Stats show Manly's poor in defence - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stats show Manly's poor in defence

By Todd Balym 10/04/2009 03:27:39 PM Comments (0)

Manly may be the NRL's defending premiers but defence is exactly where the Sea Eagles are going wrong in 2009.

Forget the absence of 2008 NRL-leading tryscorer Brett Stewart, the Sea Eagles haven't won a game this year because their once fortress-like defence has become a turnstile.

The Sea Eagles have gone from the tightest defensive unit in the NRL to the worst.

Manly sit at the bottom of the NRL ladder because that is where they sit in both metres and linebreaks conceded this year.

The Sea Eagles are allowing their opponents to steamroll them through the middle of the paddock, and that's not something a fleet-footed fullback can change as Stewart makes his return from his four week suspension against West Tigers at Brookvale Oval on Sunday.

Skipper Matt Orford was stunned when Manly's shocking defensive statistics were put before him this week and said they only proved the club's argument that Stewart can't be expected to be the "saviour" for the winless premiers.

"It's across the board. It's not two or three players but it's everyone in this squad. We can all lift," said Orford.

"We pride ourselves on defence and (limiting) missed tackles and line breaks conceded and that's how we won the premiership last year.

"We know we've got plenty of points in us but that is how we can get back to where we were being world champs and that's the area of the game we need to work on.

"I know our ability and the standard we set over the years individually and as a group.

"In the UK and last finals series we showed the commitment and little gritty stuff we're not doing at the moment.

"We do it in patches but not for the full 80 minutes.

"We need to walk off that field and look each other in the eye and say 'yes we gave 110 per cent commitment'."

Manly get an ideal chance to turn their fortunes around with a Sunday afternoon clash at their beloved Brookvale Oval.

Orford said the players need to rediscover that attitude where they would scrap for every last inch to ensure their pack was dominant.

"We need to get our head in, get dirty and help each other out," he said.

"It's just a dogfight and that's the mentality we need.

"I think you'll see a very committed team come Sunday."

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