Manly get holiday after gruelling fortnight
Proud Manly coach Trent Barrett says he can't ask any more of his players than what they've given after a tough run of three games in 11 days and will give the whole squad three days away from footy to rejuvenate before they fly to New Zealand on Thursday for Saturday's match against the Warriors.
The first year coach was also proud of the way his side fought back from an early 16-0 deficit and said the workload they've had contributed to their slow start that saw the Rabbitohs charge through them seemingly at will before the Sea Eagles clicked into gear and almost stole the two points late.
"I thought it was a wonderful effort from our side. The start hurt us, obviously, that first 20 minutes they just caught us on the hop, they looked tired," Barrett said after the game.
"I was worried about the start and we did speak about it but we just didn't really handle it too well but I thought the longer the game went the better our halves got. It was obviously their first game together and I thought we were probably the better side for an hour and just couldn't ice it at the end.
"They came out pretty hard Souths, as we knew they would, and we were flat, understandably.
"But to their credit they fought their way back in and nearly got them. The good thing is we've got nine days now and I'll give them three days off now and they deserve a rest.
"They've just got to patch themselves up but I'm certainly in no way disappointed with how they turned up and their effort. We're still coming together as a team, and I see that but I thought there were some really good signs there."
Barrett said the team now just needed time to freshen up not just physically but mentally.
"Mentally, they need a rest. We've got to go to Auckland next Thursday and then we get back Sunday and we've got to play on Thursday again. We've still got a couple to go but no excuse for us, these three days will do us good," he said.
"We didn't get any injuries out of tonight which is good, just your normal bumps and bruises but we're not there yet, we've still got to drag a couple of wins out of these next few games."
Of his developing halves combination, Barrett said there were plenty of encouraging signs and indicated he would stick with Api Koroisau and Dylan Walker until Daly Cherry-Evans is available again in around a month.
"[Koroisau is] a hooker, he's probably only played four or five games there in his career," Barrett said.
"He was tentative at the beginning and the rest of them were trying to find some energy and when we did we looked okay and he did a great job. He's a tough little bugger. And I thought Dylan was in the same boat.
"It's hard for me to come into the sheds and be disappointed with them given what they just did. For us to win that, with the third game in 10 days would have been an unbelievable effort from them and we nearly got there."
Skipper Jamie Lyon also praised the way the team hung in after a horror start.
"We just had to stay in the game and find some energy. It was a very slow start for us and we just had to stick with it and change the momentum. I thought the second half was good, we had a lot of chances and probably should have scored one or two more tries there. It wasn't to be but at least we had a few chances," he said.