Brian Melrose is appointed Head Coach for the 2017 Season

Manly Rugby Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Brian Melrose as its Head Coach for the 2017 season.

In confirming the announcement, Club President David Begg indicated:

“We undertook an exhaustive search both from within the club and in the wider rugby community.
The quality of candidates was outstanding, but Brian’s coaching credentials together with his awareness of Manly’s Rugby DNA, won the day.

Brian's record both here and the UK has seen him have high level success at club, provincial, super rugby and test match level.

His ability to identify talent, develop players and improve teams has been consistent across his career.

We are delighted to have him back for hopefully another successful stint at the club.

I want to place on record my appreciation for the work done by our former head coach Damien Cummins in his 10 years of coaching across the club which included many highlights.
Damien has been a part of a team with his assistant coach Daniel Brown, a positive and popular figure amongst the playing group & staff. We hope their knowledge and passion will not be lost to the Club.

In indicating his desire to get started, Melrose confirmed:

“After a couple of years away from a Head Coaching role it's great to be back at the club which gave me my initial opportunity "

"While the overall result was disappointing this year I am excited to work with the great talent base that is here".

With the competition not starting until 1 April 2017, Melrose proposed to implement a thorough pre-season preparation and work to develop a team and playing style that both players and supporters are proud of.

Manly RFC is delighted to be back at Manly Oval for 2017 and with a new coach, fresh committee and some talented local colts filling the ranks, the club eagerly looks forward to an exciting season ahead.”

Manly Rugby Elects New President

At Thursday night’s Annual General Meeting of the MRFC, Anthony Bergelin was elected the Club’s 24th President.

At 31 years of age, Bergelin becomes the Club’s youngest ever President.


In assuming the chair, Bergelin was quick to acknowledge the contribution of the outgoing President David Begg, who had been President for five years and the large shoes he would have to fill.

Bergelin optimistically outlined his desire, with his new Board, to see the MRFC become a very strong Shute Shield club, financially independent, successful in all Grades and with a strong recognition of the role that the Colts’ organisation plays in the transition from the Juniors to Grade.

The AGM saw the introduction of new Board members, including solicitor Morgan Lane, who has become Vice-President and former senior Macquarie Bank Executive and triple premiership winner Ian ‘Puss’ Miller, as a new Board member.

Board members, Adam Hill, Peter Alley, Claire Martin and Annie Doyle, Treasurer have been re-elected, whilst former General Manager, Lisa Matthews has been welcomed to her new role on the Board.

Bergelin, following his election, told the strong gathering of players, Life Members and supporters at the AGM:

“It is an incredible honour, and I hope I can demonstrate the appreciation that I have for Manly Rugby through my leadership. To assist me in that, I believe I have assembled a very strong & diverse board and I’m very excited to start planning this new era for the club”

“Our newly appointed head coach Billy Melrose has certainly hit the ground running since his appointment and his level of professionalism is already very evident. I have no doubt the club will be in a strong position come kick off 2017.”




Late, late try fires Marlins out of finals race

By Adam Lucius

What: Shute Shield round 18

Who: Northern Suburbs v Manly

Where: North Sydney Oval

Result: Norths 24-23

Manly finished where on the table: Seventh (58 points)

80 minutes in 80 seconds: There were a few if, what’s and buts heading into the final round of the most tightly contested Shute Shield in years, but Manly’s task was straight forward. They had to beat in-form Norths on their home patch and/or pray there was a minor miracle elsewhere. The Marlins found themselves in a deep hole early, conceding a try from the kick off and falling behind 14-0 after 21 minutes. Sam Lane posted Manly’s first points via a penalty goal in the 23rd minute. Norths added a penalty soon after before Lane crossed five minutes before the break to give us a halftime scoreline of 17-10. Manly then scored the next 13 points via tries to Richard Hooper and Nick Holton and a Lane penalty goal. At 23-17 with 11 minutes to go, it was fasten your seat belts time. Norths took up squatters’ rights in the Manly quarter in the closing stages but were repelled time and time again. With the siren having sounded, they just kept coming. The Marlins held on for at least three dozen phases before finally cracking FOUR minutes after the bell. The Shoremen needed to land the conversion from wide out to complete the heart break and duly did so. It’s the first time in six years Manly won’t be part of the play offs.

Where it was lost: The Marlins showed a ton of heart to work their way back into the contest but the sluggish start didn’t help their cause. They were brave, courageous and committed throughout an absorbing contest and had a few decisions go against them at the death that could have dramatically changed the ending. But the boys will look back at lost opportunities throughout the season, which finished with 11 wins and seven losses. It’s the first time in six years the Marlins won’t be part of the finals. And that will hurt until we get back into it in March.

Marlins' best: Every single player played their guts out but special mention must me made of halfback Matt Lucas. He told Manly officials he wanted to play, flying back into Sydney with the Waratahs on Saturday morning and turning in a typically whole-hearted performance just hours later.
What they said: “The effort was there but they were just too good on the day. We’ve been our own worst enemy this year. We lost games we were more than capable of winning. There is no-one else to blame.” – Matt Lucas

lucas v norths

Halback, Matt Lucas, fights all the way - photo by Adam MacDonald

Oddspot: A lot of things need to go your way for a season to be successful and luck sure was in short supply over the past couple of weeks. Every result from other critical games went against Manly as the Shute Shield form book was continually turned on its head. It’s just been one of those seasons for the Marlins

Where to from here: Get out and support the seconds and thirds in their finals campaign. As for the Shute Shield, we’ve got an eight-month wait for redemption