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That's My Voice - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Mon, 07 Jul 2008 19:07:00 GMT
Round 17 of the National Rugby League imprinted in my mind two football forecasts which I feel would be hard to fend off.
The first is that Manly can go one better in 2008 and win the premiership. That’s if they’re not stopped by either Melbourne, Cronulla , the roosters or possibly even St George-Illawarra.
Manly can win from behind as they proved on Friday night against the Gold Coast, steam roll you from the outset or grind their way out of a tight period of play to win the two competition points.
After a rocky start to the season (zero wins and two losses after round 2), the Sea Eagles by trusting themselves and the game plan of their coach have proven resilient.
That’s minus the services of Michael Monoghan and Travis Burns.
They are a team that learns from the past and does so very quickly which is why I think they’ll do what the Melbourne Storm did in 2007 and that is hit the jackpot on their second attempt.
One team whose fans are hoping they won’t make the eight this season is Parramatta.
That’s right. You read it correctly. Their fans are praying at church, in the shower, on the toilet and in the pub that the blue and gold won’t turn up to play football past round 26.
After Sunday’s performance against Penrith can you really blame them?
This team has failed to string together a full eighty minutes of skillful, creative and passionate football for most of the season while winning no more than two games in a row.
They’ve had a relatively good run with injuries minus Krisnan Inu who did make a big difference when he returned to the field after eight weeks on the sideline.
So what is their excuse for their obvious lack of energy, enthusiasm and consistency?
An out of shape attitude, that’s what.
The body language of the team out on the field suggests they don’t care if they do or don’t make the finals. At the end of the season with two rounds to go when your sitting in 13th spot on the table, that is perhaps understandable.
But they were sitting in eighth spot heading into Sunday’s clash and did not put their gloves up let alone take a swing at their opponents for most of the first half.
Look at the way the Eels have reacted when defending on their own line throughout the season.
On too many occasions we’ve seen plenty of troops available to defuse tries yet instead of running at the same pace in the same direction like they’re lives depended on it, some players have sprinted while others have jogged. Some even did hop skotch and treated games like a joke.
Parramatta have also made dreadful decisions in player retention in the last three years. The biggest blooper was in 2006 when they let lock Glenn Morrison go to England because he had a get-out-clause in his contract.
If I was running the club when Morrison signed, he would have been playing with the Eels last season and I then would have fought to my last breath to re-sign the bloke.
If there was one guy who exemplified the mental toughness and the sort of Canterbury-Bankstown style mongrel of the eighties that the Eels are seriously lacking right now, it was Morrison.
Rival NRL fans hated watching their players go up against Morrison in defense because they knew he meant business and took no prisoners.
It’s time for the Eels to start concentrating on 2009 because this year's squad is void of enough vitamin P to win the title. P is for passion.

Until some of the “joggers” in the team are told to pack their bags and head off to the football retirement home in England, it’s hard to predict when the Eels will repay their fans for the loyalty they’ve been given. - Read More, Here