By Adam Lucius
Three home games in seven days – two against genuine top six contenders – always shaped as season-defining for Manly.
And the good news is the Marlins have ticked two from two heading into the toughest of the three.
An impressive 41-17 disposal of tricky Parramatta last Saturday dove-tailed into a gutsy and hard-fought 17-7 triumph over Easts in Tuesday night's deferred round 12 encounter.
Now second-placed Southern Districts at Manly Oval on Saturday stands in the way of a vital trifecta.
"We knew it was going to be a tough week but we set ourselves the challenge of winning all three games and kick-starting a move up the table," coach Damien Cummins said.
"There was a lot to like about the Parramatta game and we lifted again for Easts.
"Now we have to lift again. If we win three games in a week, I will be a very happy coach."
Manly's win over Parramatta was never in doubt after they eased to a 22-5 lead via a sizzling Josh Turner hat-trick.
Tuesday's meeting with the Beasts under the Village Green lights was a different story.
The Marlins skipped out to a handy 17-0 lead after 28 minutes on the back of two Richard Hooper tries – and then defended like their lives depended on it for the next 52 minutes.
Easts almost took out squatters' rights inside the Manly 22 for most of the second half but the Marlins repelled raid after raid.
Take a good look at Adam MacDonald's excellent photo - attached to this story – of Hooper to get a feel for how good Manly were defensively.
The Beasties did breach our line with 10 minutes to go but there was no way the hosts were going to disappointment the diehards who turned out to support them.
Turtle said: "You can tell a lot about a team by the way they defend and that spoke volumes to me.
"Awesome effort. We will need the same level of commitment against Souths."
The Marlins sit seventh on the table but can climb into the top six with victory over the in-form Rebels.
The rescheduled Round 12 games will be at Manly Oval this evening and tomorrow evening.
The Marlins narrowly lost to Easts in Round 10 and will be looking to make amends
1st Grade - 745pm, 14th June
2nd Grade - 615pm, 14th June
3rd grade - 740pm, Wednesday,15th June
4th Grade - 630pm, Wednesday,15th June
Click here for full submission
Solicitors representing the Manly Rugby Union Club have today lodged a comprehensive submission with the Northern Beaches Council outlining its position on the proposed carpark development at Manly Oval. The submission is critical of the development application which they say has misrepresented the arrangements between the former Manly Council and the Club over its relocation to Keirle Park and the prospects of the Club’s return to Manly Oval. The submission criticises the DA for not detailing the full impact of the proposed reduction of the Sydney Road boundary to Manly Oval.
Club Vice President, Anthony Bergelin, who has signed off on the submission has emphasised that the Club has been trying to reach a binding agreement with the Council over its relocation to Keirle Park since June 2011, when the development was first mooted.
He said: “Whilst more recently we have been engaging with the former Council no agreement has been reached or allocation of funds made and we are very concerned, since the Council merger for the future of our club and for the locals, both supporters and players, who use and enjoy the ground.”
Bergelin went on to say:
“The Environmental Impact Statement attached with the DA does not adequately deal with the impact of the reduction in boundary size of the ground. It is a deal breaker for the Marlins because it may prevent the Club from competing in the Shute Shield from Manly Oval.”
The proposal is also critical of the relocation of the Merrett Memorial Gates to a site adjacent to the bike entrance to the carpark.
Bergelin commented: “The historical significance of the Merrett Gates should not be compromised by such an imposing development and the Applicants need to demonstrate that they are sensitive to that significance.”
The MRFC’s submission has recommended a number of conditions that need to be included into the development application before it should be considered.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT ANTHONY BERGELIN 0424 093 968
After the wild and wet weekend the MMMs now have a manic schedule: Two Blues tomorrow, Easts on Tues evening (7.45pm) and Souths next weekend – all games at Manly Oval. Lying 8th on the table these are important games and against strong opposition.
“It is surprising how quickly you can get rusty,” said MMMs coach Damien Cummins. “But we’ve had a good two weeks training and the guys are really upbeat.”
Half back Matt Lucas is back from the Waratahs during the international window and has trained with the team this week. Hooker James Hilterbrand is off in the US with the Eagles for three tests. Vance Elliot comes in at hooker.
The Two Blues have beaten Eastwood and had close losses to Uni and Souths. “They have a new coach and former Wallaby defence coach, John Muggleton, has been helping out. They have the biggest pack in the Shute Shield and will play to their strengths through the scrum and mauls,” said Damien.
On some of the recent losses, Damien commented: “We’ve worked hard on defence and decision making. We have a good leadership group and Matt will also help in getting us organised.”
It is worth remembering that whilst the MMMs beat Parramatta 59-36 in Round 2, those 36 points were let in. The big D will be needed.