Manly's best is yet to come: Barrett
Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett has issued a warning to the rest of the NRL, telling the rival 15 clubs that his side has plenty of room for improvement despite thrashing the Bulldogs 36-0 on Saturday.
After starting the year with back-to-back losses, Manly are now firmly entrenched in the top eight following consecutive wins over the Cowboys ad Bulldogs.
With a cumulative score of 66-8 over the past fortnight, Barrett could be forgiven for getting caught up in the moment. However, he was quick to downplay his side's performances, telling media that Manly's best is still to come.
"We were pretty determined to back up last week's win and it was an outstanding defensive effort again I thought," Barrett said after the game.
"We can still improve; I thought we turned over a little bit too much ball, but there are some things that we can be really happy with. We've just got to keep going; we haven't achieved anything but we're on the right track. What they have been doing is paying off.
"I thought it was our best team performance. If we do all those little things right then there are enough individuals in the team to do it.
"We've still got a fair way to go and I think we're a long way from where we can get to. We've just got to keep working hard."
Barrett said his troops didn't buy into negative off-field talk after the first two rounds, revealing he thought his side had actually played pretty well despite the losses.
"We never really went away from what we'd been practising," he said.
"I thought in Round 1 we were okay but we turned the ball over too much, but defensively we were pretty good. The first 20 minutes in Round 2 we scored three tries to nil, but we had a bad hour – a terrible hour defensively – and then the heat came.
"I'm happy with where we're at, but we've still got a lot of work to do. We're still developing as a side."
Skipper Daly Cherry-Evans played a starring role on Saturday with five try assists, but said the best part of the win was his side's resolute defence that helped Manly end a lengthy losing streak at Lottoland.
"As a captain, the proudest thing is seeing a big zero. Seriously, it's very, very pleasing," Cherry-Evans said.
"It was definitely spoken about during the week (the losing streak at home).
"We have a lot of new people at this club… Manly is a difficult one for them to comprehend because they're all so new. We've had a chat about what Manly now means to us as a side and I think that it'll help us moving forward."