2005 Season Summary
2005 Results | 2005 Player Stats
|Great Start -
With wins over the Warriors, Sharks and Storm in the first three rounds and a bye in round 4, the Sea Eagles were on top of the table with the maximum possible eight points after four rounds. It was like a return to the good old days. An early negative was the sending off of John Hopoate in round 2 against the Sharks, which effectively ended his career.
The soaring Sea Eagles were brought down to earth with a thud in round 5 when the cellar dwelling Dragons thumped Manly 32-6 in the "Gong". But strong wins over the Raiders, Rabbitohs, Tigers and Bulldogs kept Manly's top four hopes very much alive.
In round 12 Manly made an amazing comeback at Brookvale against Penrith. Ten minutes into the second half the Panthers looked home with a 26-6 lead, but in the final 30 minutes Manly turned the game around to run in 5 converted tries to win 36-26. A gutsy away win against the Roosters in round 13 saw Manly on a healthy 20 competition points at the halfway mark.
Mid season saw the Manly team devastated with State of Origin selections, injuries and suspensions and the Sea Eagles depth was put to the test. From round 14 to round 25 Manly won only two out of eleven matches, including an embarrassing 6-68 loss at Shark Park. So after heading the table, the Sea Eagles were now in the position of having to win the last round match in Canberra just to fall into eighth place. However, Manly duly went on to comfortably beat the Raiders 38-18 to make the play offs for the first time since 1998.
Manly went down 46-24 against minor premiers Parramatta to be knocked out in the first week of the finals. But at least Manly did make it to the playoffs in the end and with some good off season buys and more financial security, 2005 is best seen as a stepping stone to greater things.
Top Scorer: Michael Witt 140 points.
Top try Scorer: Brett Stewart 16 tries.
New Players in 2005: