Marlins secure minor premiership with high-scoring win over Emus

By Adam Lucius
What: Shute Shield round 17
Who: Manly v Penrith
Where: Manly Oval
Result: Manly 48-38
Manly are where on the table: First (73 points)

80 minutes in 80 seconds: Manly scored inside the first 70 seconds and most of us thought this would be a stroll in the park. But Penrith had come to play and were not about to roll over for us. The Emus played some terrific rugby to lead 19-17 just before halftime and there was a real sense we could be about to witness one of the great Shute Shield upsets. Manly eventually pushed the go button to pile on 31 unanswered points, but still Penrith wouldn’t throw in the towel. Trailing 48-19, Penrith scored the last three tries to go down by just 10 points. The Marlins were missing a number of regulars and made plenty of changes during the game, but take nothing away from the plucky visitors.

Where it was won: Manly scored four tries between the 49th and 59th minute marks and that was the end of the section. In all, there were 14 tries scored on the day as defence not only took a back seat but moved to the boot.

Marlins' best: It was more a collective effort but there were some good things from Sam Shires and Josh Turner, in particular.

What they said: "It was a bit like a Sunday hangover (after the derby) and we did what we had to do. It would have been nice to win more comfortably but we got the job done and now move on." – coach Brian Melrose

Odd Spot: The win wraps up the 20th minor premiership in Manly's long history. We will play either Eastwood, Sydney Uni or Wests in the 1 v 6 play-off in the first week of the finals

Where to from here: We travel to Concord Oval on Saturday to take on the much-improved West Harbour in the last game of the regular season. The Pirates remain a mathematical chance of reaching the semis


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