Anthony Seibold, the coach of Manly, scorned the idea that they’re out for the season following a 24-12 loss to Panthers on Thursday night. Seibold voiced some grievances against the referee’s decisions but maintained his support for their unique tactics which he asserts gives his team strength in the face of defeat, despite their season hanging by a thread.
Leading with a 12-6 score, Manly’s luck turned with an contentious try by Stephen Crichton evening out the score before the half-time, followed by an unusual strategy of kicking duel by Reuben Garrick which proved advantageous for Penrith, setting them on a winning stride.
“There were some questionable calls on two of the tries,” Seibold remarked during his press conference. “We were trying our best to intercept and return serve kick. “It had significant impact in the match’s setting. These types of calls, they’re due to human errors but they have consequences.”
Without holding Garrick accountable for the unusual kick, Seibold revealed it was a move planned to disrupt the rhythm of the Panthers. “It was a strategy,” Seibold confirmed. “Our aim wasn’t to just have a power-struggle with them. We spoke during the week about retaliating and we trained for it.
“We had to innovate as we were missing a few team members and a couple more got injured within a few minutes of the second half starting. I am proud of our lads, they showed bravery tonight. It’s infuriating as we had the conviction that we did enough to win.”
In response to whether the loss impacted his team’s faith in their ticket to the playoffs in 2023, Seibold took exception. “Does a failure like this shake it? This gives us courage, convincing us even more of our chances of making the finals,” he stated.
“Let’s be realistic here, they’re a formidable side, we’re short of a few players and we went all out, so that gives me faith. “I know it instils trust in Chez and the squad, we’re eager and ready for the brawl next week, it boosts our confidence immensely.”
Seibold did confess his team would have to win every one of their last three games, and keep their fingers crossed for favourable outcomes elsewhere, for a chance at the playoffs in his first year of leading Manly.