When the 2021 NRL season kicked off the Manly Sea Eagles looked abysmal. Des Hasler’s coaching career had run its course, their recruitment and player development was being questioned, they just looked rotten. They needed a clear out.
Then something miraculous happened.
Fullback Tom Trbojevic started to put together one of the single greatest seasons the game has seen in the last decade, leading the Sea Eagles to win after win, and thrusting the club back into an improbably finals campaign that only the folks at https://www.gamblingmentor.org/ could have predicted at the start of the year!
Once the finals hit however, one thing became very clear. The top teams knew how to handle not only the Sea Eagles, but how to dull the attacking edge that Tom Trbojevic gave them. The Sea Eagles were bundled out of the 2021 finals series in straight sets, and all their efforts started to go into improving as a club in 2022.
The Sea Eagles have no great additions to the side from last year, but they also haven’t lost any key players either. Their cohesion should be fairly high, but will that be enough?
In the NRL teams learn what works and what doesn’t very fast. Everyone was watching the tactics used to keep Tom Trbojevic quiet during the finals last year, and you can be sure every team in 2022 will be trying to emulate those results.
That will mean it is up to his team mates to take their games to another level, with brother Jake Trbojevic undoubtably having room for improvement, while Daly Cherry-Evans will be looking to improve on his form from last season which unfortunately tailed off a little towards seasons end.
The Sea Eagles are’t one of the top sides going into 2022, and there is a real danger that they could slide back into a pack of teams that is expect to enter a season long battle for the 6th-8th spots on the NRL ladder.The Sea Eagles can’t afford to have a poor start to their season like we saw last year, because the odds that they will get back-to-back seasons where one players powers them through to the finals is miniscule.
The other thing that worries me about the Sea Eagles is that over the course of his career Tom Trbojevic has struggled to string a great deal of games together. He managed to stay fairly injury free by his standards last year, can he do that again in 2022?
Without Tommy Turbo on the field, I think its fair to say the Sea Eagles would stand no chance against the top sides, and if they miss him for an extended period of time, they might struggle to even make the finals.
We will see how it all pans out, after all, that is why we play the games. If the Sea Eagles have a drama free season, I think they should be a finals team. I don’t expect them to be a true Premiership threat, but they will put in a solid performance all the same this year.