Pirates put Marlins to the sword - but bring on the finals

By Adam Lucius
What: Shute Shield round 18
Who: West Harbour v Manly
Where: Concord Oval
Result: Wests 62-52
Manly are where on the table: First (74 points)

80 minutes in 80 seconds: We'd need more like 80 hours than 80 seconds to run you through this one try by try. A newcomer to the Shute Shield might have thought he'd walked into a touch footy game by mistake as the five-pointers just kept coming. But while defence wasn't the order of the day, there was some cracking attacking rugby. Wests got the early jump, holding a 28-7 advantage before Manly went bang, bang to make it 28-21. The Marlins took the lead briefly – 40-38 - early in the second half but Wests Harbour was not to be denied. The Pirates finished the stronger, clearing out to an entertaining 10-point victory

Where it was lost: Give credit where credit is due – West Harbour were very good and thoroughly deserved the win. Manly were without a few topliners and had some disruptions during the game, but lacked energy from the get-go. They found something after the break and threatened to steal the game at one stage, but Wests finished the stronger.

Marlins' best: Tim Donlan (3 tries), Dennis Pili-Gaitau

What they said: "What West Harbour brought to the game was better than what we brought to the game. But that's the end of the regular season and we finished first and they're eighth. We need to bring our best now the finals are starting and, if we do, I'm confident we can achieve something over the next few weeks." – coach Brian Melrose

Odd Spot: It's probably not a record you really want but Manly's 52 points could be the largest losing total in Shute Shield history

Where to from here: We are back at Manly Oval against Eastwood in the 1 v 6 qualifying final on Saturday. Be there!

  

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