Truth session for struggling Sea Eagles

Fresh after their fifth straight loss, Manly players have had a truth session as they search for ways to save their ailing NRL season.

Of foremost concern for Sea Eagles players is their knack for switching off at times during matches.

They led Penrith by 20 points on Sunday before losing by seven, and the back end of the match also marked the fifth time this season they have conceded three tries in a 10-minute period.

“We had a lockdown (on Monday) and the boys said some tough things to each other,” interchange prop Siosaia Vave said.

“A bit of tough love was sent around the group.

“The boys are saying we have 20-minute lapses in our games … it’s kind of hard but we’ve got to find a way to fix it.”

The five consecutive losses has seen pressure mount at the club, with chairman Scott Penn giving coach Trent Barrett his short-term support this week.

And players are aware their positions could be under scrutiny.

“I think you’d be lying if everyone here didn’t say they were feeling the pressure a bit,” forward Darcy Lussick said.

“We’re in a results-driven business and if we don’t perform they will get someone in who can. It has to start pretty soon – hopefully this weekend.”

Manly go into Monday night’s clash with Gold Coast without halfback Daly Cherry-Evans and prop Nate Myles, while veteran centre Steve Matai is also out for the season.

They have also dealt with injuries to Jamie Lyon, while one-time NSW Origin representative Jamie Buhrer is another player to have spent time on the sidelines.

But Buhrer said the team would not use such absences as an excuse for their 4-9 record.

“There’s plenty of ready-made excuses if we were to go to the well but we’re not willing to do that,” he said.

“We believe we built a pretty deep squad this year of players. In the last games that we’ve gone into minus those players we’ve still been more than capable of winning, and we haven’t.”

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