Marlins alone on top of table after seeing off the premiers

By Adam Lucius
What: Shute Shield round 7
Who: Manly v Norths
Where: Manly Oval
Result: Manly 23-18
Manly are where on the table: First (34 points)
 
80 minutes in 80 seconds: Manly fans have been waiting a long time for this match after Norths kept us out of the last year's finals series with an after-the-bell sideline conversion. The Shoremen then stormed through the play-offs to win their first premiership since 1975. They lobbed at the Village Green on the back of 19 straight wins, wary that their last loss had been at the hands of Manly almost a year to the day. The hosts got off to a flyer, with a try from the back of a rolling maul and a Tommy Chesters intercept setting up a 14-0 lead. A converted try to Norths narrowed the gap to seven before Matt Lucas eased us 10 points in front with a penalty. The premiers struck back to score a try and consecutive penalties, nosing ahead 18-17 after half an hour. With Norths losing a player to the sin bin on halftime, Lucas restored Manly's lead with a penalty. Matty's left boot provided the only points of a gripping second half as the Marlins ground out a tough five-point victory.  
 
Where it was won: It's fair to say both teams weren't quite at their best, but there was no lack of intensity, enthusiasm and physicality. Manly's goal-line defence and scramble – along with Lucas' trusty boot - was the difference in the end
   
Marlins' best: Mitch Lewis, Kotoni Ale, Matt Lucas, Dennis Pili-Gaitau
 
What they said: "There is a long way to go so we can’t read too much into a round seven result, but beating a quality side like Norths certainly gives us plenty of confidence. The good thing is we know we can play a lot better." – Manly captain Adrian Hall
        
Odd Spot: There were a few raised eyebrows when the Marlins elected to shoot for goal at 70 minutes with Norths dropped to 14 men after losing a player to the bin for the second time in the game. But it was the right move. Matty Lucas' penalty meant the Shoremen had to go all out for a try to win it, rather than take advantage of several penalties from close range. They couldn’t manage a late five pointer and the Marlins are now the only undefeated team left in the comp.    
 
Where to from here: The Marlins are on the road, taking in the sights of Chatswood for a tricky clash with the much improved Gordon
 

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Marlins release special mid season pass

The Marlins are on a roll, and we need your support to see us through the season! With our Top of the Table Clash this weekend, and Derby Day in just a couple of weeks, don't miss the opportunity to purchase our special 4 game pass and head down to the Village Green to enjoy Club Rugby at it's very best.
The passes will be available on the Sydney Road gates on Saturday, or otherwise follow this link to book your pass today!
 
4 games pass 002
 

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Marlins hold off Wicks to make it six on the trot

By Adam Lucius
What: Shute Shield round 6
Who: Manly v Randwick
Where: Manly Oval
Result: Manly 46-27
Manly are where on the table: Equal First (30 points)
 
80 minutes in 80 seconds: The Wicks arrived at Manly with four wins from five and were quietly confident they could be the first team this year to leave the Village Green with the four competition points. That confidence looked well founded when the visitors jumped out to a 13-5 lead midway through the first half. But Manly held their composure and, with the forwards gaining the ascendency, began the fightback. Two tries and a long distance Matt Lucas penalty had the hosts ahead 20-13 by halftime. The Marlins jumped all over the Galloping Greens to open the second half, adding two further tries for a 32-13 advantage. Randwick threatened to mount a late comeback but Melrose's men held their nerve to secure win No.6 in a row. Nick Holton and Adrian Hall bagged doubles, while Ryan Melrose, Cam Bailey and Josh Turner picked up five pointers
 
Where it was won: There are big moments in every match but the effort of fullback Josh Turner to turn, chase 90m and run down the Wicks fullback following an intercept early in the game spoke volumes about the Marlins' commitment. Turner's effort set the tone for the rest of the game.
   
Marlins' best: Josh Turner, Adrian Hall, Kevin Fuavao   
 
What they said: "The boys are playing some good footy against good sides. Randwick kept coming at us and we probably shouldn't have been made to sweat as much as we did, but it was good we closed it out."  - halfback Matt Lucas
        
Odd Spot: There was a gentle whisper going around the Village Green that one Michael Hooper may be available for the Marlins this coming Saturday, given the Tahs have a bye. At the time of writing there had been no confirmation either way, but we live in hope
 
Where to from here: The Marlins are back at home against premiers Northern Suburbs this Saturday. It's the clash of the Shute Shield's two undefeated teams
 

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Marlins stretch unbeaten run to four with home win over Easts

By Adam Lucius
What: Shute Shield round 4
Who: Manly v Eastern Suburbs
Where: Manly Oval
Result: Manly 26-17
Manly are where on the table: Equal First (20 points)
 
80 minutes in 80 seconds: Coach Brian Melrose indicated it had been a far from smooth preparation leading into this one and that was evident in a somewhat clunky performance. The hosts led 12-3 at the break and did just enough in the second half to keep Easts at arm's length while collecting two further tries for a bonus point win. This one won’t form part of a collectors' box set of Marlins classic, but we'll take the five points and move on.    
 
Where it was won: Although Easts scored two late tries, this win was again built on Manly's iron-clad defence. The Beasties were kept try-less until the 74th minute and never really threatened to pinch the game. The Marlins were hit and miss in attack but their dedication to the D (defence) cannot be questioned. You will not score an easy try against the men in blue   
   
Marlins' best: Sio Tatola, Daniel Alley, Tom Chesters   
 
What they said: "We had a very disrupted prep and I thought we were a bit off. I have to take responsibility for what was a scratchy performance . I did not prepare them well enough. We will need to be better next week to turn around the club's recent history against Eastwood . It's an exciting challenge." – Manly coach Brian Melrose 
        
Odd Spot: It was great to see the Manly Mermaids in action before the main game. The girls put on a terrific display of 7s rugby to beat Easts 25-0.     
 
Where to from here: After three weeks at Manly Oval, the Marlins hit the road to take on 2015 grand final rivals Eastwood at TG Millner. 
 

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