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NRL Profile: Manly Sea Eagles

Manly Sea Eagles missed out on finals again in 2023 and the aim will be to get back into the top eight during the 2024 season.

The Sea Eagles have not won a grand final since 2011 and it is difficult to see them breaking the drought in the season ahead.

They are priced at 29.00 to win the grand final in 2024, and although they have some quality in their ranks, it is probably beyond them.

However, that is not to say they cannot make progress under coach Anthony Seibold, who will embark on his second season at the helm.

They can be backed at 2.30 to make the top eight and a finals campaign would be viewed as a success.

Mixed 2023 for Sea Eagles

2023 marked the start of a new era for the Sea Eagles with Anthony Seibold installed as head coach following the departure of Des Hasler.

And they got off to a solid start, giving hope to the Manly faithful that they could be in for an exciting season.

Wins over the Bulldogs and Eels got them off to a flyer, while the Rabbitohs edged them out by just one point, before a 32-32 draw with the Knights.

A heavy defeat against the Panthers followed, but they bounced back well with wins over the Storm and Tigers.

But then three defeats on the bounce showed their frailties and for the remainder of the season they struggled for consistency.

Top-eight hopes were extinguished with another three-match losing streak towards the end of the season.

However, they did give the fans some hope for the future with wins over the Bulldogs and Tigers in their last two games.

Key players

Manly have a number and the key for them in 2024 will be keeping gun fullback Tom Trbojevic fit and on the pitch.

The New South Wales representative was again dogged by injuries last season, and the Sea Eagles are left with a huge hole to fill when he is missing.

‘Trbo’ has returned to fitness and has begun pre-season training with the rest of the group. If he can stay fit then Manly’s chances of making the top eight significantly increase.

Another huge player and leader is the Sea Eagles skipper Daly Cherry-Evans. The playmaker, like Trbojevic, is key to everything the team do.

Cherry-Evans, who is also captain of the Queensland State of Origin side, is one of the best halves in the NRL and massive for Manly.

New signings

The Sea Eagles have snapped up the experienced Nathan Brown for the 2024 season, and Seibold believes he will be a valuable addition.

Brown has a point to prove as he looks to get his career back on track and in 2022 he did play the grand final for Parramatta Eels. He has almost 150 NRL appearances to his name and his experience could be key.

Corey Waddell is also back with the Sea Eagles after spending the last three seasons with the Canterbury Bulldogs. The back-rower has penned a one-year deal.

Manly have also secured a number of players to new deals during the off-season, including Haumole Olakauatu.

The powerful second-rower has penned a bumper six-year deal and is well on his way to becoming a one-club player.

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