving of any of this obsessional online bullying in my book, especially when he hadn’t even posted on this article…I don’t think he’s even posted for days now…yet the barbs just keep coming.

    • @ penso

      “he is probably sick of all the crap that comes his way from another Manly supporter”

      No penso some of the “volleys” that come his way are a “return of serve” provoked by a kid whose mouth is forever writing cheques that his intellect cannot cash! Recently He has been very disrespectful to you as well in the past don’t forget and without provocation. He cannot be reasoned with because he closes his mind to any argument that conflicts with his world view and he frequently gets personal when his superficial arguments are examined in the light of day and vanish like shadows or are exposed as shallow and lacking substance often bereft of any depth, insight or merit.

      All of us here at one time or another have agreed to disagree, but not holmsey. I understand that the “angry eagle” winds him up by I have advised him many times before ignore anyone who is baiting him if he feels he is being singled out. Or instead he can use humour and turn the whole thing around like so many of us have done already. Not by getting personal but by using a little imagination and wit. Is that too much to ask?

      • I both agree and disagree.
        I agree with you SSTID that Holmesy needs to have thicker skin and not let MW47’s constant niggling get to him.
        But I disagree that the comments are a return of serve. In MW47’s own example Holmesy gave his opinion about Watson and rather than ask for an explanation like MW47 says he has, he immediately went on the attack saying he has no idea about the game (or something along those lines).
        Yes Holmesy could have reacted with well actually I think Watson … but you cant blame a kid for getting defensive, particularly when it is so constant.

        Like Penso and Screaming Eagle have said I enjoy Holmesy’s posts. I would also like to hear greater details/explanations surrounding some of his statements. But, to say his arguments are shallow and superficial is farcical because in recent times he has not been given the opportunity to present an argument before being berated.

        Your own arguments about how he should respond to people baiting him are flawed as well. You tell him to ignore comments aimed at winding him up, then say he vanishes into the shadows when he does just that. You tell him to use wit and humour to turn things around but maybe he, unlike others (and yes that is a shot at you), knows he isn’t funny or maybe, like he has stated here in the past, he is not interested in banter and just wants to talk footy.

        Having said all that, yeah he is a bit immature and a bit of a sook, for not being able to move past the constant barbs without retaliation and talk footy with the many users who would be happy to do so but as you and MW47 keep reminding us he is just a kid (I believe could be wrong but) and as such perhaps you can understand a little immaturity from a kid.

      • @ gregjm

        Wow! OK. I’ve been tied up and it is late and this will be long but I will address your concerns gregjm. I will divide this up to give you a chance to respond if you chose. Firstly, for the sake of transparency and openness, which team do you go for gregjm? The Dogs? The Broncos? The Roosters? YOu know who I follow so I think it only fair I am afforded the same courtesy. I am trying to look for further motivation in your attack.

        Firstly, I don’t speak for anyone but myself. The “return of serve” comment was in reference to myself and no one else. I did not call holmsey any names and did not get personal but he did (as he often does). He has gotten personal with penso as well in the past just over a difference of opinion without any provocation.

        “you cant blame a kid for getting defensive, particularly when it is so constant”

        From the others? Perhaps. From me? No. I do not follow holmsey around trying to provoke him. Look at the history, even recent history, where I have supported his comments or at least his right to his opinion. However, this is NOT reciprocated! Just look at the history. If anything it is the other way around when holmsey insists on disagreeing with my posts but when I try to talk about the facts of the matter or discuss them in greater depth he flips me off (often in an arrogant fashion) and disregards cold hard facts and clear proofs of an argument and regurgitates his rehearsed monologue. There is NO give and take with holmsey. No middle ground.

        When he said that the quality of service from a dummy half is irrelevant as long the intended player gets the ball… well that is just rubbish! I remember one example in particular of a left to right pass from dummy half by Lichaa with Dogs set to score and the pass went about 3 metres into the air in an arc. The intended receiver (Reynolds) got the ball but got smashed! I remember many more examples of passes from Lichaa and other dummy halves that are misdirected and cause the “intended receiver” to halt their progress and turn or change their line and in either case their supports overrun the play and the attacking opportunity is lost. Don’t tell me quality of service from dummy half doesn’t matter gregjm! Anyone who has ever played the game or watched and studied it closely for any period of time will know this is just WRONG! Running from dummy half does NOT make up for this deficiency.

        • Mate, I go for tigers but I wouldn’t say I’m a passionate tigers fan, more just a fan of the game. I’ll add to this you haven’t said anything about the tigers (or anything else) to offend me.
          “From the others, perhaps”. Yes from the others specifically MW47 (who also hasn’t really personally offended me) And it is to this I was reffering.
          However you said you weren’t trying to provoke him but you calling him out in this article is exactly that.
          I do think there is middle ground with Holmsey (except maybe when it comes to DCE, but even to this point he has often stated he’d rather consider the positives than focus on the negatives).
          And Of course I think quality service from dummy half is important. And I would agree arguments to the contrary are rubbish.
          I didn’t say Holmsey is always right and I will believe everything he says. However as I don’t recall this argument I won’t comment any further on it.

        • Back to your best , the PC police only applies to your bestie, hypocrisy at its best , hope you trip whilst tha whistle is in your mouth

        • Wrong it’s hes got the clap , anyone can call themselves what they like , a real female would have gone bananas with some of the stuff posted here pre Christmas, it’s obvious there not and obvious you have cause for concern

        • @ gregjm

          “Yes from the others specifically MW47… it is to this I was reffering”

          Then talk to him not to me. I am not responsible for the posts of anyone else on this site other than my own. The running battle between them is between them and if you want to get into the middle of it good luck. I have tried but it does no good on either side.

          “calling him out in this article is exactly that”

          To suggest a way forward by using humour instead of disrespect and getting personal? I’d say that was conciliatory if anything. It seemed like the perfect opportunity.

          “I do think there is middle ground with Holmsey”

          No. There isn’t. He won’t back down on an argument, even if proven wrong. He cannot agree to disagree and between holmsey and myself he is always the first to get personal and offensive despite my repeated warnings.

          “However as I don’t recall this argument”

          Here it is…

          holmsey January 24, 2018 at 1:08 am
          SSTID, 1st point The ball does get to the intended man! How wouldnt it? …while it may not be on the chest of the player is does get to them.

          holmsey January 23, 2018 at 7:38 pm
          Lichaa was excellent in the final rounds and will continue to build a great end to the year, silly if people think otherwise… And ball distribution is not a major issue as long as the ball gets to the man it doesnt matter.

          https://www.zerotackle.com/nrl-2018-players-point-prove-part-2-31227/

          holmsey January 24, 2018 at 10:18 am
          Again you two old folks telling me Im wrong and have no clue.

          I was raised in a time when that was considered rude and I was taught never to address people older than yourself in such a way. I had not gotten personal only questioned holmsey’s opinion and got targeted along with MW47.

          “I won’t comment any further on it.”

          I’ll take you at your word then.

        • Gregjm public forum , banter , debate , question all encouraged , being precious, ignorant , PC can become a problem

        • @MW – sheer brilliance. I applaud someone else’s post, so I must be a man…with an STD. Brilliant. As usual.

        • “MF”? You seem to be getting a little worked up there, Genius.

          When I’ve worked out what you’ve endeavoured to communicate here, I’ll get back to you.

      • “he has not been given the opportunity to present an argument before being berated”

        I will post 2 ZT links under this to show you how holmsey likes to make blanket statements he cannot backup and when he is proven wrong he is either too proud, too stubborn or too arrogant to admit he was wrong! He specifically misquoted the salaries of Greg Inglis and Sam Burgess in particular and got a few other points wrong as well. I showed him the proof and he ignored it and continued to make the same baseless assertions without ANY proof to back them up despite the links and resources that I provided to prove my argument. This is only one example of many. If you do the research you will find between holmsey myself (forget anyone else) holmsey is the first to show disrespect and get personal despite my numerous warning to be careful or “do you really want to go there?” he cannot help himself.

        Salary cap and highest paid player debate (part 1)

        https://www.zerotackle.com/cooper-cronk-play-2018-29918/

        • This was more a reference to the past week, and likely the reason he isn’t commenting on the article, as you have been calling him out to do, as penso and screaming eagle mentioned above.

          And for what it’s worth he could’ve replied to you in the articles and said something along the lines of “my bad was just estimating their salaries, but it doesn’t change the fact that every club has their high priced players”. Don’t know why he didn’t, would respect him more if he did but I also think it was a minor point for you to carry on with over 2 different articles when it wasn’t as if it really changed what he was originally talking about.
          Was this after you two started arguing? Maybe he was taking your advice and ignoring you.
          Again, For what it’s worth I think his anger at you (can’t remember the article but he gave you both that big “stop talking to me post”) was originally misplaced and you were more guilty by association, as it was your mate MW47 stirring him up. But rather than rationally respond with something along the lines of “mate, sorry but you’ve got the wrong guy, I’m not responsible for my mates views” you’ve been on an anti-Holmsey tirade ever since. Not saying you couldn’t have taken a shot back but in my opinion the fact it is still continuing is a type of sulky tantrum on par with the one you have described in the next post.

        • That is the problem if there is a history and you are not aware of it. Perhaps do the research and see where it all started. I agree though that each should stay out of the others way but that is out of my control.

          “he could’ve replied to you in the articles and said something along the lines of “my bad was just estimating their salaries, but it doesn’t change the fact that every club has their high priced players””

          But that IS the point. He will not admit when he is wrong, there is no middle ground with him. I have admitted when I was wrong, have gone to far or have agreed to disagree. Most others here have as well. What was worse was that even after the FACTs proven him wrong he still reposted the same misinformation and lies!

          “I think his anger at you… was originally misplaced and you were more guilty by association”

          I KNOW it was, which is all too often the case. In which case do I not have the right to an apology? And to think I even backed him up and advised him to ignore posts that are just trying to shake his cage but there is no appreciation or respect for that. Like I said, I’m done with the kid.

          Which brings me to a final point… HOW do we KNOW he IS a kid? HOW do we KNOW that people who claim to be female ARE in fact female? For all my words to the contrary I myself could be a woman how would anyone know? We take people at their word and people on public forums like to create personas which may or may not reflect who they really are. In my case though there have been a few on this site that I have had face to face conversations with (albeit over the phone) and who can confirm I am in fact male. But you get my point? I believe there are those that would seek to gain an advantage by such an admission “I’m a kid” or “I’m a woman” so you can’t be too hard on me even if I rip your flesh off on a public forum. It is a ridiculous situation.

        • “still continuing is a type of sulky tantrum on par with the one you have described in the next post.”

          OK. Fair point. But in this story at least there was a positive objective in mind. But, as MW47 says, if you are going to post an opinion on a public forum you have to expect to have it challenged and if you try to pass it of as fact or truth instead of opinion you better be prepared to back it up with proof and something concrete and not just fluff. If you are not prepared to do this then be careful of how forcefully you try to make your point if you are not willing to find the middle ground or concede the point if you are wrong (and apologise when required). Fair enough?

      • “You tell him to use wit and humour to turn things around but maybe he, unlike others (and yes that is a shot at you), knows he isn’t funny or maybe”

        What are you saying? That I think he is incapable of being funny so I challenge him to set him up for failure to laugh at him? Have you read my posts and interactions with others here? There are many others here who would not have that opinion of me. On this story/forum I tried to highlight examples of how humour can be used to lighten the mood. Banter can be learned even if it does not come naturally. Are you telling me that someone who is almost out of school and about to face the real world has never shared a joke with friends or laughed? holmsey is articulate and clever enough to at least give it a try or if not don’t make things worse by escalating the situation.

        OR are you saying you that you don’t think I am funny and think I am the only one that thinks that I am? Come on now, man up and step up. Is that what you are saying? I like to joke but I don’t claim one thing or another. The responses from others by and large speak for themselves but I would like you to clarify your comment nonetheless.

        “You tell him to ignore comments aimed at winding him up, then say he vanishes into the shadows when he does just that.”

        Surely you can tell the difference? Surely? Ignoring comments that bait and wind him up is not the same as withdrawing and not posting altogether. No, the withdrawing altogether happens when holmsey swings and gets hit and doesn’t like it. When he is proven wrong and cannot face it. When he is trapped in a corner staring at DCE’s own words saying that he (the highest paid player in the game) did not give 100% and did not try hard enough. In response holmsey threw a fit, declared that he would never post again and then vanished and was back posting 3 days later. He has done the same since and he is doing the same again now. In toddler terms it’s called temper tantrums and sulking. It is a stunt to illicit sympathy and avoid facing the heat after first stoking the fire. Don’t fall for it.

        • Man I just typed up a whole response to this but for some reason it didn’t post. But basically saying I think you are the only one who thinks you’re funny. Will elaborate tomorrow I’m off to bed.

        • There is a block list so it happens to all of us from time to time.

          “I think you are the only one who thinks you’re funny”

          In your opinion and you are entitled to it. Others are entitled to theirs, read their comments which speak for themselves, along with their participation in the banter. Elaborating further is dangerous ground so think carefully first. As you have said, I have done nothing to attack you or put you against a wall. I get a chuckle while posting and that is all that matters for me, I am not here for your sake or anyone else’s. That said there are those here I think of as mates (cyber buddies) and I am in touch with offline. I have their respect and they have mine and our sense of humour is shared even if not by everyone including yourself.

          If you aren’t up for the banter then skip over the posts. From what I have read from your comments you seem to know what you are talking about so we can have discussions on the game at any rate. You are free to pick and choose.

        • Man do you guys ever get any sleep? me I struggle to get past 8.30 although sometimes i’ll treat myself to a late 9.30 stay up even later if I have assistance, ah the good old days, anyway, good responses by both of you, but let me remind you of when Holmsey was getting a bit out of control, he admitted that he was wrong and he promised to change his ways, and I think he has, sure he says things that can be challenged but in the end it’s his opinion regardless whether he is right or wrong, that is his answer when asked to prove what he says.

          i think we just need to get this comp up and running, time is going so slow at the moment and I do hope Holmsey does comment on his teams chances. Cheers fella’s

        • What have you done? Now I feel an Austen Tayshus like sonnet coming on. Better prepare the smelling salts, Rabbits as been getting into those 3 leafed plants with the spikey edges again!

        • @ penso

          I had an early start on Australia Day celebrations last night. I woke up this morning and thought someone had hacked my profile again. I was busy it seems, too busy! Anyway, moving on and waiting for an afternoon nap now I think to catch up. I think I need one of “Rabbits” pick–me-ups right about now. Happy Australia Day all.

    • He’s a sook , makes ludicrous statements and when you want to debate him he calls it fighting ! Yeah I question his posts but I’m looking for a logical or at least an explanation backing his thoughts ! He stated Watson would be Newies best by ,when asked how ! He cry’s foul, stated that a hookers passing game is irrelevant so long as they pass , again you ask how and he cry’s like a baby , sorry but he’s immature and a sook

  7. First time commenter long time reader @MW47 you didnt ask him how is watson is newies best buy you insulted him saying he hasnt got a clue on the game , then you call him immature and childish because he called you old and a lap dog to @SSITD_1970 and actually went to the point of wanting to meet with him in person lol you can keep calling him immature but at the end of the day you are the ones trying ro bait fights with a kid online , anyway imo I think watson could be newies best buy he has the potential to be but the thing with best buys no one knows until the end of the season , I mean at the start of the 2016 season kieran foran was eels “best buy” 😅

    • @ Stefan69

      Am I expected to reply to this because I have an @ prefacing my handle? You lost me mate. I got attacked and insulted without attacking anyone personally just challenging an opinion. If you read back over the comments I agreed with holmsey to a point and do rate Watson but think there is strong competition for Newcastle’s “Best Buy” and “Best Player”. If you have a look not many here are really putting themselves in the experts armchair to make these claims (i.e. “Best Buy”/”Best Player”) and it is a little presumptuous to do this for EVERY team like we are all hanging out waiting for the opinion of one person. Still, have I attacked him for that before now? We each make our own contributions to the site I don’t say holmsey has less to offer than anyone else but be cannot take criticism or any opinions that conflict with his world view. That is going to happen on an open forum so you need to be prepared.

      Anyway, welcome aboard. Many of us started out as long time readers who began to post because something moved us to comment. I look forward to yours. Which team do you support?

  8. Stefan , open forum , I’d would also invite you if you wish to call me a dog , “having no idea” isn’t insulting unless your a new gen Blouse who got a trophy and never kept score

  9. @MW47 its not the worst thing to say at all but its not asking bout someones opinion , like I said long time reader and you guys are entertaining , dont know you so wouldnt have a reason to call you a dog but im a grown man if I ever had a reason wouldnt be scared to lol

  10. @SSTID_1970 nah didnt mean to make you feel like you attack holmsey or anything , for the most part i like your comments and you do try to reason , sometimes your banter might get lost in translation but that will happen in an open forum , I go for parra mate , have soft spots for souths and wests because of family though

    • “I go for parra mate”.
      Look SSTID, obviously another wise man (being a Parra supporter).
      Stefan, welcome aboard.

      • He may be another eels supporter but he doesn’t appear to be another BRICK for your blue and yellow wall BRICK. No matter how hard you try you can’t build wisdom by stacking BRICKs together. 😂😂😂

    • @ Stefan69

      The “lost in translation” banter may be in part due to a generation gap, in part to some of the jokes being “in jokes” or running gags or having obscure references and some just because of my strange sense of humour.

      Anyway, looking forward to your future posts and the prospect of you finally bringing some wisdom to our misnamed eels trio. “3 Amigos” perhaps “3 Musketeers” maybe, but “3 wise men”? No! 😂

  11. 2018 for Manly is probably my most anticipated season since I have been a fan. Not because I think we will the premiership but that we are a year into the new era and the club as a whole is settled. We have a relatively settled roster from last year apart from some minor changes, Green is a big omission but we strengthen the backrow with the addition of Thompson who I’ve always been a fan of, personally would have liked to seen him play for the blues but that ship has sailed and he missed out but his experience will be invaluable to our young roster.

    Team line up will have some changes and new faces. Tom Trbojevic at 1 will be into his second year at fullback and has a couple of seasons and off seasons under his belt will only improve also spent a world cup learning from Slater, he can only improve. His attack is as good as it gets in League, his defence is solid, positioning can improve as can his fitness but that will all come to him as he gets more experienced and more use to the fullback role. Taufua and Uate, 2 and 5 excellent try scorers and meter eaters, in my opinion Manly have the best back 3 in the game in terms of meters out of our own end with strength and power. Taufua was also massively underrated in 2017, when he got injured it took manly time to adjust to the loss of his meters from our own end. 3, Walker wont return until round 3 or 4 but Im sure will be as good as he always is and he is very good. 4 Kelly, this kid had an excellent first year inconsistent but when he was on he was beating the best backs in the game with his skill and footwork, second season in will only improve. 6 is more than likely to be Croker, cant talk him up to much as I dont know enough about him, I know he is fast and attacking and is having a wonderful off season. Fitler has him in his emerging blues squad so has something. Hoping he has a great year and be our long term option alongside Cherry. Now onto our skipper, probably the best Halfback in the game during 2017, was wonderful back to the Cherry-Evans pre 2015 season. His leadership was what really impressed me though and lived up to his price tag. Front row 8 and 10 will be Lussick who dropped off significantly in 2017, his discipline deteriorated badly. Hoping he can re gain his best. Taupau another player who was awesome in 2017. Found his spot at prop and was the number 1 offloader in the game and Manly had alot of success due to his personal success. Cant wait to see Kapow rip in during 2018👊. Backrow of Siro and Thompson. Siro who has developed a wonderful partnership with DCE had an excellent year and found his new lease of footy with manly. Thompson will tighten up the left edge with provide some great cover for our young guns Kelly and Croker, also give our halves and playmakers an option of a hole running forward. Jake T at lock, he will always give a 110% and never gives up a lot of people believe Taumalolo is the best lock in the game but if you want the same excellent performance every minute of every game despite the score you cant look past Jakey. Hopefully he can keep developing his ball playing and leadership. Number 9 is Api Koroisau, 2017 was a big year but 2018 will be bigger. He defends really well and hits as hard as anyone, can drop anyone he wants. Hes also so creative with the ball, has every trick in the game and it can sometimes bring him undone but so far he hes only reaping rewards. I honestly think he will debut for the blues this year, he is really standing up for manly and being consistent. Fitler rates him highly and has labelled him a bolter. I cant talk to much of the bench, Fonua Blake is the only certainty and he is due for a big breakout year.

    Overall I think 2018 will be similar to 2017 for manly. 6th is where I see us finishing this year, could go higher or lower depending on injuries and depth but 6th will be about right.

    My Manly preview
    Best player: Koroisau
    Best buy: Thompson
    Finish: 6th

    And massive thanks to the people standing up for me on here, especially Penso. I haven’t always seen eye to eye with him but he put me on the right path I intend to stick by the advice he gave me. For the two people I have had major conflicts with, do not attempt to talk to me as I will not answer to you two from now on. I have tried to be reasonable but it always ends badly as we have disagreements therefore im not interested in talking to either of you ever again. Best way to avoid conflict and I know one of you will attempt to bag me on this post but know that youll be wasting your time not mine. I couldnt care less what you think of me. 😎

    • And that post wins the prize for the LONGEST paragraph in ZT history. Possibly in English literature. 🏅🏆

      I sprained my thumb trying to scroll to the end of it. 😂

    • Won’t comment on your whole post mate as it is just too long. I will say Lussick has always had discipline problems, that is nothing new and i think he would be better served off the bench. I agree it could be a very big year for Api and a blues jersey might be waiting if he starts strong. As you have stayed though, so much is going to hang on what you do at 6. If you get that right then finishing 6th is a real possibility, if not though a good chance to miss the 8 I think.

      Also, I’d take JT13 over Jake T any day of the week, but appreciate your thoughts on that.

  12. Yeah, there’s quite a few Parra supporters that regularly post on ZT.

    That said, there’s a sizeable flock of Seagulls here too, so it pays to keep a bucket of chips, or two, at the ready.

      • Lloyd Christmas is over, so it is time to change the record guys it is like music on hold, after a while you go CRAZY hearing the same thing again and again. Keep calling yourselves wise and I will demand proof!

  13. @ Stefan69

    Follow the stories and more often than not you will see more Sea Eagles and Eels fans posting than anyone else. It is worse when the story is actually about Manly or Parramatta! LOL

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