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Norths game highlights - Marlins TV

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Marlins top ladder for first time since '97

By Adam Lucius

Asked to rate where Manly's first minor premiership in 17 years ranks, coach Phil Blake grinned and declared: "It's great but it's not the big one."

Yes, the Marlins are the Sydney club rugby minor premiers for the first time since 1997 after thrashing Northern Suburbs 66-19 at Manly Oval on Saturday.

No, they are not satisfied at stopping there.

On a day where the top six was all but settled – Randwick and Wests are still fighting over the last spot with a round to play – Manly ran in 10 tries to erase the memory of the previous week's loss to Warringah.

Interestingly, the Rats appeared to still be celebrating that one-off success as they crashed to a surprise defeat at Coogee.

"It's great for the overall success of the club. It's the first time for a long time that we've won one and it shows we've been the most consistent side all season," Blake said of securing the minor premiership a week before the regular season ends. Read more...

Convincing win in all grades

Big win for 2nd Grade

Manly reserve grade were too strong for Norths from the start, with Norths unable to handle the set piece strength of the Marlins, which was only a platform for a rampaging back three of Daniel, Manu and Dombkins.

BJ Hartmann continued his incredible form this year with some sensational support lines and Shaun Treweek in the centres posed real problems for a Norths defence that had too much on its hands.

Manly ran out 78-17 victors and stay and second place in the Colin Caird Shield ladder with just a single loss this year.

3rd Grade win but let in a try

Manly 3s have become known for their stingy defence this year, leading the Henderson Shield in the points conceded column, but will not have been happy with Norths' try midway through the first half, which was a simple pick and drive effort from the Norths pack. Having said that, Manly had already crossed the line a couple of times. Read more...

Home game vs Norths, 3pm, Sat 19th July, Manly Oval

Have the MMMs got the end of season wobbles again after the loss against the Rats last weekend and Easts a few weeks ago?

"It is very different this year," said MMMs second rower, Ed Gower, returning to first grade after 6 weeks in the cooler, feeling fresher and fitter than he normally would at this stage of the season. "Most of us have been together as a group for three or four seasons and we have been building ourselves towards this point. We have set ourselves the goal of being there at the end of the season.

"You are bound to lose intensity in some games over the season and we have been a bit disjointed recently."

"We'll be right. There may be some doomsayers out there but there are none in our group," said MMMs coach Phil Blake. "We can't please everyone. We've moved on and refocused. Training has been great this week; one of the best week's in the last month or so." Read more...

Eddie signs up with London Welsh

Huge congratulations to prop Eddie Aholelei who has signed up with London Welsh. He has played more than 200 games for the Marlins. It was great to see him in the blue against the Rats, despite the result. He has spent the past four seasons with the Rebels and so hasn't had much game time with the Marlins in recent years. He has also represented Tonga six times. It is understood that he will be avaiable to the Marlins for the rest of the competition.

Check out the BBC and London Welsh website

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