Des Hasler felt Tom Trbojevic wasn't given an opportunity to impose himself on Friday night's qualifying final against Melbourne due to Manly's lack of discipline.
The star fullback was contained in a 40-12 thrashing at Sunshine Coast Stadium, but Hasler is confident the Sea Eagles can bounce back in an elimination clash with the Roosters or Titans next week.
While Storm players celebrated locking up Trbojevic, saying they made sure to cut down his time and space, coach Hasler believes Manly's sloppiness was the main cause for his quiet performance.
Trbojevic led his side for metres (151) but didn't produce any typical highlights with the Sea Eagles having only 40 per cent of the ball.
"People are probably going to reflect on it that way [Storm nullifying Trbojevic], but we didn't give ourselves a chance," Hasler said.
Air Saab scores a much-needed try for the Sea Eagles
"You look at possession, you look at where our possession was - they made us come out of the corner the whole time.
"We didn't make them chew up any gas, we leaked them down the field both with our ill-discipline with the ball and also giving away too many penalties. It was nine in total tonight.
"It's just not going to get it done. We weren't smart enough."
However, Hasler's men earned a second bite at the cherry by finishing fourth and the mentor is backing them to extend their season.
Lumelume spills a Garrick kick from the 20m line and Saab is there to profit
"We'll turn it around. It's disappointing that it's probably not a reflection of how we've been playing and we need to make an adjustment to it," Hasler said.
"I guess from that point of view, it is a bit of a check for us. We certainly aided that. There's no doubt Melbourne played very well tonight, but we kept shooting ourselves in the foot."
With nine errors and a 72 per cent completion rate compared to the Storm's 90, Hasler said Manly "did ourselves a real disservice".
"Things that we spoke about that you can't do against the Melbourne side, we did ... just too much negative play and it just gave them too much field position and it was pretty easy to see," he added.
Dylan Walker's effort earned a compliment with the bench utility the only Sea Eagles player besides Trbojevic to make 100 metres.
"[Walker] was good, but that was the plan. He certainly changed our tempo. I thought he was very strong tonight," Hasler said.
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