MARLINS RUIN STAG PARTY
It was clinical, it was ruthless, it was unrelenting.
Manly’s 46-5 dismantling of competition leaders Gordon last Saturday was one of the best 80-minute performances delivered by a Marlins team in a very long time.
Right from the get-go, the boys in blue were in the Stags’ face and did not let-up for a single moment.
In fact, the Marlins just got better the longer the game went, turning a 20-5 half-time lead into a 41-point demolition.
The Chatswood Oval locals looked stunned by the onslaught.
The mood was summed up by two diehard Gordon fans, who walked out with 10 minutes to go in search of a stiff drink after going deathly quiet following some good-natured banter with Manly supporters all afternoon.
“We spoke about it at pre-season camp that we want to be the best team in the comp and I challenged the boys this week to own it, and they did,” proud Manly skipper Hunter Ward said.
“We had a pack mentality. We didn’t want to take a backward step.
“I couldn’t ask any more. We were clinical in our exits, we were good with our set-piece.
“They talked about Gordon having the biggest pack in the comp but we scored four maul tries and won countless scrums penalties, so credit to the forwards and to the backs for closing out the game perfectly.”
Ward revealed his team fed off the lack of respect – perceived or otherwise – to make a real statement to the rest of the competition.
“Even running into this game, everyone wrote us off. They said we had a small pack, Gordon have a bigger pack, better set piece etc,” he said.
“We saw that as a challenge and we wanted to put our name on the competition and show we’re a dominant team.
“I know it’s still early in the season, but we just wanted to prove to ourselves that we’re a top four team.”
The victory pushed Manly into a share of the competition lead with Hunter Wildfires heading into the mid-season break.
We’re back in action against Sydney Uni at Uni Oval on June 17 before a possible summit clash with Hunter at home on June 24.