2017 was a good year for Manly, after having a disappointing 2016 it was good to see the club turn things around.
Now they didn’t end the season in great fashion, after defeating the Penrith Panthers in round 26 quite comfortably they played the Panthers again in week one of the finals in which the roles were reversed and the Sea Eagles bowed out.
The only real issues that Manly showed throughout the season was their discipline. They were one of the most penalised teams in 2017 and even though their defence grew as a cohesive unit the constant penalties always put pressure on the defence.
There was lots of positives to take away for the season, with Captain Daly Cherry-Evans having one of his best seasons as a first grader, which saw him surprisingly miss selection for Queensland. Some other notable players from the year was [Martin] Taupau also having one of his best years yet. It was also great to see [Tom] Trbojevic develop as a footballer.
Coach Trent Barrett also got the best out of players like, Akuila Uate, Curtis Sironen and Lloyd Perrett who saw some trouble times at previous clubs.
Area’s in which need improvements in 2018? Defence is a main key point that needs to be addressed this off season. Manly conceded a total of 512 points which saw them as 6th worst. The only clubs who let in more points last season were the teams that finished in the bottom 5. One other key factor that was noticed is that both Centres [Dylan Walker and Brian Kelly] did not receive the ball as much as they probably should have.
Manly will almost field the exact same team come this season with the only player Manly have lost is Brenton Lawrence (Gold Coast Titans) and have only bought one new player in Toafofoa Sipley (New Zealand Warriors).
My prediction? Well I believe that Manly will need to improve their defence if they are to make an impact come finals time this year, however I still believe that the Sea Eagles will finish the season in the bottom half of the top 8.