Des Hasler questions his players’ motivation after dismal 40-6 thumping against Cronulla

Des Hasler questions his players’ motivation after dismal 40-6 thumping against Cronulla as Sea Eagles face worst end of the season in their history – but Manly coach REFUSES to use Pride jersey saga as an excuse

  • Manly were thumped 40-6 at home by Cronulla on Saturday night
  • The Sea Eagles are winless since the rainbow jersey saga erupted late in July
  • They have lost five straight games conceded 120 points in the last three matches
  • Des Hasler refused to use the Pride jersey controversy as an excuse 
  • But he criticised his team for lacking motivation against the Sharks  

Des Hasler delivered a scathing assessment of his players and openly questioned their motivation after the Sea Eagles crashed to a dismal 40-6 loss against Cronulla in their final home game of the season.

Only a late Daly Cherry-Evans intercept stopping them going scoreless at Brookvale Oval for the first time since 1993, as the Sharks won on Manly’s turf for the first time in 14 years and for only the seventh time in 43 attempts.

The loss was the Sea Eagles’ fifth straight and defeats in the final two matches of the season would mark the worst end to a season in their history, having conceded 120 points in their past three games. 

Des Hasler questioned his players’ motivation after a dismal 40-6 loss to Cronulla 

Speaking after the game, Hasler made no attempt to hide his disappointment. 

‘It’s a disappointing result […] [it’s] the last game at home and [we have some] players leaving [the club],’ he said.

‘We spoke really clearly about the opportunity that comes with playing in the Manly jersey and they are opportunities that are hard to come by and that’s going to be a real reality for us for the next two weeks. 

‘It was a disappointing result and a disappointing effort. […] The performance is the disappointing part. It’s just not up to standard.’

Nicho Hynes (left) scored 20 points as the Sharks won at Brookvale Oval for the first time in 14 years and only the seventh time in 43 attempts

Nicho Hynes (left) scored 20 points as the Sharks won at Brookvale Oval for the first time in 14 years and only the seventh time in 43 attempts 

The Sharks ran in seven tries to one as they dominated the Sea Eagles from the start

The Sharks ran in seven tries to one as they dominated the Sea Eagles from the start 

Matt Ikuvalu scored two tries for the Sharks, who remain in the hunt for a top-two finish

Matt Ikuvalu scored two tries for the Sharks, who remain in the hunt for a top-two finish

With their finals hopes already dead and buried Manly have little to play for, while the Sharks can still secure a top-two finish. Hasler, however, insisted the Sea Eagles’ position on the NRL ladder was no justification for performance.

‘You have a chance of playing first grade football, you have the opportunity to wear the Manly jersey. For me, that’s enough motivation,’ he said.

Manly are still winless and have plummeted outside of the top eight since the Pride jersey saga, which saw seven players boycott the Round 20 game against the Sydney Roosters rather than wear the club’s jumper aimed at celebrating inclusivity in NRL.

Kieran Foran's last game in Manly colours at Brookvale Oval ended in disappointment

Kieran Foran’s last game in Manly colours at Brookvale Oval ended in disappointment 

Daly Cherry-Evans scored a late consolation try for Manly but it was far too late for his side

Daly Cherry-Evans scored a late consolation try for Manly but it was far too late for his side

Hasler, however, refused to use the fallout from the controversy or the Sea Eagles’ injury toll as an excuse.

‘I won’t use that as an excuse. We’re missing players, we have quite a bit of talent on the sidelines. You’ve got to be realistic in the way you report that,’ he added.

‘There were 13 players who could’ve played tonight but didn’t, but we won’t use that as an excuse. As I’ve said, we had 17 players out there today with the opportunity to win a game of footy.’ 

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