Do you want the good news first or the bad?
Okay, the good it is.
Super Rugby second-rower Caderyn Neville is back for the rest of the season, re-launching his Marlins career by playing a starring role in Saturday's stop-start 53-24 win over Eastern Suburbs on Saturday.
Now for the bad news.
Neville's second-row partner Ed Gower will soon depart for a short overseas trip that will see him miss the back-end of the season before returning in grand final week.
Gower has been outstanding all year and was again Manly's best on Saturday, but at least we have big Caderyn back from the Rebels to help offset the loss.
The big fella was rapt to be on the Village Green for the first time in two years.
"I’m very excited to be back at home, back at the team I started with," said Neville, who is leaving the Rebels for the Queensland Reds.
"It’s not really the same playing local Melbourne footy. It's about third or fourth grade standard and not much atmosphere.”
"I was in a bit of a dark spot for about 10 or 15 minutes of that second half (fitness-wise) but I started to feel a little bit better towards the end.
"Hopefully I’ll be able to offer a bit more in coming weeks."
Neville entered a Manly side coming off their first loss of the season.
The intent was there early, with the Marlins jumping out to a 31-5 halftime lead via tries to Dan Alley, Dennis Pili-Gaitau and Harry Bergelin.
But as has been the case several times this season, the men in blue eased off the accelerator.
Easts, with nothing to lose, seized their opportunity and scored 19 unanswered points to reduce the deficit to just six points.
The upset of the season was on the cards before Manly kicked again.
Tries to Reece Hodge and John Fakai and a beauty to Alex Northam restored normal transmission and the Marlins were soon celebrating win No.12 for the season.
"It was a really good first half and we wanted to keep that going but we couldn't have gone any opposite," coach Damien Cummins said.
"It was a poor 25 minutes (to start the second half). They've got some quick guys at the back and they cut us up.
"We just lost our way. You don’t want to have those flat spots but overall it wasn't too bad."
Turtle was particularly happy with the performance of his tight five and wingers Northam and Richard Hooper.
The Marlins are at home again next Saturday, hosting Northern Suburbs.
Round one was played on an ugly wet day but we left Woollahra with only 1 try and an 8 – 0 win.
Saturday was a great day but it was a damp track and it took a nice try by East’s for Manly to start playing rugby.
The Marlins played some solid rugby for the next 30 minute with Vaka Manu creating momentum with big carries and the forwards continuing the momentum. When we played with width it stretched their D and we converted it into points.
First of all the ball went wide to Sireli. Then through Vaka and the forwards up the centre and a short ball to James “Cecil” Hilterbrand running a good angle back in for our first try.
The second followed not long after, again playing with width created the points. The ball went down the right flank, then back to the forwards carrying it up the centre, a nice rap around from No 6 Vinnie Baranyi created space for Sireli and again he carried the ball deep into the East’s 22. Quick ball and some long passes had us pressuring the scoreboard corner. Half back Timmy Donlan spots a few book ends defending out wide and threw a nice cut out pass to send Squires over in the corner. Another 2 tries before oranges and we had the bonus point and a 31 – 5 score line.
We then clocked off.
East’s crossed for 3 tries, that were punctuated by a pushover try to us and it was 38 – 26. Play for 80 minutes lads.
Sammy Vaevae, 5/8th, then had a couple of big plays that stopped East’s flow. The first was a big hit that puts Eats on the back foot . The ensuing maul we earned the scrum feed. From the scrum he ran hard at the line and grubber kicked through to score a meat pie that was all his creation.
Possession, draw and pass, sees Sireli score our 7th for the day and the full time score of 48 – 26
Timmy Donlan revelled in the captaincy having one of his best games of the season.
No doubt defensive chatter and playing for the full 80 were discussed after the game. We lost the second half and had conceded 4 tries.
It's momentum now with 3 local derbies coming up (Norths, Warringah and Gordon). We need to look at the positives of this game and build on it.
Easts are out of contention for a finals berth and as Damien Cummins, MMMs coach says; “beware, they have nothing to lose and can throw caution to the wind.”
Mind you, many teams would prefer not to face the MMMs are the first loss of the season last weekend. “Beware of the harpooned Marlin,” was how Damien described it! The team will be looking to return to normal service with an extra level of determination.
Cadeyrn Neville, now ex Rebels lock, comes into the team, playing at the village green for the first time in a few seasons. Barnstorming Daniel Ali returns at No 8 after recovering from an injury. Jeremy Vaai plays at tight head. So the pack will be looking to dominate.
In other team news, Alex Northam gets his first run on this season in place of winger Chris Yarrington. The club is fortunate to have some real speedsters all in fine form and so it is good for others to get game time in the build up to finals. Northam has come through the colts ranks and been heavily involved in seconds attacking action this season which sees them second on the table.
It is hard to bring up last week’s game against Eastwood. Basically, the MMMs were beaten all over the park in a much reported 180 degree turn around from the previous encounter at Marlins HQ.
Not to mince his words, Damien said; “We were terrible. Our scrum wasn’t good, our line deteriorated and we were ineffective at the breakdown. You can’t play if you can’t get these things right.
“The guys were really disappointed and didn’t really have an answer on why we played like that. It is about how they respond now that is important.”
Beware of the harpooned Marlin!
As the old saying goes, revenge is a dish best served cold.
And so it was for Eastwood after they interrupted Manly's 12-match winning run with a comfortable 43-16 win at TG Milner Field on Saturday.
The Marlins upended the Woodies 41-18 back in round nine in a result that stunned - and stung – the proud premiers.
Before their big home crowd – and with NSW rep Hugh Roach leading the way - they wanted Manly from the get-go.
Eastwood led 20-9 at the break and went right on with the job in the second half, finishing deserved five tries to one (penalty) try victors.
The Marlins had no excuses, nor did they go searching for any.
"It was disappointing but Eastwood were good," coach Damien Cummins conceded.
"It was a carbon copy of what we did to them at Manly Oval.
"There was a bit of retribution for that and we were nowhere where we needed to be.
"We let ourselves down."
Skipper Matt Lucas admitted it was a loss that was probably coming.
"We knew what we were going to face and didn’t deliver. They handed it to us.
"We probably cruised the last few weeks but this is a good wake-up call.
"We wanted to stay undefeated purely because we don’t want to lose, but we certainly know there is a long way to go and a lot of improvement needed."
Lock Ryan Melrose added: "It's disappointing but we did go down to a great outfit.
"It gives you heads up about what's coming your way at finals time."
Manly were without a number of key players, including departing hooker Dave Porecki, fullback BJ Hartmann and No.8 Daniel Alley.
They were no match for the Eastwood forwards, particularly at the scrum, and had no answer out wide after giving the Woodies' backline plenty of opportunities to run the ball.
But Turtle didn’t want to hear about a loss being a good thing after 12 undefeated weeks.
"Why buy into the thinking that you need to lose one to sharpen yourself up?" he asked.
"I didn’t want to lose, but if this makes us better I will take it."
Manly still sit in first spot, one point ahead of the Woodies with five rounds remaining.
The Marlins are at home to Eastern Suburbs next Saturday.
A top of the table clash against the Woodies – a great way to spend a Saturday arvo. In recent games only a handful of points have separated the 2 teams at full time – attitude often wins these battles and we had to be focused for the full 80.
The game started and the intentions were clear, both teams were putting the ball to the boot for field position. Sammy Vaevae’s was charged down by the Woodies tall timber and regathered to score the first points and it was 7-0 after only 2 minutes.
Again it was field position followed by ball retention, and after spending a number of phases working the Woodies line we won the penalty, took the lineout option and Mitch Lewis thought he’d etched his name on the scorer’s sheet but was robbed as the ref awarded us a penalty try and the scores were back level.
Centre, Jon Fakai was having some huge carries down field either bending, or breaking the Woodies defensive line, and with quick phase ball the Woodies got pinged in front for trying to slow the ball and we hit the lead at 7 – 10.
The Woodies upped the tempo and had a few back to back steals off our lineout. One of them was clean off the top on our 22 followed by three carries through the forwards resulting in a converted try and it was 12 – 10.
When we supported the ball carrier we were getting quick phase ball, good go forward and earning penalties as the Woodies looked to slow down the ball. When we weren’t with the ball carrier the Woods had a good conversion rate of turnover ball.
Fakai was being a monster and causing all sorts of headaches for the Woodies mid field, he had his hand in 2 tries just before the break. First he stood in the tackle creating an overlap and the Woodies centre slapped the ball down resulting in a yellow card penalty try. The second he drew the defence when Sammy Vaevae through a double pump pass and sent Alex Northam through a yawning gap and it was 24 – 12 at the break.
The ref blew the whistle for the resumption of play, and then blew it again moments later as Timmy Donlan crossed for a try under the sticks. Great way to open the second half; off the kick off the ball went wide to the left through a number of hands – a grubber infield by Sireli and Timmy carried it across from 20 out - that was 3 tries in 10 minutes and it stung the Woodies into life.
With Jimmy Vail being replaced at the break, we lost considerable height and weight in the piggies and the lead was quickly cut back to 31 - 17 after rolling maul off the lineout. The Woods captain and number eight started leading by example pulling off a monstrous hit on Johnny Wunder, and then repeated the douse on Brad Meaney. They were getting to the rucks and mauls in numbers and if we weren’t on the ball in support in numbers we were getting blown off it and loosing possession. Eastwood received a donation bonus point try off a forward pass and we had yet another 7 point game with about 25 to go.
The next 20 minutes was about resolute defence; Vinnie Baranyi and Will Cocker stepping up and setting an example, and the chatter in the backs kept our D tight across the field. At one stage we defended flat on our line across the full width of the field for 12 phases and the ball was turned over with a desperation pass out wide. Eastwood continued to have a mountain of possession and all the territory, but the defensive standard had been set.
To test our character and resolve heading into the last ten we were reduced to 14 men when Cocker was given a yellow and an early shower. Not long after that we had a scrum on our own line and loose ball at the back resulted in a converted try and 31 all with 5 to go.
We kicked deep off the kick off looking for an error and it came through pressure and defence on the right wing. The ensuing scrum just held, and again the big Jon Fakai opened them up carrying defenders for a good 20 meters before a one handed ball to Northam, to Chesters, to Sireli and try time and we are up 31 – 36 with 2 to go.
It was then a case of retention and we were doing a great job at recycling the pill, and then, nothing like a heart stopper when we gave the Woods the pill for the last minute.
Jon Fakai was huge for the full 80, and Vinnie Baranyi and Will Cocker led the way in the forwards.
“This game will be a good indication on the team’s form for the backend of the season,” said giant lock Cadeyrn Neville about this weekend’s game where the Woodies will be looking for retribution after losing 41-18 in Round 9 at Manly Oval.
The big news is that Cadeyrn is back at the MMMs from next week. “It just works out that I am available for this transition period,” he explained as he comes off contract from the Rebels and moves to the Reds. “I will probably go on to play for one of the Queensland NRC teams prior to the full Reds pre-season starts.”
It has been frustrating season for Cadeyrn with little game time at the Rebels. “Yeah it is good to be changing for the football and lifestyle.”
“I am really looking forward to spending time at home and playing with the fellas again. I couldn’t play last year,” referring to his commitments to Melbourne rugby last season. Fellow Manly player Jordy Reid has contracted for a further two seasons at the Rebels and so we won’t be seeing him.
“I have been doing PBs in the gym in the last week or so,” said Cadeyrn about his fitness levels. He is raring to go and wants the game time – opposition be aware! “We are in a good position for the finals. It shouldn’t take me too long to learn the structures and calls.”
In other news, hooker David Porecki has signed with the Saracens and won’t available for the rest of the season. A massive opportunity for him and another great player development story from the MMMs stable.
“We are treating the next six weeks as a new comp,” said MMMs coach Damien “Turtle” Cummins. “I spoke to the squad on Monday about being really focused on rugby over the next 8 weeks or so. We are not worried about any past stuff and are looking forward with pretty much a new crop of guys. Everything is going well and all the players in the squad are going well.”
“This week we have been focusing on direct play, aggression at the breakdown and one on one defence. We had a good opposed session on Tues for about 40 minutes.”
The MMMs showed real maturity in a niggly match against Parramatta last weekend. Calm heads prevailed despite some less than pleasant tactics. See this story click here
Versatile Shaun Treweek comes in at fullback for injured BJ Hartmann and Vance Elliot claims the hooker sport after playing well when David Porecki was away with the ‘tahs.
Manly Rugby Club are saddened to report the passing of life member Brian Cox.
Brian came to the Manly club from the SHORE First XV at 18 years of age and went
straight into first grade. He ended up playing 142 first grade games from 1947
to 1958. He also represented NSW on 14 occasions and played nine Tests for
Australia from 1952 to 1957.
In 1950, Brian travelled to England and played rugby for Rosslyn Park, where he
was part of the Middlesex Sevens winning side. Brian returned to Manly in 1951,
when he played his first match for NSW.
Brian’s international career began in 1952 against the touring Fijian side. He also
played against New Zealand in the same year, playing in the Tests at
Christchurch and Wellington. He went on to represent his country nine times in
In the mid-1950’s he was judged to be the best defensive player in the Manly Club
and its best and fairest player in 1956. He retired in 1958, but continued to
support Manly Rugby Club in many ways - his love of the game led him to serve
his Club in senior administrative positions leading to a Life Membership. He also became a referee, a touch judge and a
selector for Manly and New South Wales.
Perhaps Brian’s major contribution to rugby in his post-playing years has been as the
voluntary time-keeper for the Marlins, NSW Waratahs home matches in the “Super”
series, and Sydney –based Test matches, dating from 1989 to 2006.
Brian’s legacy to rugby and the Manly Marlins continued in the form of his sons Philip
& Mitchell who both represented their country. Phillip played over 200
first grade games for Manly and represented Australia in 16 tests. Mitchell
played for four seasons at Manly and played two tests for Australia on the
British Isles tour in 1981-82.
Brian leaves his dedicated wife Judy, who also sadly lost her twin sister two weeks
ago, and our thoughts are with Judy and her family at this very sad time.
St Matthews Church
1 Darley Road,
Wednesday June 17th
This was beauty and the beast rolled into one.
The Marlins came away with a 45-26 win over strugglers Parramatta at Manly Oval on Saturday but were left fuming about some alleged back-alley tactics from the visitors.
Prop Dane Maraki claims he was bitten and eye gouged while lock Ed Gower was hit high and late and split open.
The pictures of Maraki's face are quite damning and we might be hearing a lot more about this game in the days and weeks to come.
The Marlins maintained composure to walk off with a 12th straight victory after riding out the brutality and scoring some wonderful tries in the seven tries to four win.
They now stand one win short of matching the club record run of 13, set in 1997.
An improved but losing performance against Norths last week had Third grade supporters expectant of a win finally being delivered.
The Marlins went straight into attack but the Parramatta defence was resolute and there were no points being given away early in the game. Following a number of drives by the forwards towards the Two Blues line, the ball was released to the backs and a couple of neat passes between the Squires brothers had Harley Attwater over in the corner. Ryan Squires drilled over the conversion from out wide.
The Marlins scoring was held up for a while owing to the scrum being penalised on a number of occasions for driving the opposing pack off the ball. It took a bit of time for the referee to work out that this was because the Marlins scrum was dominant. A push over scrum try gave Argentinian No8 Manuel Castagnet 5 points, which Ryan Squires again converted, giving the Marlins a 14 nil lead.
The contest continued fairly evenly until Adam Crerar took a quick penalty and broke 50 metres down field, allowing play to be set up for a try to Ryan Squires, which he converted.
Fourth grade is beginning to look seriously good. After a mixed start to the season, the team is getting a very good act together.
The scoring against Parramatta started early, with Jonathon Fakai over for the first try of the day after about one minute of play, setting the scene for a very dominant team display.
The half time score of 26 – 3 looked secure
The Marlins put on a total of 9 tries and won 57 – 17, however the real story of the game was how the players are performing as a team. As a team, the Marlins were too fast and too fit, and were too much of a handful for the Two Blues.
Anthony Bergelin and Jon Fakai were stand outs as they shredded the defence on a number of occasions, both picking up tries.
Cameron Duffus again provided a great link for the backline and scored a try, as well as 6 conversions.
It is juniors day and we delighted to welcome the five local junior clubs to the Village Green. At half time the successful U11, U12 and U13 teams at the State Championships will be presented. The future Marlins!
“It’s great that the juniors come down and get to have a run on the oval,” said MMMs coach, Damien “Turtle” Cummins. It is important to have the link with the junior clubs and to encourage the young guns aspirations to work towards joining the MMMs colts and grades.
The club is pleased and proud to welcome back 22 year old hooker David Porecki who has just returned from a two week tour of South Africa with the Waratahs. A Manly colts and grade player for only the last two season, he is a real inspiration for our players and juniors alike having worked so hard to be in the position to be called up.
“It was the best experience of my life,” said David. “I was asked to prepare in case I was needed and then got a call the night before we flew. All the arrangements were made for me and I’ll had to do was pack and take my passport.
You always know where you stand with Manly coach Damien Cummins.
If the Marlins are playing good rugby, he'll be the first to tell the players, the media and anyone who cares to listen.
Same deal if they are playing rubbish.
So it's no surprise the players didn’t bother sugar-coating things when they dished up a lacklustre first half to trail Northern Suburbs 8-7 at halftime on Sunday.
"At halftime we were using words like pathetic, hopeless, weak, no character, no commitment." Turtle said.
A Sunny Sunday arvo on a green dry paddock – weather a little different to 5 weeks ago.
The forward pack was rearranged due to injuries, time away with the wet weather round, and some players affected by Sunday Rugby, and we were playing against an unknown opposition.
North’s kicked off, and through hard straight running they worked their way forward and into our half, earned a penalty and played for the line out. From the line out they formed a solid driving maul and peeled off a couple of meters out to score their first try for the day.
It was then a forward tussle to see which pack would gain the ascendancy; their loosies were strong and mobile and played the tight channels, and our big forwards were creating some serious dents in their advantage line. A penalty came our way and we opted for the line out about 15m out and immediately spread the ball wide. Followed by straight running, Chesters joined the line, created the over-lap and sent Sireli over in the corner.
Playing a re-scheduled game on Sunday during the scheduled bye-weekend meant that there were unavailable players and lots of new names on the Fourth and Third grade team sheets.
With changes to the Third grade coaching structure, supporters waited in anticipation to see whether the team would demonstrate some of its apparent potential against the Shoremen.
The game started well for the Marlins with an early try to No 10 Cameron Duffus, which he converted. But the early 7 nil lead was given up from the kick off when Norths equalised with their own converted try.
Perhaps unlike some earlier games, the Marlins kept at their game. Forward encounters were dominated by the Marlins and they were rewarded when No6 Troy Tonkin bustled his way through a congregation of Norths forwards, scoring a try which Cameron Duffus converted.
(Semi) retired player and current Colts coach, Scott Clemmett, answered the call, playing his 193rd grade game for the Marlins and escaping a trip to the Judiciary for the sole reason that the Laws of Rugby do not include the offence of Grand Larceny.
Norths started the game strongly, however an 80 metre try against the run of play to winger Kevin Reed Jnr had the Marlins to an unlikely lead of 7 nil following the conversion of Ben Rubio.
Norths had a sound scrum and continued to dominate the game, bring the Marlins’ lead back to 7 – 5 and then going into the lead 12 - 7 with a second try on half time.