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Barrett fumes at penalty count

Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett has lamented the 14-4 penalty count against them in their 16-8 loss to the Penrith Panthers on Saturday night.

Barrett praised the Sea Eagles' defence to hold Penrith to just two tries throughout the contest – particularly in the opening half where Penrith had 58 per cent of the ball and a 9-2 penalty count in their favour.

Manly have been the third-most penalised side in the Telstra Premiership this season – just behind last year's grand finalists Melbourne and Cronulla.

‌"I'm more than happy with the effort, it was an outstanding defensive effort when everything went against us," Barrett said post-game. 

"We played in circumstances where we couldn't win with some of the things that went against us. How are you going to win a game with a 14-4 penalty count? I've never seen anything like it, ever."

Sea Eagles skipper Daly Cherry-Evans had several chats with the match officials throughout the contest but the penalties continued to flow as the Panthers grinded out a much-needed win. 

Both Cherry-Evans and Barrett agreed the side would take positives from the result despite hinting they were never in with a chance. 

"Losses like that are extremely hard to take so from that you definitely have to take something out of it," Cherry-Evans said. 

"This competition moves on too quickly for you to not take positives out of a loss. Our effort and goal line defence effort was certainly something we will take as a positive this week."

With all the talk in the lead up to the contest surrounding Cherry-Evans being snubbed by Queensland selectors for the State of Origin decider, the 28-year-old was again among the Sea Eagles' best in a beaten outfit.

He continues to lead the NRL try assist count with 16 after sending centre Dylan Walker over for a four-pointer in the first half. 

"It's business as usual to be fair, I've moved on pretty quickly," Cherry-Evans said of Origin. 

"I've set some high standards for myself because I felt like the coaching I'm receiving this year is amazing and a reflection of the staff we have and also the team I'm in.

"I have a side that never gives in and puts me in positions to play some good footy. 

"I'm certainly not naïve to know it's off the back of a good club."

The Sea Eagles will remain in fourth position on the Telstra Premiership ladder and face the Wests Tigers at Lottoland in Round 19.