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!
This is the last home game of the regular season and so let’s get a big crowd behind the Marlins as they fight to stay in contention for a finals birth. Also be there to support the Girls U14 7s team playing before the 1st grade game.
“We were disappointed with our performance last week,” said first grade assistant coach, Dan Brown. “We want to make it up the supporters and show what we can do.”
Lying 6th on the table, one point below the Rats, one point above Eastwood and two points above Easts, the Marlins need to win the last two games to be assured of a top six finish including a tough gig away against 3rd placed Norths next weekend.
The games that are important for the Marlins this weekend are: Eastwood vs Randwick and the Rats vs Easts. Next week: Easts vs Souths and Randwick vs the Rats.
There is no doubt that the Rats have a hard run home but based on last week’s strong win over the Marlins, they are looking good.
It is a bit gutting to say this the Rats really dominated last weekend and put on a great attacking display winning 41-17 (6 tries to 2) in front of large crowd at Rat Park. They ran everything back at the Marlins with gusto and made some critical line breaks. It seemed that every time the Marlins worked their way into the Rats 22, an error would, under strong defensive pressure from the Rats, send us back up the wrong end.
“At 7 all we looked to be in a good position but the Rats took two chances off our mistakes and scored length of field tries,” said Dan. “Suddenly the game is 17-7 and the momentum has swung against us. They are a good team. There was nothing major that we did wrong but we know we can play better than that.”
Having significantly improved our defence is recent weeks, somehow it unravelled in broken play.
“This week we are putting out a heavier pack,” continued Dan. Cecil Hilterbrand in at hooker, Kotone Ale in at 7 and Adrian Hall back from injury in the 2nd row. It is good to get players back at this critical stage of the season.
“We’ve been focused on us and getting things right. It’s little things that we are working on,” explained Dan. “If we get it right, we will play well and win. But we don’t underestimate anyone in the comp. Look at Wests beating Uni twice. I don’t remember such a tight comp, with any team on the day able to win.”
Final call for the Masquerade Ball and Presentation night – tickets here
With only 10 points separating the top 8 teams both the Marlins and the Rats need a win to stay in contention for a top 6 finals finish.
It is unusual for it to be so tight and to see last year’s Grand Final winners, Eastwood lying 8th. The Woodies should dispose of Penrith but there are some huge games including Uni vs Easts and Souths vs Randwick (top of the table clash).
After four wins from four, the MMMs are on the up but the Rats will also take confidence from a 41 all draw with Uni last weekend.
“They have good backs that can attack from anywhere and so we must shut down everything they throw at us,” said MMMs 5/8th Sam Lane. The Rats came back to win in the same fixture last year when the MMMs were over 20 points ahead.
Sam will be up against Rodney Iona, an ex Brumbies player, with Hamish Angus, captain and playmaker, out through injury. Former Brumbies player, Julian Huxley, will also be on the Rats bench.
The MMMs have only let three tries in over the last four games with BIG D improving dramatically. Holding out Souths for a 16-15 (no tries to Souths) was a monumental example.
“We are really proud of our defence. We know that we can all tackle well across team individually but we probably didn’t have our structures right,” explained Sam. “Over the last month or so we have gone back to basics. Who should be where, when? And how we work together.
“Basically out attack has been pretty good and we have shown that we can score from anywhere.”
James Graham has been playing open side for the last few games whilst Kotoni Ale has been easing back in after his year out with injury. Kotoni will be a fresh reserve. James “Cecil” Hilterbrand will also be a fresh reserve after returning from a successful trip with the US Eagles. He will supplement a fearsome front row of Hayden Stringer, Vance Elliot and Mitch Lewis.
Cecil was in the run on Eagles team with Greg Peterson that narrowly lost to Italy 20-24. He also made the run on team against Russia winning 25-0 (Greg was injured and did not play).
Other news is that Shuan Treweek, fresh from a stint playing in Scotland, will come in at no 12.
So we are getting the strength and depth back at this important time of the season.
Penrith no pushovers
“It certainly wasn’t a training run,” said Sam Lane. “They have some big players and speedy backs.
“Their defence was difficult to read with some players rushing up unexpectedly,” he continued. “It makes it tricky when you are playing against such an unstructured approach.
However, the MMMs went on for a big 65-0 win. “We scored some well worked tries.”
Reserve back Shaun Treweek got a hat trick and hooker, Vance Elliot, two meat pies!
By Adam Lucius
What: Shute Shield round 15
Who: Penrith v Manly
Where: Nepean Rugby Park
Result: Manly 65-0
Manly are where on the table: Fifth (52 points)
80 minutes in 80 seconds: The mission here was simple: rug up, head west, collect five points and return home healthy. No offence to the gallant Emus – who keep turning up week after week with little or no support from head office – but the only uncertainty was over the final scoreline. Manly led 29-0 at halftime and kept the foot down to pile on a further 36 points after the resumption. Mission Accomplished. That's four wins in a row heading into this Saturday's local derby at Rat Park.
Where it was won: The tries were always going to come (11tries in all) but once again Manly's defence was rock solid. They've now conceded just 22 points in the last 240 minutes of rugby. Impressive stuff.
Marlins' best: Back from a stint in Scotland, utility back Shaun Treweek came off the bench to score three tries. Hooker Vance Elliott continued his good form with a double.
What they said: "The Rats game is one we always look forward to and we've been building nicely towards it. It should be a great game between two teams fighting to get in the finals." – assistant Manly coach Dan Brown
Oddspot: After a mid-season hiccup, the Marlins have won four straight to surge back into contention. But this is the tightest Shute Shield we've seen for years. Just eight points separate first from seventh so you can't afford a slip up
Where to from here: Do we really need to tell you? It's the second edition of the local derby for the year – all roads lead to Rat Park on Saturday. Bring it on.
By Adam Lucius
What: Shute Shield round 14
Who: Manly v Southern Districts
Where: Manly Oval
Result: Manly 16-15
Manly are where on the table: Fifth (47 points)
80 minutes in 80 seconds: With both teams playing their third game in a week, there would have been no surprise if fatigue kicked in early. But instead we were treated to a real 80-minute dogfight – well, 82 minutes to be exact – with plenty of intensity before finally finding a winner. Souths led 9-3 at the break courtesy of three penalties from superboot Rohan Saifoloi. He added another three-pointer early in the second half to take Souths' lead out to nine points. But Manly always manage to produce something special when running towards Sydney Rd (Bruce Stevo's stats may or may not back this up!) and so it was again at the 53rd minute mark. Josh Turner broke clear from 85m out and swerved, ducked, avoided and pushed off defenders on his way to the line. It was some try and gave Manly a way back into the game at 12-8. Souths eased a converted try in front a few minutes later via their fifth penalty but there were still a few chapters left in this story. A pushover try to Manly hooker Vance Elliott from a lineout just after the hour narrowed the gap to two but unfortunately the kick again went wide to leave the visitors ahead 15-13. That's the way it stayed until a late, late twist. With the bell having rung, Manly pounded the Souths line looking for the match winner. They were centimetres from the line but repelled countless times. Then we saw the ref's arm extended for a penalty right in front of the posts. Matt Lucas kicked the goal and the Marlins were home 16-15 in an absolute thriller.
Where it was won: Manly's defence was superb on Tuesday night and they backed that up against the Rebels. That laid the platform for the win, with the Marlins scoring two tries to nil. To keep top four sides Easts and Souths to just one try between them in 160 minutes is a tremendous effort in anyone's language
Marlins' best: Lucas was in everything as was returning second-rower Ed Gower, who punched out 80 quality minutes. Elliott and James Graham were also great value and Josh Turner produced moments of magic.
Lock Ed Gower on the rampage - photo Adam MacDonald
What they said: "Three wins in a week is an awesome result for us. The belief was always there, even at 9-3. We’ve been struggling coming into this week but we'll get a lot out of these wins. Wins like that can make a season. I've loved being back and I will get behind the boys for the rest of the season." – halfback Matt Lucas, who now returns to the Waratahs
"To knock off two quality sides (Easts and Souths) is awesome. If we don't pick up eight points our season could have been over. We're right back in it now." – Damien Cummins
Oddspot: With the crowd going a little quiet in the second half, Turtle reached for the walkie talkie and asked ground announcer Mike Westdorp to rev the Marlins faithful up. Westy turned evangelist for the last 20 minutes and the support helped get the home side across the line
Where to from here: It's out to Nepean to meet the Penrith Emus on Saturday
“I had made arrangements with my brother (Michael) to fly out for the final before the Scotland game (quarter final),” explained Richard. “I have never been so nervous until the ball sailed over for the final penalty!”
Richard flew over to the UK for four days to watch the final. “The atmosphere was amazing with such a rugby mad supporter base in the UK. Obviously the result wasn’t what we wanted but the tournament really put the Wallabies back on the map after a few difficult years. The celebrations were very upbeat and I had great time.”
Richard has played rugby locally since he was 10 and of course his father, Dave, was a Marlins 1st grade player back in the 80’s. He had one season in colts when the Marlins made the semi- final and then got a contract with his brother in the Brumbies academy.
The speedy winger is now approaching his 100th game in his 6th season for the Marlins. “I love playing at Manly Oval with a great bunch of guys. We have always had strong players and depth in the backs. It is good that players have gone on like Reece (Hodge), Alex Northam (Europe) and Mali Hingano (Europe and moving to Japan).”
“I hope I can continue to perform for the club and team,” said Richard.
Not only does he have the speed but also he has an elusive step that sees him either scoring or assisting with tries in most games. His defence is great and nothing depicts it more than this fantastic photo taken by Adam MacDonald on Tuesday evening vs Easts.
“It is fun to play Souths. They play a similar attacking style of footy,” said MMMs winger Richard Hooper.
Souths sit second on the table with 50 points and the MMMs back in 7th on 43. So still a tightly packed top order. They beat the MMMs in Round 1, 23-17, through a strong forwards performance.
This is an important game in the charge to the finals and the third game to be played in 8 days.
“The coaches understand this and we have reduced the workload,” said Richard. “Everyone came through uninjured from the Easts game which is good. Souths are in the same position as us having played on Tuesday night (27-8 win over West Harbour). They are a good team and consistent which is so important through the season, No doubt that they will be in contention in the finals series.”
A small crowd at the Village Green witnessed a fantastic game vs Easts on Tuesday night.
“The first 20 minutes we played well with the ball in hand,” said Richard who scored a brace of tries in that period. “The next 60 minutes was all about defence. We made around 170 tackles and managed to keep them out apart from a try late on.”
It was an awesome display of defence and an area where the MMMs needed to develop having lost a number of close games in the last 10 minutes. “It is about attitude and everyone from 1 to 15 turned up,” explained Richard.
“When we did get the ball we made uncharacteristic mistakes which allowed Easts to keep the pressure on. However, we did manage to frustrate them with our defence and the pressure told with some of their decision making.”
Lock Hayden Stringer had an outstanding game. He was spotted at Circular Quay where he works for Manly Fast Ferries in his Marlins jacket early on Wednesday morning. He explained that he fell asleep on his lounge and only just made the 615am ferry to get to work and didn’t have time to change. Hardly surprising after the effort he put in...and good promotion for the Marlins!