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Manly coach Geoff Toovey says his side were simply out-enthused by a red hot Wests Tigers outfit that ran away 34-18 winners in front of 16,311 fans at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers were up 26-0 on the stroke of half-time, before Manly scored after the siren then added two more tries in a scrappy second half to narrow the final margin to 16. Toovey said momentum was a key factor in the result.

"Yeah it really was [hard], they just out-enthused us from the whistle and just got that momentum, on that roll, it's hard to stop any side with today's rules and they had that momentum," Toovey said.

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"We were very flat I thought. Our training's been pretty good, our build-up and warm-up was great but we just weren't there today, particularly defensively.

"We've got a fairly experienced side, probably a few new blokes in the forwards which took its toll eventually but I thought we've been great over the last two or three weeks and today was just very flat."

Toovey didn't want to blame the penalties, which went 6-3 to the Tigers in the opening half blitz and actually ended up favouring the visitors after an 8-3 second half penalty count to the Sea Eagles.

"I think it was [partly] our attitude but I think there's been a sizeable change to the way the referees have been refereeing, particularly this weekend," Toovey said, adding there have been a lot more surrender tackles and held calls in Round 5.

"If that is the case I would hope the referees would notify the clubs but I haven't heard anything. It'd be nice to know if they have been talking about those sorts of things."

Manly captain Jamie Lyon said his side's tackling simply wasn't good enough.

"We weren't controlling the ruck like we have been, that was one of the biggest things we didn't do well today," he said.

Toovey said Brett Stewart, playing his first game since leaving Brookvale Oval with a hamstring injury at half time in Round 1, would be better for the run after he turned in a mixed display including some classy touches in attack (including throwing the last pass for the side's final try) interspersed with some crucial handling errors.

His brother Glenn missed the game after being concussed in Round 4 by a Jared-Waerea Hargreaves shoulder charge but Toovey said he should be fine to take on the Sharks in Round 6.

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