Des Hasler best summed up Manly's 34-32 defeat to Wests Tigers on Saturday: "We had that game won 10 times over but we found 11 ways to lose it".
The Sea Eagles coach refused to blame yet another injury – a torn calf suffered by winger Jorge Taufua in the 31st minute – on the team's capitulation at Lottoland.
They led 20-6 midway through the opening term and had a 10-point buffer with eight minutes to go, but two late Tigers tries stole the result.
"It's one we should have won, no matter how many excuses you make," Hasler said.
"Sure, we had a couple of debutants which freshened it up, we lost players, but still … We just panicked. We didn't need to panic but we did."
Match Highlights: Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers
Hasler expected Taufua to miss the remaining three games, joining the likes of Reuben Garrick, Moses Suli, Brendan Elliot, Dylan Walker, Joel Thompson and Tom Trbojevic in the casualty ward.
Fullback Trbojevic is hoping to return before the season ends despite Manly being out of finals contention.
"I don't think we've got through the last six games without losing an outside back. [But we] should still find a way to win," Hasler said.
It wasn't all doom and gloom, with rookies Josh Schuster and Morgan Harper impressing. Schuster was on NRL debut while Harper played for Canterbury last season.
Schuster, a 105kg five-eighth, was solid - a highlight being his no-look pass in the lead-up to an early try - until severe cramps forced him off after 65 minutes.
Harper loving life outside Cherry-Evans
Hasler believes the robust No.6, who is the nephew of former Knights and All Blacks player John Schuster, could be a future star.
"For his first game, I thought he acquitted himself really well, as did Morgan Harper," Hasler said.
"[Schuster] is going to leave an impression on the game and I thought he did that today."
Centre Harper bagged a double including a try in the fourth minute.