It was absolute heartbreak as Manly handed us our first loss of the season with a point separating the sides. Here are the five takeaways from the match.
It was quite the opposite from what we've seen this season, with a poor first fifteen minutes not helping the side's cause.
With 38% possession, a 50% completion rate and eight missed tackles, there was no way the side could gain any momentum, which saw Manly's Tom Trbojevic crossing to put the opposition ahead early on.
Of course, the performance improved as we went 10-6 up at the break with two quick-fire tries, but if you start like that, you're going to have a hard time getting into a rhythm, which the side struggle to do throughout patches of the second half.
Couldn't Beat the Heat
It was the first day match for the Red and Green this year, and at 28 degrees, it was visibly evident that both teams obviously struggled with fatigue throughout the match.
A combined 23 errors and 41 missed tackles said it all, and it surely wasn't a surprise to see only 25 points scored collectively, one of the lowest totals this season.
Despite a late rally led by our bench forwards, unfortunately, it was the Sea Eagles who got home with a golden point field goal.
Errors Cruel Chances at Imperative Moments
Although Manly made more errors, I think it's fair to say the errors Souths made were more crippling due to when and where they were made.
Jacob Gagan nearly got over for a try in his first outing for the Club, but an unnecessary cutout pass was called forward despite the Cardinal and Myrtle having an overlap.
Manly's second try, which put them ahead, came from a lazy error ten metres out from the try line, and a number of wayward passes cruelled the side in the second half, particularly just as they started to gain some momentum.
Two missed penalty goals and a missed field goal then ultimately proved to be the difference in an ugly affair.
Tatola ain't a Junior no more
In a positive point, I thought Junior Tatola was our best in a losing side.
In 51 minutes, Tatola ran for 161 metres, with 50 post-contact, and made 33 tackles with one missed and made no errors. Not to mention his kick-pressure, which was top notch, always getting up in the Manly kicker's faces.
When the game was on the line, Tatola's runs were inspirational, and his efforts continued to put the Cardinal and Myrtle on the front-foot.
He played all but one game last season, all from the bench, and now he's started in every match this year, proving to be a senior player at just 22.
First Loss out of the Way
It's hard to say that Souths deserved the chance to win that match.
After three victories in a row to start the season, we've now been handed our first loss which is now out of the way.
Sure, it was the least amount of points we've scored all year, but by the same token, it's the least amount we've conceded.
The side can now regroup, learn from the negatives and move on to the Warriors on the Sunshine Coast.
Onwards an upwards.