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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