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


Click here for the Marlins Draw 2017

Click Here for the full Shute Shield Draw


Emus dispensed with, now for the Rats

By Adam Lucius
What: Shute Shield round 9
Who: Penrith vs Manly
Where: Nepean Rugby Park
Result: Manly 52-26
Manly are where on the table: First (44 points)
80 minutes in 80 seconds: Manly were missing a few topliners and perhaps had one eye on the local derby, but take nothing away from the gallant Emus. They led early and only trailed by five at the break. Coach Melrose gave his team a nice rev-up at halftime and the expected points rush started to come, but it was the points conceded that would mostly concern Billy. After being so good defensively, the Marlins have conceded eight tries in two weeks against teams at the wrong end of the table. That needs to change, starting this Saturday.   
Where it was won: It was just a touch of class here and there – and superior discipline - that proved the difference in the end. Penrith kept coming but the Marlins were never really in danger of defeat. The second half was marginally better than the first, with Manly finishing eight tries to four victors. But this one won't make the collectors' set of great Manly rugby victories.        
Marlins' best: Will Cocker, Cam Bailey 
What they said: "The performance over the last couple of weeks has dipped below our previous standards. This week we need to regain some lost pride in the derby match. Last time against the Rats was a day that did not represent anyone from Manly well (43-17 loss). We need to restore some pride on Saturday in front of our supporters and the community." – coach Brian Melrose 
Odd Spot: Was that Rats assistant coach and ex-Manly great Damien 'Turtle' Cummins we saw swapping information with two high profile Marlins on Sunday night….surely not?      
Where to from here: As if we need to tell you. It's New Year's Eve, Christmas Day, and the key to the brewery all rolled into one – local derby day at the Village Green. The Rats have not left 2095 with victory since 2007.      

Click here for the Marlins Draw 2017

Click Here for the full Shute Shield Draw


Manly Rugby Foundation Steps Up

After more than 2 years of steady fundraising,  the MRF is in good shape and has now launched  4 projects as part of its “success through development “strategy.

We now have 85 members of the foundation. These donations have enabled the MRF to safely invest its core capital of $100,000, and  has sufficient surplus to execute on four projects we believe reflect the objectives and values of the Foundation

Each of these projects have been approved by the Australian Sports Foundation. This is of course essential in securing tax effective donations and is a process closely monitored by the ASF. This requires us to account directly to the ASF for expenditure under each project on half yearly basis.

MRF Project 1—Colts scholarship programme. The first ever scholarship of this nature has been awarded to Will Haskins. Will was the outstanding recommendation of the Colts selection panel after a wide ranging search for our first scholarship winner. Will is a local junior from the Manly Roos, won his blue in the GPS 1st XV last year and played for the  NSW schoolboy 1st XV in the National Championship—he plays as half-back. Key to his selection is the leadership he has already shown within the squad and his professionalism, especially in recovery from serious injury last year. He has commenced studies for a Bachelor of Business at UTS.  Other candidates are in the pipeline.

MRF Project 2—Northern Beaches Rugby Pathway. In many respects this is our most exciting , most important project for 2017. Based upon an excellent rugby development programme for high schools designed by Tom Crerar, the inaugural MRF Gala day will be held on June 20th at Nolans Reserve between 930am-230pm. This projects involves 14 high schools in the northern beaches and north shore area. Our development team will attend all schools to instruct u13, u15 and open teams , boys and girls, in the Olympic sport of rugby sevens. There is no other support for rugby in these selected schools.

MRF Project 3—Refurbishment of the Kierle Park facilities. Perhaps more mundane but nevertheless a very long overdue upgrade to these training facilities. This will benefit not just the senior club, but the colts, and all junior rugby clubs that use the ground throughout the playing season. This was very much a joint project that has secured real leverage. An initiative of the Manly Marlins, the MRF joined the consortium that also includes the Manly Junior Rugby---the combined impact was to secure both Local Council and Federal Grants for the refurbishment. This will commence once certain planning matters are finalised

MRF Project 4—Manly Barbarians to Paris 2017.  Clubs from the Manly Junior Rugby Union have pooled resources to attend the famous Tournoi des Capitales in Paris in September 2017. School teams, both boys and girls, have been invited from around the world to participate in this famous event. The Manly Barbarians will also participate in the 100th anniversary services recognising the Battles of Villers Bretonneaux and Longueval.  With the direct approval of the ASF, the MRF has been able to pass through the tax benefits of ASF donations to the Barbarians. This is worth noting for all clubs intending to undertake such tours and need to fund raise as part of that process.

So as MRF moves into execution phase, its a big thankyou to everyone that has donated to and supported the Foundation.

These are our first projects, we expect to learn much during execution and we shape keep you updated on our next initiatives.  We are always open to suggestions and recommendations – contact board members Matt Curl, Steve Williams or Bill Calcraft This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Marlins alone on top of table after seeing off the premiers

By Adam Lucius
What: Shute Shield round 7
Who: Manly v Norths
Where: Manly Oval
Result: Manly 23-18
Manly are where on the table: First (34 points)
80 minutes in 80 seconds: Manly fans have been waiting a long time for this match after Norths kept us out of the last year's finals series with an after-the-bell sideline conversion. The Shoremen then stormed through the play-offs to win their first premiership since 1975. They lobbed at the Village Green on the back of 19 straight wins, wary that their last loss had been at the hands of Manly almost a year to the day. The hosts got off to a flyer, with a try from the back of a rolling maul and a Tommy Chesters intercept setting up a 14-0 lead. A converted try to Norths narrowed the gap to seven before Matt Lucas eased us 10 points in front with a penalty. The premiers struck back to score a try and consecutive penalties, nosing ahead 18-17 after half an hour. With Norths losing a player to the sin bin on halftime, Lucas restored Manly's lead with a penalty. Matty's left boot provided the only points of a gripping second half as the Marlins ground out a tough five-point victory.  
Where it was won: It's fair to say both teams weren't quite at their best, but there was no lack of intensity, enthusiasm and physicality. Manly's goal-line defence and scramble – along with Lucas' trusty boot - was the difference in the end
Marlins' best: Mitch Lewis, Kotoni Ale, Matt Lucas, Dennis Pili-Gaitau
What they said: "There is a long way to go so we can’t read too much into a round seven result, but beating a quality side like Norths certainly gives us plenty of confidence. The good thing is we know we can play a lot better." – Manly captain Adrian Hall
Odd Spot: There were a few raised eyebrows when the Marlins elected to shoot for goal at 70 minutes with Norths dropped to 14 men after losing a player to the bin for the second time in the game. But it was the right move. Matty Lucas' penalty meant the Shoremen had to go all out for a try to win it, rather than take advantage of several penalties from close range. They couldn’t manage a late five pointer and the Marlins are now the only undefeated team left in the comp.    
Where to from here: The Marlins are on the road, taking in the sights of Chatswood for a tricky clash with the much improved Gordon

Click here for the Marlins Draw 2017

Click Here for the full Shute Shield Draw