MANLY 1ST & 2ND GRADE PRELIMINARY FINALS MANLY OVAL THIS WEEKEND!!!
2nd Grade Kick Off 1:15, 1st Grade Kick off 3:10
So here we go again.
With the regular season done and dusted and back-to-back minor premierships secured with an emphatic 36-17 win over Randwick on Saturday, attention now turns to the finals.
The Marlins will be back at Manly Oval against the Wicks in the 1 v 6 qualifying final next Saturday.
Eastwood host the Rats in the 2 v 5 play-off, while Souths and Sydney Uni go at it in the 3rd v 4th shoot-out.
A win over Randwick will propel the Marlins into another home preliminary final.
But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.
"It's awesome but we've got to go on with it," coach Damien Cummins said minutes after securing the minor premiership.
"Today is done. It's about putting in the same performance out here next week and the week after and the week after."
Manly will go into the qualifying final as red-hot favourites after extending their unbeaten run against Randwick to four years.
The Galloping Greens struck first but from there on it was Manly's game.
Or, more to the point, Reece Hodge's game.
He landed a penalty goal to reduce the gap to four points and then crossed for back-to-back tries for a 13-7 lead.
By now the Marlins had found their rhythm stick.
Centre Dennis Pili-Gaitau showed terrific footwork to score Manly's third try just before the interval, giving us a 18-7 halftime scoreline.
At the break Turtle asked for more of the same and the home side delivered.
Tries to Richard Hooper, courtesy of Hodge's slick hands, and Mitch Daniel underlined Manly's dominance.
"We beat them by 30 in round one and we've beaten them here and beat them twice last year, so there is a mental edge there," Cummins said.
"We were really good today. We were physical and aggressive at the breakdown, which we weren’t last week."
Reece Hodge had a big day out, scoring two tries, setting up another and landing two penalties.
"We've been building towards that for a while," he said,
"It was really pleasing to put it all together, especially in D (defence) where we kept them to seven points until the 60th minute mark.
"It's definitely a psychological advantage to beat them going into next week."
Apart from Hodge, Sam Lane, Harry Bergelin, Cadeyrn Neville and Pili-Gaitau were all very good in a dominant team performance.
Marlins skipper Matt Lucas will return for the qualifying final after sitting out the last two weeks.
Bring on the finals!
Having lost 2 games all season, one of them against the Wicks where we were held scoreless – this was a game we definitely wanted to win.
With form player Vinnie Baranyi not playing we had a re adjusted forward pack, and with big John Fakai dropping back to 2’s we had a completely rearranged backline. Randwick have been one of the form teams all season, and were coming off a loss to Eastwood last week so wanted to get the right result heading into the finals.
It was Randwick who went over for the first try. Although not pretty, we managed to claw our way back into the game crossing for 3 tries whilst the Wicks kept in the game through penalty shots at goal.
It looked like it was going to be one of those games that was going to be good to win ugly – but in the final minute of the game the Wicks scored a try and needed the conversion to win. It was duly slotted after the bell and they won 23-21.
Good to see we got up 3 tries to 2 and if it wasn't for Ellis having a rare off day with the boot we would have got up.
Vance Elliott and Will Croker got through a mountain of work in tight.
Seconds still secured the minor premiership with fewer loses than Eastwood who are equal final points.
As the minor premiers in both 1st and 2nd grade, the Marlins will host the first round of the finals this weekend at Manly Oval. With 4th Grade in action on Sunday at Forshaw Rugby Park, its going to be a huge weekend, and the Marlins need your support!
The full schdule for the finals this weekend is as follows:
GRADE SATURDAY Manly Oval
|1st Grade (TV)||3:10pm||Manly||v||Randwick|
|2nd Grade||1:15pm||Manly||v||West Harbour|
|3rd Grade||11:40am||Sydney Uni||v||Randwick|
|4th Grade||10:15am||Sydney Uni||v||Southern Districts|
GRADE SATURDAY T.G. Millner Field
|4th Grade||10:15am||Eastwood||v||Eastern Suburbs|
GRADE SUNDAY Forshaw Rugby Park
|1st Grade (TV)||2:40pm||Southern Districts||v||Sydney Uni|
|2nd Grade||12:55pm||Randwick||v||Sydney Uni|
|3rd Grade||11:20am||Eastern Suburbs||v||Northern Suburbs|
|4th Grade||9:55am||Manly||v||Northern Suburbs|
COLTS SATURDAY Forshaw Rugby Park
|Colts 1||1:10pm||Sydney Uni||v||Gordon|
|Colts 2||11:30am||Sydney Uni||v||Eastern Suburbs|
|Colts 3 (field 2)||10:00am||Sydney Uni||v||Northern Suburbs|
|Colts 3||10:00am||Randwick||v||West Harbour|
COLTS SUNDAY Chatswood Oval
|Colts 1||3:00pm||Eastern Suburbs||v||Northern Suburbs|
|Colts 2||1:10pm||Randwick||v||Southern Districts|
|Colts 2||11:30am||Northern Suburbs||v||Gordon|
|Colts 3||10:00am||Gordon||v||Southern Districts|
The “Village Green Fortress” doesn’t quite have the ring about it to describe the amazing home record the MMMs are defending. First grade has not lost a home game since the beginning of last season in the regular round games and have thus retained the prestigious Sir Roden Cutler Shield for all this time.
As if that wasn’t enough to play for, a win will mean the MMMs are Minor Premiers for the second year in a row. Second grade are in the same position; needing a win tomorrow to secure the Minor Premiership.
Get down early and support second grade, the defending champs! Their rugby style is a good quality running game with many excellent players and developing stars.
Whatever happens there will be some good celebrations at the Manly Rugby Club Ball for “Studs and Stunners” after the game at the Manly Pacific Hotel – click here
Captain and half back Matt Lucas is rested again as a precaution whilst he recovers from a groin injury. Tim Donlan replaces him after a good showing against Gordon last weekend. Harry Bergelin returns at open side flanker. Fullback BJ Hartmann is back after recovering from a broken cheek bone and so Reece Hodge moves back to centre with John Fokai taking a run in seconds.
“They will have used a lot of energy for the Eastwood game. It was a good win,” said MMMs coach Damien “Turtle” Cummins about Randwick’s against the odds win over Eastwood last weekend. “Warringah use the term “the Manly hangover” after their loss a week after beating us. Perhaps they will be a bit flat in the same way?”
“He played a lot for the Brumbies and Waratahs,” commented Damien about Stephen Hoiles in the Randwick side. “He has the smarts in the set pieces and so they will have their wits about them in the lineout.
“We have the best defensive record in the comp around set pieces and we will look to nullify any lineout advantage they will look to gain.”
It is worth noting that if the MMMs win, they will play Randwick again at home in the qualifying final next weekend (1st plays 6th and so on).
“Against Gordon we were pretty poor at the breakdown,” continued Damien. “There was a lack of urgency and we didn’t disrupt play. Vinnie Baranyi (flanker) managed to win the ball on our own line and we scored at the other end which shows that it works,” explained Damien. “We had a constructive contact session on Tues night.”
The MMMs took a bonus point win away against Gordon, scoring the bonus point try minutes from the end after a lack lustre middle period of the game. Prop Dane Maraki seemed be involved in everything with some impressive kick chases and cover tackles. It is worth noting that the backs haven’t offered him a spot yet!
The National Rugby Competition is fast approaching, and it’s time to show your support for the Macquarie University North Harbour Rays! Sign up here for all of the news and latest information about the Rays, and put the dates in your diary – two home games at Manly Oval not to be missed!
The Highlanders are always a tough nugget to crack and seem to get up for games against the MMMs. They lost 22-13 at Manly Oval in Round 5 and no doubt, being out of finals contention, will be looking for an against the odds win to hang their season on.
Last week Gordon were smashed by a star stacked Uni 44-26, consolidating Uni’s sixth spot on the table and thus booking a finals berth.
“No panic in the camp,” was Sam Lane’s comment about the loss to arch rivals the Rats last weekend 29-24. As club president David Begg mentioned, the first 30 minutes was some of the best rugby the MMMs had played all season.
“I can’t put a finger on it,” continued Sam about the game after that when the Rats put on 19 unanswered points. “We lost it more than they won it by making silly mistakes and taking the wrong options. But we are fourteen wins to two,” which is a fair comment and anyone would have taken that at the beginning of the season.
There are a number of changes to the line up. Matt Lucas, half back and captain, is a late pull out and will have a weekend off to rest a few niggles and so Tim Donlan comes up from seconds. James Hilderbrand comes in at hooker for Vance Elliot and Vinnie Baranyi is in at six whilst Harry Bergelin rests up a head knock.
“It is great that we have depth one though fifteen. Whilst it is bad news that we have lost Ed (Gower) there are other players who can step in,” said Sam. As an example, winger Chris Yarrington got a hat trick in 2nds and Alex Northam a brace is firsts – we are blessed with some great finishers.
Looking at the weather, the Gordon game is likely to be an eleven man type game. “The forwards have to get moving forward and win that battle,” said Sam. No doubt he will be unleashing some high balls to test the backs.
The other option, as Sam described it, is to: “just give it to Johnny”. John Fokai has been a revelation at centre. “He always seems to make something happen. He is a unique talent.”
“We just need to stay focused in the game for 70 to 80 minutes and hopefully put it away.”
Please note game times:
4th Grade: 10:30am
3rd Grade: 11:45am
2nd Grade: 1:05pm
1st Grade: 3:00pm
Manly are 80 minutes away from clinching their second minor premiership in as many years following a hard-fought 32-17 win over Gordon – thanks to a helping hand from Randwick.
The Marlins' win at Chatswood Oval on Saturday – coupled with Eastwood's loss to the Wicks – leaves the men in blue on top of the ladder with one round remaining.
If Manly beat Randwick at Manly Oval next Saturday, they will finish the regular season in first spot.
"It's great that we're back in a position to win the minor premiership," coach Damien Cummins said as the rain came down at Chatswood Oval on Saturday.
"That's proof you've been the most consistent team over 18 rounds but it doesn't guarantee a thing come finals time.
"We're going to have to get a lot better between then and now."
Cummins was largely unimpressed with what he saw against Gordon.
Manly led all day but struggled to kill off the lowly Highlanders until the final few minutes.
A Reece Hodge penalty and a wonderful length-of-the-field try to Alex Northam pushed Manly out to an early 10-0 lead.
Replacement halfback Tim Donlan scored soon after for a 17-0 scoreline and it looked a case of the Marlins by plenty.
But the dreaded mid-game lull struck again as Gordon worked their way back into the contest on a cold and dreary day that had the Marlins hoodie working overtime.
The Marlins led 17-14 and 24-17 before finally putting the Highlanders away with a bonus point try to Dan Alley with two minutes left.
"We had a game plan but didn't really execute," centre Dennis Pili-Gaitau said.
"There was some dumb stuff but the conditions probably contributed to the way the game went."
Back to Turtle.
"We had a lot of disruptions with Matt Lucas pulling out the day before the game, Harry Bergelin pulling out and Ed Gower taking off," he pointed out.
"It was a tough out there. We dropped too much ball and made it hard on ourselves but got there in the end."
Sam Lane, who scored Manly's first try, Cadeyrn Neville and James Hilterbrand were Manly's best.
As for the prospect of winning the minor premiership, Cummins warned: "It's great we're back at number one but we've still got to get the job done next week."
Second last game of the round games and a game that based on the ladder standings should easily be put the bag. It was a game to ensure our authority is built going into the finals, and that is the way we opened our account.
It came inside the first 5 minutes: a line out on our 22, quick hands out through the backs with BJ Hartman joining in and being pulled down just short of the line. A quick clean out and Ellis picks up off the back and dives over in the corner.
The next one again used the width of the field. It came from a line out deep in our own half, with BJ & Chris Yaz Yarrington showing some nice work out wide: a long ball from BJ, and a wrap around enabled Yaz to pop a no look pass to BJ who had the line open and raced around to score under the posts.
The 3rd try came again from out wide through the hands of Yaz and BJ down a very narrow blind side. This time it was Yaz onto BJ, and Yaz staying in the game supporting down the touchline to collect BJ’s pop pass and score.
We then sort of went into our shell, Gordon started getting some dominance in the scrum, and we defended for long periods. The tell-tale of our defence was when Gordon opted for the easy 3 points after spending a good 10 minutes in our 40.This left the half time score at 17 – 3.
It was Gordon who crossed the line next when Rhys Dombkins was given a break for 10 for a steal offence. Gordon kicked from the ensuing penalty for the line out and crossed for a try off the rolling maul. So down to 14 men, and having not troubled the score board attendant for 30 minutes we leaked our first try.
It was Tank Collins who stepped up and changed the flow with a thundering hit, and John Wonder gathered the loose ball and charged off down field. Nice hands down the left flank and quick ball to create the space had Treweek seeing the open paddock out to the right and he placed a perfect kick for Yaz to bag his second and we were back in business.
Then off the kick off, Vaka hands it off to Will Cocker who runs down the tram tracks through Gordon’s big men and into their 40. Quick ball and straight running out wide has BJ crossing for his second and it’s 31 – 8.
Treweek then picks up a cheap try off a wayward Gordon pass: a chip through and regather and he goes over in the corner and it’s a lead of 36 – 8 with 15 to go.
A number of changes were made for the last 15. Gordon managed to cross for 2 tries but and Yaz bagged another hat trick with a final score of 43 – 18.A number of changes are made for the last 15. Gordon managed to cross for 2 tries but and Yaz bagged another hat trick with a final score of 43 – 18.
For once, the old 'tale of two halves' line wasn't just a throwaway cliché.
A ruthless Manly owned the first half of Saturday's local derby, jumping out to a 24-3 lead on the back of four tries before Warringah scored a converted try just before the break.
The Rats took that momentum into the halftime break and came out a completely different side, piling on 19 unanswered points to claiming a scarcely believable 29-24 win before a delirious home crowd.
The Marlins were stunned, shocked and ultimately embarrassed by the capitulation.
Who saw that coming? Not skipper Matt Lucas.
"It's very disappointing to throw away a lead like that," he said.
"We were under no illusions because Warringah quite often do that to sides.
"Sides get away from them early and when they have nothing to lose they play that style of football and rein sides back in and get them at the end.
"We weren't good enough to stop that."
The Marlins stayed in a huddle for about 10 minutes after the game, with injured skipper Kotoni Ale and Lucas addressing the team.
So what was said?
"Kotoni and myself and a couple of other leaders just said we're letting ourselves down at crucial parts of the game," Lucas revealed.
"It's a harsh reality. You have to accept what went wrong and address it."
Asked if the Marlins could get back on track in time for the finals, Lucas continued: "Absolutely. It's the best vibe I've felt in a long time in a Manly side and we will learn from this and grow stronger.
"We'll be a force to be reckoned with come finals time."
There was no sign of a collapse as the speedy Alex Northam raced in two tries down the left touchline to give the visitors a dream start.
Big Caderyn Neville grabbed Manly's third following a lineout steal from Ed Gower before try-scoring machine Dane Maraki scorched 15m for his second try in as many games.
That made it 24-3 – but also signalled the end of Manly's scoring for the day.
The loss means second-rower Gower has played his last game for the year unless Manly can reach the grand final.
He is off to a wedding in Scotland and to do some travelling but will be up in the middle of the night to check on Manly's progress.
"No, it is certainly not (the way I wanted to sign off)," he said from the middle of Rat Park.
"That's the worse way you can go down (blowing a big lead). We were doing the simple things well in the first half then started making critical errors.
"But there is no reason why we can't turn it around. I want one more game."
The loss enabled Eastwood to leapfrog Manly into first spot with two rounds remaining.
The Marlins cannot finish outside the all-important top two but will need to win their two remaining games and hope the Woodies drop at least one if they are to snare the minor premiership.
Manly are away to Gordon next Saturday.
Derby Day and 2nd V 5th on the table. So it was to be a game where passion could result in an upset.
We were out of the blocks slowly with the Rats being the first to trouble the score board attendant with the ball rumbling through the forwards from a lineout on our 22 and they crossed for an unconverted try.
We built momentum and gradually rested the control, but it wasn’t until the 20 minute mark when the Rats were down to 14 men that we were able to cross for our first try. Go forward, width, quick ball, and Treweek straightening it up and had speedster Chris “Yaz” Yarrington diving across in the corner. It was good seeing patience and the game being built.
Sustained pressure and recycling of the ball resulted in good field position and a scrum about 10 meters out – nice ball off the back had Tim Donlan scoot across adjacent to the sticks. Again it was the basics that resulted in our 3rd try at the break; retention, go forward, and earning the right to go wide that created the space for Yaz to cross for his second with another impressive dive in the corner and it was 17 – 5 at the break.
You have to play the full 80 and it took us 7 minutes to set the tone with Sammy Vaevae ghosting through the defence untouched and cross to dot the ball down under the posts. We then defended staunchly on our line and conceded back to back penalties, with the Rats scoring off a rolling maul from a line out.
As the game progressed we started to control possession and field position. We were able to counter attack off their kicks and errors. Sireli opted to run the ball back from the 22 and raced past most of the Rats team. He off loaded to Timmy Donlan who bagged his second try for the game.
Treweek continued to pump corners with some beautiful kicks. One had Yaz chasing through and he managed to ground the ball to bag his hat trick.
Then just on full time we had a scrum in our 40 – so why not close out the game in style? The ball went wide through the hands. Full back Adam Crerar chimed and went to the ground popping up a nice ball to Treweek and onto Vaevae showing the importance of second touches and supporting the ball. Vaevae used quick hands onto Sireli and he was over in the corner for the final score of 39 – 10.
What was really pleasing was the patience shown in building the game, ball retention, and earning the right to use the ball and that is when points followed.
The loosies had a huge games and that provided the catalyst for us to play with width. Manu made serious yards up the middle, Vinnie was the link - he was everywhere, and Ethan ensured the Rats were honest and had to contribute numbers to the breakdown when the ball carrier was grassed.
The MMMs rediscovered their mojo against Norths last weekend with a convincing win 39-24, 6 tries to 3. The Rats have had four wins on the trot including downing Souths away. They lie 3rd on the table and their tales are up.
“I think they are the only team in the comp who have backs that set things up better than the forwards,” said MMMs second rower, Ed Gower. Most teams look for dominance in the forwards before unleashing the backs. “Their backs can create opportunities from nothing.” As witnessed last year when the MMMs went down in the same game to some enterprising and quick attacking play.
Needless to say that defence will be a focus.
“It was an outstanding defensive effort from the team as a whole,” commented Ed about the Norths game. Norths came back late in the game and a few tackles were missed but the job had been done by then. “We’ve been working all season on defence and keeping the width.”
MMMs Damien “Turtle” Cummins also emphasised defence: “We can’t be narrow in defence and need to keep the width and cover the field. We are expecting long passes out wide.”
“We had one of the best training sessions I can remember last night,” said Ed about preparations. “All of the plays seemed to work and everyone is in the right place. Hopefully this is a good indication of where we are at as a team.”
“It is good to have these games towards the end of the season,” explained Turtle. “Tough games will prepare us for the finals series. We also want to win the minor premiership.” The MMMs need to win the three remaining games and secure bonus points to keep the Woodies at bay.
Ed is departing for a trip to the UK. This has been planned all season but as he describes it: “it feels a bit weird”.
“I’ve been looking forward to the trip and will try to work in some training,” said Ed. He will be back in time for the Grand Final – so the boys have to get there for him! No pressure.
“In my view he has been playing the best rugby he has ever played and is really enjoying it,” said Turtle about Ed. Clearly he will be missed but we have some solid and experienced players in Ryan Melrose and Caderyn Neville to fill the void.
Many players seem to be in great form at the moment. Including a re-invigorated Sam Lane at 5/8th who controlled the game well against Norths. Watch inside centre John Fokai in his second start in 1st grade this season. He created havoc in the mid field with his strong running plus scored two tries against Norths.
It was great to see the Manly Mermaids inaugural 7s game last weekend. See the Manly Daily article click here
By Katja Imholz
Manly’s newest sporting team, the Manly Mermaids, is aiming to ride the wave of the fast growing sport of rugby sevens.
Since February the Manly Rugby Women’s Sevens Team has been training under Coach Jo Trower with the support of Manly Marlins Sevens coach and Second Grade coach Marshall Milroy.
The Manly Mermaids are an exciting group of players with fantastic sporting background and many ties to the Manly Rugby club. Familiar names like Emma Crerar (daughter of Wallaby Rod Crerar), Melaea Ofahengaue (niece of Wallaby ‘Willie O’ Viliami Ofahengaue and daughter of Marlin Sione Ofahengaue) and Aliyah Helu (daughter of Marlin Alex Helu) continue the Manly rugby family traditions. Viviena Hingano will look to replicate the success of her brother Malietoa who is currently playing in France after a great season for the Marlins last year and Mikaela Hedge is excited to now be able to put on the boots as well after watching her brother Rohan play for the Marlins.
The Mermaids come from different sporting backgrounds, there are NSW Sevens rugby representatives, many players with representative touch rugby experience (and with Laura Peattie there is even a Touch World Champion on board), state and former national rugby league players and even an Irish Gaelic Football player. This variety and a few newbies create an exciting team environment.
On Saturday 4 July the Manly Mermaids will have their first chance to show the results of the training at a curtain raiser game against the Central Coast Academy of Sport team. The game will take place at 2:40pm before the Marlins play Northern Suburbs at Manly Oval.
After the exhibition game the team will continue to train to prepare for the upcoming Rugby Sevens season which kicks off with the Manly Seaside Sevens tournament on 29 and 30 August at Manly Oval.
Rugby Sevens has been added to the Olympic Games and the Australian Women’s Sevens team recently qualified for Rio 2016,
The Manly Mermaids train at Keirle Park on Wednesdays 18:30, new players are welcome.
Please get to the ground early to support the Manly Mermaids 7s team playing an exhibition game at 240pm. This new team is part of the growing sevens sport – see article below.
“Everyone is excited about the remaining rounds of the comp. You can get a bit bogged down in the middle of the season but everyone is focused and working towards the end of season,” said MMMs No 8 Daniel Alley. “We are keen to get the minor premiership.”
The MMMs lead by one point at the top of the table but Eastwood have a much bigger points difference and so the season could go down to one bonus point in last 4 rounds.
Check out this article on Rugby News for a good overview of the status of the comp – click here
“We have a big pack which will be fun,” said Daniel referring to Ryan Melrose and Ed Gower in at locks and Cadeyrn Neville at No 6.
Given that there are so many big guys, it looks like No 7, Mitch Daniel, will have to do all the dirty work by getting to the breakdown first. “Ha, I’ll have to make sure he knows that,” joked Daniel.
Norths have a good pack and speed out wide. The MMMs had a tough encounter away on 7th June winning 17-13. “Every game is a big game here on in,” commented Daniel.
Daniel is a strong No 8 able to carry the ball up on bulldozing runs around the ruck and off the back of scrums. He has also played second row a few times. Always in the thick of the action, he is an integral part of the pack.
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.