Obviously the two clubs took a very different approach to the trial at Gosford. Whilst the scoreline was disappointing it is clear that Manly were using the trial as an opportunity for some of the fringe players to put their hand up and demonstrate they were ready for first grade football. Seven first team Sea Eagles didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t show up to play and other topliners were given little game time. The Roosters had a more settled squad and played that way. What did the Trial Show??? 1. We have several exciting youngsters coming through. Matt Ballin was very strong at hooker. His defence was superb and his dummy half work showed flair and creativity. Adam Cuthbertson also impressed and made ground every time he touched the ball. His offloads were also a strong feature of his game. Defensive work was good and he will press strongly for a place on the first grade bench at minimum. 2. It would seem that Kite, King, Kennedy, Watmough, Menzies, Orford, Bell, Hicks, Bell and Brett Stewart are all guaranteed spots in ManlyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s top 13, seven other spots are wide open. 3. Manly struggled defensively in our own quarter and despite some aggression we were outsmarted by simple plays. Ball players such as Anasta found it easy to pick up ball runners and the defensive decision making by our line was poor. The lateral mobility of several of our bigger forwards was ordinary. On the positive side, when Kite and Willo came on we looked much stronger. Ballin and Wells certainly did not shirk in the defensive department. 4. Our attack looked pedestrian for much of the night. Our power game was okay but when we were in attacking situations we did not threaten and our work was stereotyped. We hardly made a clean break all night and the flat backline was too easy to read, even when we had numbers on them. Our three tries were scored from a Monaghan bomb, a Roosters error and some good work from Monaghan/Burns. There seemed to be no attacking pattern though and the second man plays of cutting out the decoy runner and sending it wide were easy to read, especially with no Brett Stewart to chime into the backline.. OrfordÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s short passing game was good and should have resulted in at least one Matai try. 5. The Prop rotation, left centre and five-eighth problem still worries me. Each of these were issues last year and nothing seems to have been decided for 2006. 6. The positives of the night were that we have halfback, Bell is an exciting addiion as a centre, Kite looked frightening and more mobile, Robertson did some great work to score an opportunist try, Monaghan defended well and looked better that expected at five-eighth. 7. Negatives of the night were the form of Matai (who was out of his depth), no stand-out five-eighth, the poor ball control, silly penalties, poor mobility of our big men and lack of defensive intensity in the ruck, especially in our own quarter. Des certainly didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t give anything away as to how Manly will approach 2006 and opposition coaches wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t be quaking in their boots. However that is probably just how he would like it. PS From the Rooster perspective Harrison is a great buy and Anasta looked quickly at home. They have pace to burn out wide and will certainly be a much stronger side than in 2005. Soward impressed me and Finch didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t!