Frustrated Barrett feels for 'shattered' Parker
Trent Barrett "unofficially" bowed out as Manly coach at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday in the same mode as has defined him for weeks – in pure frustration.
He had a side who had a dig, for themselves and for a club used to success for decades. But it wasn't enough, and they knew it, as they went down to Brisbane 48-16.
At the core of it was 21-year-old local junior Brad Parker, the right winger who faced an on-fire Corey Oates.
He coughed up possession five times and all but one proved costly. A drop from a scrum early, an intercept attempt that could have turned the game around that was put down and instead the Broncos scored from the resulting scrum.
A drop from a bomb he contested with the towering Oates. A lost ball in a tackle running it out of his own end, and another tough bomb disposal put down.
Yet the Manly winger, similar to Oates with his double-jointed gait and all arms and legs style, never stopped trying or putting his body in the firing line.
Oates will be remembered for his four tries on the day, which almost became a club record five but for Korbin Sims being penalised for not being square at marker before a Manly fumble that Oates snatched to race into the in-goal in the final minutes.
Parker was left shattered in the dressing room afterwards, consoled by team-mates who know what he is capable of.
The difference between Parker and Barrett is that Parker will be there to fight another day, his best times hopefully ahead. Barrett has no such guarantees.
"Poor old Parkesy; he's shattered in there but he'll learn from it," Barrett lamented. "Hopefully he doesn't have another one of them.
"He wasn't on his own. We could have defended those errors we came up with and our resolve has to be better when we are under the pump.
"His enthusiasm and effort are not an issue. He had one of those days, the poor bugger.
"Oatesy had one of those [other] days as well, everything fell right for Corey."
That duel typified Manly's performance and was summed up aptly by the coach ... "at this level, effort on its own isn't good enough".
"That was a really disappointing way to finish," he said.
"They were very good the Broncos but we didn't make them earn anything in the first half. We had five play one turnovers, they scored four tries on play one from direct turnovers from us.
"They're trying. But you can't make the errors that we are making."
Barrett said he expects his future to be resolved, or more accurately declared "quickly". Within days.
"It has been a distraction and the players have been very professional through it all and they did prepare well again this week and that's why it is so disappointing to be on the end of a scoreline like that," Barrett said.
"It has been one of those years. The club and our fans need it [his coaching position] resolved quickly. I certainly do and the players do.
"We have a core group of really good players with the best interest of the club at heart. If we can fill some gaps around them and get the mix right, I think the core group is there to be a successful team."