They almost receive their first wooden spoon due to their dismal performance despite the club having incredibly good players. But the Manly Sea Eagles bench impact could be one of the many reasons the team narrowed avoided the last position in the NRL ladder for the first time.
For the Sea Eagles to finish second last in the 2018 NRL premiership was a surprise since they dropped from position 6 in 2017 season. The team conceded most points of any club, including the embattled Eels and the leaky Knights defence. Probably, if Manly had avoided conceding many goals, they would have posted a performance in the NRL ladder 2018. However, this may not entirely solve the problem at Manly in 2019 NRL premiers.
If you look at the last season’s numbers, it is interesting that some factors could have contributed to the dismal performance by the Northern beaches club. The Manly Sea Eagles bench is one of the areas that the new coach, Des Hasler, need to fix. If you delve deeper into the numbers, you will notice that Manly Sea Eagles does not boast of the same bench depth as some of the 2018 finalists. In fact, they finished a distance last from for the total metres made from the interchange bench.
The numbers show that Coach Barrett used his interchange less than other coaches. A more in-depth look into the data also shows Manly Sea Eagles finished at the bottom of the table for carries from the bench players with 470, while the NRL average was 632.5. In addition, the data shows that their total Manly Sea Eagles bench interchange metres for the 2018 Telstra premiership were 191 per game while the NRL average was 245 metres. Therefore, the team has to work on the bench impact to be a serious contender for the 2019 NRL premiership.
How players spent far more time on the bench than in the field is another worrying statistics. For instance, Jackson Hastings (average 24.3 minutes across four games), Toff Sipley (18.3 minutes across four games), Taniela Paseka (23.2 minutes across 13 games), Kelepin Tanginoa (33.2 minutes across 12 games) and Lloyd Perrett (18.4 minutes across 13 games) all spent far more time more time on the bench than in the field. And this data is for the games which they got on the field.
From the 2018 NRL premiership data, seven times a Manly player spent all 80 minutes on the bench. Paseka, Frank Winterstein, Sipley, Trent Hodkinson, Lewis Brown (twice) and Matt Wright had an 80 minute on the bench. The result shows in all the six games; the Manly team lost four of them.
Manly Sea Eagles bench impact is what Des need to work on to climb the 2019 NRL ladder. Fatigue and endurance could have contributed to the team’s low ranking of the teams on the premiership. If fixed, it could make a difference. They are crucial factors in modern sport. In fact, NRL premiership teams are capitalizing on them get better mileage out of their bench interchange.
Have you noticed that all the top eight teams featured at the middle of the interchange performance table? That says a lot about what Des need to do to get the best mileage out the Manly 2019 bench.