The hangovers haven't even cleared and already we're reading about how this champion Manly side will be torn apart.
Don't believe it for a minute. Let's look at the facts.
We already knew that Michael Robertson and Shane Rodney were on their way after the grand final.
Will Hopoate told us ages ago that rugby league would be a no-no for
him in 2012 and 2013 as he fulfils a two-year mission with the Mormon
Yes, it's a tragedy for the Sea Eagles that he appears to be headed to Parramatta in 2014.
But that's a long way in the distance. A lot can happen in this game in two weeks, let alone two years.
I will get onto Will in more detail in a moment.
The biggest coup for Manly is the news Des Hasler intends to honour his deal for 2012 as I always knew he would.
If he'd been allowed to walk then they would have burned down those rickety old grandstands at Brookvale Oval.
Des does beyond 2012 is another thing but at least there will be some
stability there next year as the Sea Eagles attempt to go back-to-back.
will have charge of a team that contains seasoned professionals across
the park and a wonderful young halves pairing in Kieran Foran and Daly
Foran was an international as a teenager and now DCE
will join him on the world stage after gaining selection in Australia's
Four Nations squad.
The Stewart brothers are still there, Jamie
Lyon will be back to resume co-captaincy duties with Jason King, Matt
Ballin and Brent Kite will lead us up front and there will be plenty of
experience out wide with Steve Matai and 'The Wolfman' David Williams
I'm confident Tony Williams will re-sign and, like Cherry-Evans, enter next season as an international.
looks the nucleus of a strong Sea Eagles side to me and they won't lack
for hunger with the workaholic Hasler cracking the whip.
This is the most collectively tough - both physically and mentally - side I have been associated with at Manly.
There was no way in the world they were ever going to lose the grand final, even when the Warriors came at them late.
Manly were the best side all year and I think even the club's harshest critics would have to concede they are worthy premiers.
I won't pretend the loss of Hopoate isn't a massive blow, even if the
full impact of his departure won't be felt for another two years.
He's an absolute champion kid and a freakish talent as we saw with that flick pass in the grand final.
The fans will be devastated as will his team-mates.
But I do have to put a question mark over his management and the timing of this announcement.
Right from the get-go I have had concerns over some of the dealings involving young Will.
management team needs to get its act together if they intend being a
major player in the hurly-burly world of rugby league negotiations.
they've done a deal with the Eels and allowed it to come out two days
after a grand final victory then they are negligent at the very least.
But all I can say is watch this space.
I have a feeling there will be plenty of twists and turns between now and 2014.
going I would just like to thank all the fans who have offered me such
terrific support over my last few weeks as a Manly official.
There is no doubt I will miss the Sea Eagles and hopefully they will miss me just a little too.
thanks for reading my thoughts each week and for listening into
Sportal's NRL Unleashed podcast in such big numbers each week.