Finals Ticket Giveaway

The Marlins Army will converge on TG Millner Field in increased numbers for Sunday's elimination final against Sydney University thanks to the generosity of the club's major backer.

The Mounties Group, which includes the Harbord Diggers and Manly Bowling Club, has purchased 200 tickets to give away to fans wishing to attend the game.

The extra turnout of fans will ensure a pro-Manly crowd for the club's biggest match in years.

The winner of the Manly-Uni semi will meet either Randwick or Eastwood in Saturday week's Shute Shield grand final.

"The Mounties have offered tremendous support all year and this is just another example," Manly captain Chris Cottee said.

"Manly fans have always got behind the team and to have another 200 extra there on Sunday will give the boys a huge boost.

"Uni is the biggest challenge in club rugby so if we can turn the crowd red and blue then that will be a massive advantage."

Coach Tim Lane added: "It'd be great if we could turn Millner into a mini version of Manly Oval.

"The support really lifts the boys and we're very grateful for the Mounties coming onboard like this.

"Hopefully we can repay everyone with a grand final appearance."

Diggers general manager Dale Hunt said: "We are a very community minded organisation and love the fact Manly rugby has such a close affinity with the local rugby fraternity and wider population.

"We are delighted to be able to help in the club's push for the 2011 premiership and urge as many supporters as possible to get there on Sunday."

*The giveaway will be conducted at the Harbord Diggers (in the outdoor restaurant area) from 12.30pm Friday until all tickets are gone.

To be eligible you need to be a member of the Diggers or Manly Bowling Club or be signed in by a member.

There will be a limit of  two tickets per person.


Manly goes down swinging against Students

By Adam Lucius

Courageous. Committed. Outstanding

Manly were all of the above and more but it still wasn't enough to stop the Sydney University juggernaut rolling on to a seventh straight grand final, the Students ending the Marlins' title dreams with a 31-16 win in Sunday's elimination semi-final.

On a warm spring day at TG Millner Field, Uni jumped out to a 14-0 lead after as many minutes before Manly reeled them in to go to the sheds behind 14-13 after a Kotoni Ale try and eight points from Willie Ripia's left boot.

The Marlins were always chasing the scoreboard in the second half, trailing 21-13 before Ripia pulled it back by three points with a penalty on the hour.

That set the scene for a fantastic finish.

But despite throwing everything at the Students - and with the big Marlins Army roaring them home - Manly just could not pull back the deficit.

Uni piled on late points to clear out to a 15-point win but they will be relieved to see the back of the red and blues.

"We worked hard, the effort was there but Uni was just a bit too good on the day," prop Eddie Aholelei said.

"It's disappointing to get this close and not make it but we will live to fight another day.

"The future looks pretty good. There are a lot of good young players coming through."

No.8 Tevita Metuisela added: "I think Uni fear us the most out of all the clubs because of our physicality and the effort from our guys was fantastic.

"The two early tries cost us a fair bit and it was disappointing for them to score two mauling tries.

"But we recovered from that and had our chances but they played better at the end.

"I am looking forward to next year and hopefully we can go a step further."

Coach Tim Lane was rightly proud of his team's effort.

"We weren't that far away. If we'd taken two or three opportunities down the right side in both halves it could have been a different story," he pointed out.

"But they are a strong side, particularly at the set piece, and that was the difference in the end.

"We created a lot. We were very competitive but I suppose their experience told in the end.

"The scoreline at the end didn't flatter us. It certainly didn't reflect the effort and the tightness of it."

There was some gold among the dust, with Aholelei, Cadeyrn Neville (both Rebels), Metuisela (NSW) and Ben Seymour (Western Force) all eying Super Rugby contracts next year.

And hooker Anthony Hegarty, who turned in an unbelievable performance against Uni, may have won himself a new deal with the Queensland Reds.

The good news didn't end there, with Lane confirming he was likely to have another year at the Manly helm.

"I will be here as it stands. There are a few things happening (elsewhere) but nothing concrete," he said.

"I have enjoyed it. It's been a great year with a good bunch of blokes.

"We weren't good enough but we weren't too far.

"We're close to the mark and we're getting closer."

2011 AGM

The 2011 AGM will be held on Monday 21st of November, 7pm, at Manly Bowling Club.