There is reportedly a divide in the Manly dressing room between the players who played in the Pride jersey and the seven stars who boycotted their crucial loss to the Roosters.
The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield believes there is a lingering resentment between the players that played and those that chose to put their beliefs ahead of the team’s final aspirations.
“I think there is a split,” Rothfield said of the playing group on NRL 360.
Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
“I think the players that took the field cannot understand why the other seven didn’t.
“I think the meeting yesterday cleared it up a little bit, but you can’t repair a split of this magnitude with a bandaid in a 45 minute meeting.
“I think when something as drastic as this happens when seven men pull out of a finals crunch match over a view and an opinion and the other guys are totally on the opposite side.
“They put their views and opinions ahead of a finals berth almost.”
Paul Kent also believes there is a split between the Manly seven and the owner who incorrectly said they would backflip on their stance in time for next season.
MORE NRL NEWS
RESERVES WRAP: Tigers star’s big switch as beast stuns; answer to Storm’s woes
WHISPERS: Broncos gun set to sign with the Warriors as Walsh replacement
DEADLINE CHANGES: V’landys set to scrap the August 1 signing deadline
EELS MOVE BLOCKED: Knights bosses deny Parramatta’s attempts to sign Klemmer
“What about the owner coming out and saying the players had gone back on what they originally intended, which they have heavily refuted,” Kent said.
Braith Anasta agreed with Rothfield that as a player he would be frustrated with the seven players who put their beliefs above a goal the team has worked for since pre-season in November.
“I agree with and I’m just thinking now as a player the majority of the playing group you train from November all the way through,” Anasta said.
“You put your body on the line every week. You put your heart and soul into it. You make sacrifices every single day.
“These players have got a few teammates who have made a different decision than the rest of the team and it can cause a divide and it seems to be that way.
Get all the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!!
“It could derail their season. We spoke about it before the game that it could happen and it is possibly happening right now.
“There are no winners and losers here. The fact is it doesn’t matter what they are arguing over or have a split of opinion over. It can cause a divide and it seems to be causing a divide.”
The Daily Telegraph’s Dean Ritchie has no doubt there is a rift between the seven players and the rest of the squad and it will take time to heal the wounds of the last week.
“There is divisions at Manly and anyone who tells you there is not telling a fib,” Ritchie said on The Big Sports Breakfast.
“The players that played were dirty on the players that didn’t play.
“They are trying to sort it out and understand each other’s religious beliefs and views, but there is a division there.
“You speak to one player and he will say we can move forward from this and you speak to others who say this is going to take a lot longer.”
Laurie Daley questioned how both sides of the split can come together with no common ground on the issue.
“You have got two parties that don’t agree and you talk about finding common ground, but where is the common ground in this?” Daley said.
“There is no giving,” Ritchie replied.
“Both sides are quite staunch in their views. The players are dirty the others didn’t play and the seven players are saying, we are not backing down.
“To be fair to them they have been staunch from the beginning and have stuck tight through a lot of criticism, so they are not clearly going to apologize.
“I don’t know how one meeting is going to fix this problem at Manly.”