Washed Out Game has been Rescheduled

By Adam Lucius


Manly will take on Eastern Suburbs at Manly Oval on Wednesday night after hastily rescheduling their washed out match game from Saturday.

The match will kick off at 7pm.

Manly Council pulled the plug on the Village Green at 7am Saturday, leaving hordes of rugby tragics wondering what to do to escape being trapped at home with a long list of domestic duties.

There are unfounded rumours some members of the 200 Club turned up anyway and pretended there was a game on just so they could sip a few cold ones (all enquiries on that front to Sean Rout!).

Anyway, we're on again under the brilliant Manly Oval lights on Wednesday .

The Easts game was to be the last appearance for a four to six weeks for prop Eddie Aholelei and second-rowers Cadeyrn Neville and Luke Jones.

All are off for a tour of Europe with the Melbourne Rebels - a great opportunity for the trio but rotten timing for the Marlins.  

"We lose a couple more when Western Force go on tour so our depth will be tested over the next month or so," coach Tim Lane pointed out.

"We would have preferred to have played the game on Saturday when we had those blokes but it wasn't to be.

"Having a catch-up game hanging over us isn't ideal but we'll play it Wednesday and move on from there.

"The boys are looking forward to something a bit different and hopefully we will get a good crowd down to Manly to watch it."                

Elusive centre Robbie Coleman may be back for the Marlins after two months out with a sternum injury, while fullback BJ Hartmann is close to a return after recovering from an ankle problem.

With Sydney Uni winning on the weekend, Manly slipped to third spot on the table.

They share that position with the much-improved Northern Suburbs, who beat Souths 29-26.

The Marlins can regain second place with victory over the Beasties.         


By Adam Lucius

After clearing more hurdles than Jana Rawlinson, Manly carved out an invaluable 28-20 win over Eastern Suburbs in Wednesday night's deferred Shute Shield match at Manly Oval.
It was tough, uncompromising rugby on a chilly night at the Village Green but the four points were greeted with more joy than an open bar at the Steyne.
The three tries to two victory sees the Marlins regain second spot on the table in what is a very congested table from two to six.
You have to feel for Shute Shield coaches at the best of times given the lack of support from those above them on rugby's food chain, but this week takes some beating.
Firstly, Tim Lane waved goodbye to Melbourne Rebels trio Eddie Aholelei, Luke Jones and Cadeyrn Neville for an ill-timed tour of Europe.
Then Lane receives a call from the Brumbies informing him that certain players are to be rested from Wednesday night's catch-up fixture so no Andrew Smith or Jono Owen for the Marlins.
And just around the corner we've got a Western Force tour which will steal away Willie Ripia and Tevita Metuisela.       
Why this Super rugby franchises can't go on tour in October-November is one of rugby's great unanswered questions.
Why fit and healthy rugby players are constantly wrapped in cotton wool is another question unlikely to receive an answer.
After all that, Lane had to ensure his team was mentally attuned for a midweek game before a smallish but vocal Manly Oval crowd.
"To rule Andrew Smith out for no reason whatsoever...it's becoming a joke," Lane fumed seconds after fulltime on Wednesday night.
"Who knows why they (Smith and Owen) couldn't play.
"They let Michael Hooper play because they ruled Jono Owen out.
"It's like 'here, we will give you this but we're going to take this away'.
"I haven't heard from (Brumbies coach) Jake White. You would expect a bit of common courtesy but nothing."
On the plus side, Manly did get the impressive Hooper back for the Beasties clash and JP du Plessis also returned after his return to South Africa fell through due to contractual problems.
They were two of Manly's best against a fired-up Easts side.    
The Marlins scored the first try on 22 minutes, Ripia's inch-perfect crossfield kick batted back by Lui Siale for Neil Meyer to score.
That allowed Manly to take an 8-3 lead to the break but they were soon on the back foot when the Beasties scored a soft try to take the lead six minutes after the resumption.
Du Plessis helped get the hosts back on track just before the hour, his bumping run getting rid of three defenders before Hooper backed up on the inside to complete a terrific try.
The conversion and a penalty soon after pushed the Marlins out to an 18-10 advantage before the lead was cut by an Easts three-pointer 16 minutes from time.
Manly came again just two minutes later, with Ben Seymour's sublime inside pass to Jacob Woodhouse sending the fullback over.
The Beasties made for a nervous finish with a try eight minutes from the death but Ripia sealed a hard-fought eight-point victory with a penalty after the bell.
"We're pretty happy with that. It was a very good effort," Lane said.
"JP and Hooper were great, 'Tank' (prop Andrew Collins) did well for us as did Siggy and Kotoni Ale when he came on.
"It was a good solid win and an important in the context of the ladder.
"It's not easy playing midweek with limited preparation and a few last minute personnel changes,"
Dylan Sigg added: "It was a valuable win, especially with Easts right behind us on the table.
"It just takes us that little bit further away from them and gives us a bit of a cushion."
"It was good that the crowd turned up because they definitely lifted us.
"We've already lost a few players and will lose some more in coming weeks so we need to keep racking up the wins."
Asked the plan in the lead-up to Saturday's clash with West Harbour at Concord, Lane replied: "Night off Thursday, captain's run Friday and play Saturday and probably have a week off next week.
"We really want to start building something from here."

Second half blitz blows Pirates away

By Adam Lucius

It took a while to get going but the real Manly eventually stood up to overcame a sloppy first half and run out comfortable 34-10 victors over West Harbour at Concord Oval on Saturday.

The win keeps Tim Lane's men in second spot with five rounds remaining. 

The Marlins looked off the pace early, suggesting Wednesday night's win over Easts may have taken more out of them than we thought.

A Tevita Metuisela try off the back of the scrum helped them hold the Pirates to a 10-all scoreline at the break, but it was far from convincing stuff.

Lane implored his team to show more patience with the ball, predicting the big Wests pack would wilt in the warmish conditions late in the game.

He was right.

It was a different Manly after the break.

Second half tries to Neil Meyer, who had a terrific match, Dylan Sigg, JP du Plessis and Jacob Woodhouse saw the travelling side clear out to what was a very convincing win in the end.

Apart from Meyer, prop Dane Maraki and Michael Hooper handed in strong contributions while prop Andrew Collins continues to make a good first of life in the Shute Shield.

There wasn't a bad player in the backline.

Centres Ben Seymour and Andrew Smith complement each other superbly, while Du Plessis and Woodhouse were a danger with every touch.

"We wanted to come away with a bonus point win but they just don't roll over and let you take it out here," Lane said.

"You've got to work hard to get there but I always thought we always had their measure.

"We had to be more precise and composed in the second half and we managed to do that."

Smith had arguably his best game in a Manly jersey.

With the return of Brian Sefanaia and Robbie Coleman just around the corner, Smith acknowledges the heat will be on those out wide to stay consistent.   

"There are a lot of good players out there and a few good ones to come back," he noted.

"It's a very talented side and the depth is good. There is always competition so if you're off your game you could find yourself on the bench.

"We've definitely got the players to do something this year but it's just a matter of working on the combinations.

"If we can do that and get everything working for 80 minutes, we'll be a strong contender."

Manly host last-placed Penrith at the Village Green next Saturday



Another sad day for Manly Rugby


By John Morcombe

HIGHLY-RESPECTED Manly dentist John Begg died on Saturday, aged 87, after a short illness.

Dr Begg was well known through his dentistry practice in The Corso, where he offered services to those who otherwise could not have afforded them and also helped indigenous people on Bathurst Island and children who visited the Royal Far West Home.

He was also well known for his involvement in St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at Manly for nearly 80 years, where he served as an elder for more than 36 years and as the church’s session clerk for more than 16 years, and for his involvement in the Lions Club and Manly Rugby Union Club.

Born in 1924, Dr Begg enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1942, served as a navigator aboard mainly American Liberators and rose to the rank of Flight Lieutenant with 5 Operational Training Unit before his discharge in 1946.

At the same time, Dr Begg played for Manly Rugby Union Club, notching up at least 20 first grade games.

After the war Dr Begg studied dentistry at Sydney University and started practice on the Dental Train, which travelled to outback towns where there was no local dentists, before moving to England.

After marrying his wife Eileen, a dental nurse, the couple returned to Australia and Dr Begg bought a dental practice in The Corso.

Initially he and his wife lived at Frenchs Forest but then moved to Balgowlah.

Last year Dr Begg was honoured by Manly Council as an outstanding community volunteer.

Dr Begg’s son said that in his 87 years, his father never made a single enemy.

“He was very kind and gentle, and he lived for his family and the community,” he said.

Manly Mayor Jean Hay said Dr Begg would be sorely missed around Manly.

“He was a highly-respected member of the community and a lovely gentleman,” she said.