With two out of three wins at the weekend, and with third grade colts recording their first victory in over a year at Keirle Park on Saturday vs Souths, there is a quiet optimism in the Colts camp. So what’s happened, and what does the season have in store? Let’s find out from our Colts Head Coach, Dave Mills.
So Millsy, tell us what’s different this year?
It’s basically all about depth. There is no doubt that last year was a tough year, but we have been working hard during the off season to extend our networks, talking to local schools and with player and coach connections to ensure that we have got the depth required to make a difference across all three grades. We have had some new recruits that have chosen Manly and already have started to shine, and we have some players who stuck with it last season and will now come of age.
So tell us about these new recruits.
We have Jack Veitch who is a country boy joining us from Tamworth, and we have Angus Burns, a prop who has come up from Wogga. Both have already made a huge difference to the squad, and are names in the first grade starting 15 this weekend versus Sydney University. Then we have boys like Lachie Armstrong, who as a Bally Boys student who has yet to reach his 18th birthday, will be planning to add to the illustrious Marlins alumni, and has already shown very positive signs.
But not forgetting the boys who slogged it out with us last season. Players like Kai Lackner who came up from South Australia early last year who committed and worked hard to develop himself as a player despite not coming off the field with a win as frequently as he’d hoped or deserved. Those guys will definitely be rewarded as we progress this year.
How about the coaching staff?
We’ve been lucky to maintain some continuity with our coaching staff, with the addition of some new faces. Alongside Rob Gallacher, Alex Prendergast, Tim Herbert, Tommy Clifford and myself, new to the team are Tom Crerar from NSW Rugby and Rory Toemoe from Lindfield who will be making a difference with our third grade. We are also joined by Wallabies analyst Damon Edmonds who will be adding an extra layer of expertise and detail to support our coaching staff.
So things are definitely moving forward!
Yes, and culturally we have made big steps as well. The performance culture that we have established through the players commitment to training together at the gym has been significant. We have 20 players who are consistently and frequently training together at the gym with our new strength and conditioning coach Max Braham, which, when translated to the field means that things can only get better.
This is however still very much a work in progress. The Colts team has made a commitment to contribute to the Club’s number one objective of winning the club championship in the forthcoming years. Throughout our three grades we are dedicated to this, both in terms of adding to the points tally, but also by providing a robust platform from which the grade players will develop.
This weekend will be a great challenge for us. The boys are looking forward to heading down to Sydney University. I'm particularly interested to see how our third grade boys go as they are high on confidence after their trial and round one wins. Watch this space.
Manly Rugby Football Club is delighted to announce that Mounties Group have extended their significant long term support of the Marlins and have agreed to a further three year major sponsorship term. Mounties Group, through their Manly Bowling Club and Harbord Diggers sites have been a long term supporter of the Club, first becoming the major sponsor in 2011.
MRFC President, Anthony Bergelin, said “We have enjoyed a terrific relationship with Mounties Group for a number of years now, and we look forward to an even stronger strategic partnership moving forward. There is clearly an alignment between our organisations with a strong sense of community engagement at the forefront, and I am delighted that Mounties Group continue to support us in this way”.
“Commercial support in Club Rugby is becoming increasingly challenging to secure, and through our relationship with Mounties Group we are able to plan for an exciting and successful future”.
Mounties Group General Manager, Dale Hunt, said “The Marlins are one of the most iconic sporting clubs on the Northern Beaches and the alignment between high performance and community engagement that the club delivers is very rewarding. We are excited by the strategic direction the club is heading and we look forward working with their leadership team in achieving further success on and off the field”. Mitch Daniel, the Marlins Club Captain adds “It’s no secret that the Manly Bowling Club provides the best post-match atmosphere in the Shute Shield, and nothing feels better than to celebrate our on-field successes in the company of our supporters there. We are looking forward to working with Mounties to enhance that experience along with improved on-ground hospitality for all of our supporters.
The Marlins’ first home game at Manly Oval will be their Intrust Shute Shield Round Two fixture versus Sydney University. Entrance is $15 on the gate, or visit manlyrugby.com.au for season ticket options.
The 2017 Shute Shield draw is now available, and offers what promises to be some enticing fixtures for the Marlins.
First off, we make the road trip down to Forshaw Rugby Park in a rerun of our 2016 first round tie vs Southern Districts, although the team will be focussed on a more favourable result this time, hungry for a strong start to their campaign.
Our first home game at Manly Oval will be huge, with Sydney University looking to stake their claim on the title early doors. The Marlins will be looking for a massive crowd with the hill painted blue to push them across the line. As with all games (unless notified) the first grade game will kick off at 3PM.
The epic Battle of the Beaches, when we welcome the Rats to the Village Green this year falls in round 10 on the 3rd June, a must for every fan across the Northern Beaches. Get it in your diary now!
Throughout the season, we will also be hosting amongst others Randwick and title holding Norths to the Oval, and look out for further special events including Ladies Day and Juniors Day.
Manly Rugby Football Club looks forward to welcoming you to the Oval in 2017, with our sights firmly set on the Premiership!
Former Manly Rugby player Keith "Pottsy" Blackett has passed away at his home in Freshwater last week, aged 71.
Keith played 52 1st Grade games and 106 Grade games from 1964 - 1970. Keith then went on to a successful career at the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles,
Renowned for his pace and prolific goal kicking, Keith held sprint records at Balgowlah Boys High before a long professional career with the NSW Police Force.
Keith remained a strong supporter of the Marlins and the Blackett's are a regular feature at our home games.
Funeral is tomorrow 8th February, 11.30 am at St Mary's Manly.
Manly Rugby Club held its Annual General Meeting last Thursday evening, 27th October 2016.
At Thursday night’s Annual General Meeting of the MRFC, Anthony Bergelin was elected the Club’s 24th President.
At 31 years of age, Bergelin becomes the Club’s youngest ever President....
In assuming the chair, Bergelin was quick to acknowledge the contribution of the outgoing President David Begg, who had been President for five years and the large shoes he would have to fill.
Bergelin optimistically outlined his desire, with his new Board, to see the MRFC become a very strong Shute Shield club, financially independent, successful in all Grades and with a strong recognition of the role that the Colts’ organisation plays in the transition from the Juniors to Grade.
The AGM saw the introduction of new Board members, including solicitor Morgan Lane, who has become Vice-President and former senior Macquarie Bank Executive and triple premiership winner Ian ‘Puss’ Miller, as a new Board member.
Board members, Adam Hill, Peter Alley, Claire Martin and Annie Doyle, Treasurer have been re-elected, whilst former General Manager, Lisa Matthews has been welcomed to her new role on the Board.
Bergelin, following his election, told the strong gathering of players, Life Members and supporters at the AGM:
“It is an incredible honour, and I hope I can demonstrate the appreciation that I have for Manly Rugby through my leadership. To assist me in that, I believe I have assembled a very strong & diverse board and I’m very excited to start planning this new era for the club”
“Our newly appointed head coach Billy Melrose has certainly hit the ground running since his appointment and his level of professionalism is already very evident. I have no doubt the club will be in a strong position come kick off 2017.”
PRESIDENT ANTHONY BERGELIN
VICE-PRESIDENT MORGAN LANE
TREASURER ANNIE DOYLE
ASSISTANT-TREASURER CLAIRE MARTIN
SECRETARY LISA MATTHEWS
ASSISTANT-SECRETARY DANIEL BOLAND
BOARD MEMBER PETER ALLEY
BOARD MEMBER ADAM HILL
BOARD MEMBER SEAN RICHARDSON
BOARD MEMBER DAVID CAMPBELL
BOARD MEMBER IAN MILLER
BOARD MEMBER SIMON HERBERT
Manly Rugby Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Brian Melrose as its Head Coach for the 2017 season.
In confirming the announcement, Club President David Begg indicated:
“We undertook an exhaustive search both from within the club and in the wider rugby community.
The quality of candidates was outstanding, but Brian’s coaching credentials together with his awareness of Manly’s Rugby DNA, won the day.
Brian's record both here and the UK has seen him have high level success at club, provincial, super rugby and test match level.
His ability to identify talent, develop players and improve teams has been consistent across his career.
We are delighted to have him back for hopefully another successful stint at the club.
I want to place on record my appreciation for the work done by our former head coach Damien Cummins in his 10 years of coaching across the club which included many highlights.
Damien has been a part of a team with his assistant coach Daniel Brown, a positive and popular figure amongst the playing group & staff. We hope their knowledge and passion will not be lost to the Club.
In indicating his desire to get started, Melrose confirmed:
“After a couple of years away from a Head Coaching role it's great to be back at the club which gave me my initial opportunity "
"While the overall result was disappointing this year I am excited to work with the great talent base that is here".
With the competition not starting until 1 April 2017, Melrose proposed to implement a thorough pre-season preparation and work to develop a team and playing style that both players and supporters are proud of.
Manly RFC is delighted to be back at Manly Oval for 2017 and with a new coach, fresh committee and some talented local colts filling the ranks, the club eagerly looks forward to an exciting season ahead.”
By Adam Lucius
What: Shute Shield round 18
Who: Northern Suburbs v Manly
Where: North Sydney Oval
Result: Norths 24-23
Manly finished where on the table: Seventh (58 points)
80 minutes in 80 seconds: There were a few if, what’s and buts heading into the final round of the most tightly contested Shute Shield in years, but Manly’s task was straight forward. They had to beat in-form Norths on their home patch and/or pray there was a minor miracle elsewhere. The Marlins found themselves in a deep hole early, conceding a try from the kick off and falling behind 14-0 after 21 minutes. Sam Lane posted Manly’s first points via a penalty goal in the 23rd minute. Norths added a penalty soon after before Lane crossed five minutes before the break to give us a halftime scoreline of 17-10. Manly then scored the next 13 points via tries to Richard Hooper and Nick Holton and a Lane penalty goal. At 23-17 with 11 minutes to go, it was fasten your seat belts time. Norths took up squatters’ rights in the Manly quarter in the closing stages but were repelled time and time again. With the siren having sounded, they just kept coming. The Marlins held on for at least three dozen phases before finally cracking FOUR minutes after the bell. The Shoremen needed to land the conversion from wide out to complete the heart break and duly did so. It’s the first time in six years Manly won’t be part of the play offs.
Where it was lost: The Marlins showed a ton of heart to work their way back into the contest but the sluggish start didn’t help their cause. They were brave, courageous and committed throughout an absorbing contest and had a few decisions go against them at the death that could have dramatically changed the ending. But the boys will look back at lost opportunities throughout the season, which finished with 11 wins and seven losses. It’s the first time in six years the Marlins won’t be part of the finals. And that will hurt until we get back into it in March.
Marlins' best: Every single player played their guts out but special mention must me made of halfback Matt Lucas. He told Manly officials he wanted to play, flying back into Sydney with the Waratahs on Saturday morning and turning in a typically whole-hearted performance just hours later.
What they said: “The effort was there but they were just too good on the day. We’ve been our own worst enemy this year. We lost games we were more than capable of winning. There is no-one else to blame.” – Matt Lucas
Halback, Matt Lucas, fights all the way - photo by Adam MacDonald
Oddspot: A lot of things need to go your way for a season to be successful and luck sure was in short supply over the past couple of weeks. Every result from other critical games went against Manly as the Shute Shield form book was continually turned on its head. It’s just been one of those seasons for the Marlins
Where to from here: Get out and support the seconds and thirds in their finals campaign. As for the Shute Shield, we’ve got an eight-month wait for redemption
Weird mystical forces have aligned all the grade teams in 6th spot on their respective tables. All the teams are threatened by the 7th position team winning tomorrow. Destiny is in the players hands. It is knock out football from now on. Either win, rely on other results or boots off.
“The whole club knows it is a massive weekend,” said MMMs half back Tim Donlan. “We had the whole playing group together for a talk on Tuesday. Everyone is motivated to get through to the finals. This is what we do all of the hard work for.
“We have trained well this week,” he continued about first grade. “It’s all been about clarity. Where we should be and what we should do in different parts of the field under different scenarios.
“We wanted to become the best defensive team and when we had the three games in 8 days, it worked really. Our defence fell apart a bit against the Rats but, taking nothing away from them, they were awesome on the day and any team would have found them hard to beat.
“We got back on track in all grades against Gordon. We now want to push for the finals and we know we are capable of getting to the Grand Finals.
The MMMs are putting out a heavy pack including a barnstorming backrow: Harry Bergelin at 7, Hayden Stringer, blind side and Junior Palau at 8.
“Yeah, we want to take Norths on upfront. It is great for my position to be behind a pack going forward. We need show aggression against Norths.”
Tim was injured in Round 10 against Easts. “I damaged my ankle and thought I was out for 8 to 10 weeks. I am so happy that I managed to get back after six weeks. It was hard work and credit to Ali (Alison Donlan, club physio).”
Tim played his school boy rugby at St Ignatius including a 5 test stint in the Australian School Boys team. He travelled to Samoa and New Zealand, with the team losing to the kiwis on the bell. Tim was awarded the Bronze Boot for being the most constructive player.
He then moved onto Grade Rugby at the Rats playing colts and then 1st grade. He was injured in 2013 and moved to Randwick where he had a frustrating season. He then came and joined the MMMs in 2015, securing a 1st grade spot before Matt Lucas’ return.
He is a competitive half back, quick thinking and with good pace and pass. No doubt his objective is to be in the Grand Final 2016!