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Manly's NRL edge woes show against Storm

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/04/2017 Scott Bailey

Manly will desperately aim to shore up their left-side defensive edge ahead of Friday's NRL clash with Canberra.

The Sea Eagles conceded six tries to Melbourne in a crazy first-half on Saturday afternoon at Lottoland, before mounting a comeback in the 30-26 loss.

However, most worryingly for coach Trent Barrett will be the fact that each of the six tries came on their left defensive edge, who will oppose the dangerous Joseph Leilua and Jordan Rapana next week.

"We were just way too passive on that edge," Barrett said.

"There are some things we can fix inside it as well. I won't totally blame those guys but, collectively, we were way too passive defensively early on in the game.

"We were a bit 'deer in the headlights', to be honest."

Manly's loss was indicative of their season so far.

When they were bad, they struggled. Dylan Walker twice kicked the ball out on the full, including from the opening whistle, and they conceded four unanswered tries in the opening 18 minutes.

Their better periods were reminiscent of the type of football they produced in wins over North Queensland, Canterbury and the Sydney Roosters.

They had the Storm on the ropes in the final 15 minutes of the game, but were unable to polish a final try which would have made for the biggest comeback of any team against Melbourne.

"I'm always proud of how they don't give up," Barrett said.

"But unfortunately, effort alone doesn't win you games against the competition leaders.

"There were still some moments in the second half where we could have executed better; one or two moments and we could have jagged it at the death."

Manly were also dealt an injury blow late in the match when replacement prop Lloyd Perrett was taken off and sent to hospital as a precaution with a sternum injury.

In better news for Manly, hard-hitting second-rower Martin Taupau is expected to return next week from a rib problem.

Captain Daly Cherry-Evans also shrugged aside a shoulder injury in Saturday's loss, which sent concerns through the Sea Eagles' camp when he was hit late in the opening five minutes.

He stayed down originally, but continued on while carrying his left shoulder before returning to full involvement.

However, he said after the match he thought it was just a burner, and there would be no long-term concerns.

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