Fill-in Manly fullback Dylan Walker believes he has unfairly been made the scapegoat for the Sea Eagles’ horror start to the season that has them in dead last after four rounds.
Walker was shifted from five-eighth to centre in the off-season to accommodate the arrival of Kieran Foran at No.6, but a hamstring injury to Tom Trbojevic saw the former premiership winner made into a makeshift fullback for the opening month of the season.
The Sea Eagles have conceded the most points in the NRL this year a whopping 156 and have scored the second least with 34, just ahead of the lowly Bulldogs (16).
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Clearly Manly are struggling on both sides of the ball after a last start 46-6 loss to the Panthers and Walker has had his own issues transitioning into the No.1 jersey.
However the former Origin representative believes he has been unfairly targeted over the years when the Sea Eagles play poorly.
“I think I’ll be there [at fullback] again, unless Dessie has other plans,” Walker told The Sydney Morning Herald.
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“When you leak 40 points you can’t blame it on the one person. But I always seem to be the scapegoat.
“Over the years with how things have panned out on and off the field, my name is a good one to throw up.”
Walker believes he deserves more credit for sacrificing his own game to help Manly through an injury crisis at fullback in Trbojevic’s absence.
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“And now being out of position … if we’re 2-2 right now, people would be like, ‘He’s not a bad fullback’, but because we’ve been beaten by 40 every week, people are like, ‘He’s the problem’,” Walker said.
“I won’t sit here and play the violin about myself. I know what we have to do as a team.”
The 26-year-old has scored 60 tries and 324 points in 147 games for the Rabbitohs and Sea Eagles since his debut in 2013.
However due to a series of injuries Walker has only scored one try in 11 games over the last two seasons.
Off-contract at the end of 2021, Walker is optimistic of staying at Manly long-term.
Originally published as‘Can’t blame it on one person’: Walker fed up with being made Manly ‘scapegoat’
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