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Manly's Tom Symonds says a tough opening month of footy didn't lead to the team's disappointing Round 5 effort against Wests Tigers. Copyright: Robb Cox/NRL Photos.
Manly Sea Eagles back-rower Tom Symonds refuses to consider that a gruelling opening month of footy was a contributing factor to his side's 34-18 loss to Wests Tigers at Leichhardt.

Manly endured a heartbreaking golden point loss to the Storm in Round 1 before triumphing 14-12 in a hugely physical game over South Sydney in Round 2 and were trailing with a minute to go in Round 3 before scoring late to come from behind against Parramatta at Brookvale.

They followed that with arguably their toughest win of the season, an 8-0 shutout of defending premiers the Sydney Roosters at Allianz last week before folding in the wet against a red hot Wests Tigers outfit on Sunday.

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"I think it can be a good thing, having a lot of close encounters and getting home in those," Symonds told

"It's hard to say what happened today, they certainly outplayed us. I didn't feel like we weren't up for the challenge but they certainly outplayed us in that first half and once they got a good lead we were hard pressed to chase them down.

"We were definitely below par and they were very good. They always lift at Leichhardt and they certainly did again today. For us it was very disappointing, it was below our standards and we've got to move on as quick as we can."

Manly had the second-best defensive record over the opening month of football, conceding just 53 points in their opening four games (the Bulldogs conceded just 52), and Symonds says there is no need for a defensive overhaul after one game.

"Some of our defensive structures have been in place for a long time and have served us well," he said.

"I think it's probably more an attitude thing or a bit of intent, if we're desperate we can hold teams out but today it just wasn't there and they got the jump on us all over the park so there's not many excuses."

Symonds was playing his second game back from a back injury after missing the opening three matches and said if there was any good news he could take out of Sunday's game it was the fact he got some more minutes under his belt.

"Yeah the back is good, one positive out of today is I'm actually feeling quite good, after two games the back feels good. I got through 50 minutes out there today which is a positive and I'm looking forward to hopefully getting some more minutes soon," he said.

Although not named in the side on Tuesday, Symonds said he had trained throughout the week preparing to play as Glenn Stewart was under a cloud with a concussion from a Jared Waerea-Hargreaves shoulder charge a week earlier. Stewart was ruled out on game day.

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