Barrett embarrassed by 'NYC standard' loss
Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett has labelled his side's 52-22 loss to the Dragons as "embarrassing" and "of an NYC standard" as they produced their worst defensive effort since 2005 to drop out of the Telstra Premiership top four.
A disastrous first half saw Manly trail 30-0 at the break, and while they were able to get back in the contest with four tries in the space of 12 minutes early in the second stanza St George Illawarra killed off the contest with four more tries to claim a crucial win for their top-eight ambitions.
Barrett's NYC comparison was fairly accurate given the Sea Eagles also lost the Holden Cup clash 46-22 earlier in the day and the nature of the defeat undoes a lot of the hard work they'd gone through in 2017.
"That was embarrassing and I think the scoreline was an NYC standard game. 50-22, 30-0, 22-all, that's just not up to scratch. It was embarrassing," Barrett said following Manly's worst performance of the season.
"It was a gallant effort to get back within eight points but then we gave away a fifth-tackle penalty and it turned the game again.
"I thought it would have been a miraculous win to come home from there and we'd put ourselves in a position to do it, but it doesn't make it any easier for me to sit here and watch that.
"The players are embarrassed, I'm embarrassed and I'm accountable to it, just as much as the players. We've got to fix it because we go to Melbourne next week and we'll get all those blokes back, but it wasn't up to scratch at all."
It would be easy for Barrett to tell the players to forget about the game and move on, but the coach wants his troops to learn from the loss ahead of key clashes with the Storm and Roosters.
"I don't want them to wipe it. I want them to be disappointed because we can't toss that up," he continued.
"It doesn't matter who you've got in the team, to concede that many points – regardless of how they get them – isn't good enough. We've got to learn a lesson from it. The players are shattered and we all are but it's just another lesson for us."
Sea Eagles skipper Daly Cherry-Evans was a Toyota Cup star back in the day but even he couldn't remember a day quite like Sunday's 30-point defeat.
"When it comes to first grade, I don't remember a game like this. I can't remember coming off this disappointed in a game either," Cherry-Evans said.
"Their momentum was unstoppable in that first half, we tried to build a little bit in the second half but realistically it probably just clouded what was a poor start to a game and the result was done there."