Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

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Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles logo.svg
Club information
Full name Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Nickname(s) Sea Eagles, Silvertails
Colours      Maroon
     White
Founded 4 November 1946
Departed 1999
Readmitted 2002
details
Ground(s)
CEO(s) David Perry
Coach(s) Geoff Toovey
Captain(s) Jamie Lyon
Jason King
Competition National Rugby League
2013 season Grand finalists (4th)
Records
Premierships 8 (1972, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1987, 1996, 2008, 2011)
Runners-up 11 (1951, 1957, 1959, 1968, 1970, 1982, 1983, 1995, 1997, 2007, 2013)
Minor premiership 9 (1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1983, 1987, 1995, 1996, 1997)
World Club Challenge 1 (2009)
Most capped 309 - Cliff Lyons
Most points 1,917 - Graham Eadie

The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles are an Australian professional rugby league club based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. They compete in the National Rugby League's (NRL's) Telstra Premiership, the premier rugby league competition of Australasia. The club first appeared in the 1947 New South Wales Rugby Football League season and currently plays home matches out of its ground Brookvale Oval whilst being based at the New South Wales Academy of Sport in Narrabeen.

Manly-Warringah competed in the NSWRL, ARL and NRL every season until 1999. At the end of 1999, the club entered into a joint venture with the North Sydney Bears to form the Northern Eagles, which Rugby League statisticians regard as a different club. The Northern Eagles competed in 2000 and 2001, before the joint venture collapsed, allowing Manly-Warringah to return to the NRL as a stand-alone club in 2002. They abandoned the Northern Eagles brand at the start of the 2003 season.

Since winning their first premiership in 1972, the club has won a total of eight First Grade titles, with their most recent premiership being the 2011 Grand Final. The club's eight titles span five consecutive decades. Since their first Grand Final appearance in 1951, the club has appeared in 18 Grand Finals in seven consecutive decades. The club has never won the wooden spoon in its 63 seasons.

Cliff Lyons holds the record for most first-grade games for Manly-Warringah with 309; Steven Menzies played 349 games, but 69 were for the Northern Eagles. The record for most points scored is held by Graham Eadie with 1917 points and Matthew Ridge has the highest total in one season, scoring 257 in 1995. Steven Menzies holds the top try scoring record with 151. He is also the highest try-scoring forward in the history of the game.

History[edit]

The original Manly-Warringah logo, which first appeared in the early 1950s.

By the mid 1940s, the movement to expand rugby league in Sydney had gained serious momentum and Manly, as with all the other Sydney district rugby clubs, endured internal agonies as the new "League" was considered. The NSWRL accepted Manly's application and, along with Parramatta, they were granted admission to the 1947 competition.

The North Sydney Bears endured an exodus of players to the newly formed team. The Bears lost half of their games in 1947, before spending the next four seasons at the bottom of the ladder.

Manly immediately adopted the maroon and white colours they had used for their Presidents Cup team since its inception and borrowed originally from the Freshwater SLSC of which Ken Arthurson & other players were members. For their emblem they chose the sea eagle – the native bird of prey of the Sydney coastline. Although a number of media writers referred to Manly as the "sea gulls", the club maintains that it has always officially been the Sea Eagles.

Manly's first premiership game was against the Western Suburbs Magpies at Brookvale Oval on Saturday 12 April 1947. Max Whitehead, who had first played for Norths in 1942 and was a member of their 1943 Grand Final team, was Manly's first captain. Whitehead was a big barrel-chested second rower who was used by Bonds as the model for their iconic "Chesty Bond" character. Their first win was against the Parramatta Eels and the club finished their first season in second last place.

Old Manly-Warringah club logo

Manly's first Grand Final appearance was in the 1951 season, which they lost to South Sydney. Manly-Warringah played in five Grand Finals before winning their first premiership in 1972. They then won the following year in 1973 and again in 1976 and 1978. The 1973 final against Cronulla is reputed to be one of the hardest and toughest grand finals, at least in the televised era. There were several incidents of players being hurt, in particular very tough and hard English import Mal Reilly was "taken" out early and didn't take any further part in the game.

Manly were powerful in the early 80s but were beaten in two consecutive Grand finals by Parramatta, in 1982 and 1983. Their next premiership was won against the Canberra Raiders in the 1987 Grand final. Coached by Bob Fulton, the Sea Eagles returned to the play-offs in 1993 and 1994 but were beaten on each occasions in the first elimination semi-final by the Brisbane Broncos.

In 1995, amidst the Super League war, Manly produced one of its most dominating seasons in the club's history but in one of the league's biggest upsets, were beaten by the Bulldogs in the Grand Final.

In 1996 Manly made another Grand Final appearance and beat St George Dragons to win the title that had eluded them the season before. Rugby League in Australia was split in two leagues in 1997, the ARL and Super League, and Manly were one of the leading teams in the ARL competition. For the third consecutive year Manly reached the Grand Final, however lapses in their intensity which appeared during the season returned in the premiership decider against the Newcastle Knights and the Sea Eagles were beaten on the full-time siren by a Knights try.

The Manly teams of 1995 to 1997 produced some of the most entertaining football in Sea Eagles' history, but also featured rugby league's strongest defence. Many great players featured, including Des Hasler, Geoff Toovey, Nik Kosef, Steve Menzies, Terry Hill, Mark Carroll, Cliff Lyons, David Gillespie, Craig Hancock, Danny Moore, John Hopoate, and former NZ All Blacks Matthew Ridge and Craig Innes.

After 1997 the club lost form on the field, recording only 10th place in the 1998 season, and missing the finals in 1999.

Resurrection[edit]

The joint venture collapsed and Manly retained the Northern Eagles licence for the 2002 season until returning to the competition as Manly for the 2003 season. The 2003 and 2004 seasons produced very few moments of joy for Sea Eagles supporters. The club improved its playing stocks for 2005, and reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1998. Manly have not missed the finals since, whilst every other club have missed the finals at least once since 2004. A meeting of the Football Club in 3 June 2004 saw the club members vote for the privatisation of the Football Club.

Manly Sea Eagles in action against the Sydney Roosters at Brookvale Oval in June 2008

2009 season[edit]

The 2009 season boded poorly as a result of two incidents on the day of Manly-Warringah's season launch. Second-rower Anthony Watmough was assaulted by a sponsor after allegedly making inappropriate comments to his daughter .[1] Brett Stewart later that night was charged with the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl outside his apartment block, of which he was subsequently cleared, an incident which led to the damning Four Corners investigation, "Code of Silence". Stewart was cleared of the charge in late September 2010 by a jury which took 45 minutes to reach their decision.

Manly-Warringah paid a $100,000 fine for failing to adequately punish Stewart for his offence. Stewart faced a brief trial at the time, and a further, more comprehensive trial began in March 2010. As a result of Stewart's absence, Manly lost their first four games of the season, crashing to last place after round four (thus becoming the first defending premier since Melbourne in 2000 to lose their first four matches of a season), before finally achieving a 23–10 win against the Tigers in which Stewart scored three tries in his first match for 2009. A double against Souths followed, before injury struck. Stewart only played five games overall in 2009 following a serious knee injury suffered in round six, before returning in round 25. The Sea Eagles snared fifth place at the end of the season and lost the first qualifying final to eventual grand final winners Melbourne 40–12 in a one-sided contest played at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium. Due to other unfavourable results occurring on the weekend, Manly were eliminated from the premiership race. This premiership was also stripped from the Storm.

2010 season[edit]

In 2010, Manly-Warringah started the season with a team of many new faces, including young playmaker Kieran Foran. After narrowly losing their first two games of the season, Manly won their third, following three matches against Newcastle, the Warriors and the Sharks before a late season slump saw them settle for eighth position on the ladder. Manly-Warringah players were not involved in any further violations in 2010, and embarked on an active program of community engagement, which included activities such as reading at schools and raising money for charities.

Manly-Warringah spent much of the middle of the season near the top of the ladder and were earmarked as a possible premiership contender with impressive wins over the St. George Illawarra Dragons and the Wests Tigers. Inconsistent form, injuries and suspensions caused a dramatic slide down the ladder and Manly were lucky to settle on 8th and just make the finals. Had it not been for the Melbourne Storm salary cap breach earlier in the season, Manly-Warringah would have missed the finals altogether for the first time since 2004. In round 25, ballplaying second-rower Glenn Stewart was suspended for 4 matches for a high shot on Sydney Roosters captain Braith Anasta, and in round 26 centre Steve Matai was suspended for 7 matches for a high tackle that knocked out Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs hooker Michael Ennis. Their 2010 season ended with a dismal 28–0 hammering from the eventual premiers St. George Illawarra, although Manly-Warringah were still in the game with 15 minutes remaining. Manly went into this game with 11 of their first choice players out with either injury or suspension and many of those who did play were still carrying injuries.

2011 season[edit]

At the end of the 2010 season Manly-Warringah lost Trent Hodkinson who signed a deal with the Bulldogs from the start of the 2011 season, as well as Josh Perry and Ben Farrar to the European Super League. Manly-Warringah had not made any big-name signings for the 2011 season. This showed up in its lowly 8th placing, its poorest performance in a season since 2005.

Manly-Warringah's 2011 season started with an 18–6 loss to the Melbourne Storm in Melbourne. Brett Stewart had minimal impact on the match but escaped injury-free. This was followed with an upset 27–16 win over beaten 2010 Grand Finalists the Sydney Roosters, where Manly-Warringah went into the match without its captain Jamie Lyon, Shane Rodney, Dean Whare and Glenn Stewart through injury and also Jason King and Steve Matai through suspension. Brett Stewart was appointed acting captain for the Roosters match. This is regarded as one of the most commendable wins in Manly's history[2] and featured outstanding performances by its younger players including Kieran Foran, Jamie Buhrer, William Hopoate and Vic Mauro. This was followed up with a 26–12 win over the Newcastle Knights at Brookvale, before a 32–20 loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs which ended Manly's unbeaten run at Bluetongue Stadium, having won all of its previous matches at the venue.

Anthony Watmough and Terence Seu Seu were both stood down by the club for off-field offences prior to its round five match against Cronulla at Toyota Stadium. The Sea Eagles were in trouble midway through the second half, down 13–0, before scoring 19 unanswered points, including a try after the siren by Michael Oldfield, to give the Silvertails a 19–13 victory.

Despite losing many players from the 2010 season, the Sea Eagles found themselves sitting in second place on the NRL Ladder at the end of the regular season, behind the Melbourne Storm. They lost only five matches in the season, all being night matches. Manly-Warringah won all of its matches at Brookvale Oval, again nicknamed "Fortress Brookie". The final game at Brookvale was a Top of the Table Clash against the Melbourne Storm. Manly won this game 18–4 but the win was overshadowed by a brawl between Glenn Stewart and Adam Blair, giving the game the nickname 'The Battle of Brookvale'.

In their opening playoff game, Manly-Warringah registered a 42–8 win over the North Queensland Cowboys at the Sydney Football Stadium. After a disappointing first half, Manly scored 42 unanswered points in the 2nd half, and progressed to the preliminary final. In this match, they defeated the Brisbane Broncos 26–14 to be the first team through to the 2011 NRL Grand Final, where they met the New Zealand Warriors who were vying for their first ever premiership.

A season of success culminated in Manly-Warringah winning its eighth premiership, defeating the New Zealand Warriors 24–10 in the Grand Final. Glenn Stewart was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal for his 34 tackles and a crucial try in the second half. He and brother Brett Stewart became the first brothers to score tries in the same Grand Final. Manly-Warringah's second premiership in four years make them the only team thus far to win more than one premiership in the 21st century.

Six Weeks after Manly-Warringah's premiership win, the club dismissed head coach Des Hasler after he was revealed to have breached his contract by trying to lure coaching staff and players to the Bulldogs where he was to have started coaching in 2013. This meant that Geoff Toovey, who was to take over as part of a succession plan, was immediately elevated to the role of head coach from the start of the 2012 season.

2012 season[edit]

Manly-Warringah's pre-season started dismally with a 38–6 loss to perennial strugglers Cronulla in the first match played under new coach Geoff Toovey. This was followed by a 26–12 loss in the 2012 World Club Challenge to Leeds Rhinos.

The Sea Eagles' premiership defence began with an away trip to Eden Park in Auckland where they faced the New Zealand Warriors in the Grand Final rematch and won 26–20. They backed up that close win with another close win against the Wests Tigers, winning 22–18. Manly-Warringah lost its first match for the 2012 season when it went down 17–13 to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in a major upset, then another loss followed when it fell to 2010 premiers St. George Illawarra at Kogarah by 17–4.

Manly-Warringah ended the 2012 Regular season in 4th position on the ladder.After Being defeated by the Bulldogs in the first week of the finals Manly Defeated the Nth Queensland Cowboys effectively ending their season. However the Sea Eagles season ended the next week after being defeated by eventual premiers Melbourne Storm.

Emblem and colours[edit]

Upon entering the NSWRL, the Manly club took on the colours of maroon and white. These were adopted from the colours of the President's Cup side who wore the colours of the local Freshwater Surf Lifesaving Club, which was previously established in the area in 1908.

The club's first jersey was maroon with a large white 'V' on the front. Manly-Warringah teams were one of the first to feature an emblem, with an 'MW' appearing in the early 1950s. Far from the flashy logos worn today, the Manly'Sea Eagle'which appeared in the mid 1950s was often confused for a seagull by many, including the media.

Various changes to the jersey were introduced at irregular intervals. The classic 'V' design was radically changed in the late 60's when the jersey was changed to a maroon with several narrow twin horizontal bands. In the mid 70's this was reversed for a while to a white jersey with maroon bands. Through the 80's and 90's other changes occurred which featured variations of the maroon and white with occasional blue.

The team has been officially known as the "Sea Eagles" ever since the club entered the first grade competition in 1947. There was some confusion over this in the 1950s, when a journalist named Jim Mather (Sydney Daily Telegraph) began referring to the team as the "Seagulls" in his reports. This was picked up by other journalists and some fans, and at a time when club logos and nicknames were not used as prominently as they are today, the team was often referred to as the "Seagulls" in this era. However, officially Manly-Warringah have always been the "Sea Eagles". Manly-Warringah would change their Sea Eagle logo in 1998 following the introduction of the new competition. A new stylised sea eagle appeared under the 'Sea Eagles' banner, much more fierce and aggressive than its predecessor. It featured predominantly maroon, white, yellow and blue to symbolise the connection the club had with its major sponsor at the time Pepsi. This logo would not last however when the ill fated merger with North Sydney Bears in 2000 saw them take on the Northern Eagles moniker instead.

Upon their return in 2003, Manly opted to revert to the previous logo but tweaked the logo slightly to focus on the sea eagle itself and include Warringah in the club's name again. They also returned to their original colours of maroon and white, a symbol of their roots steming back from 1947. This logo has been in use since then.

A commemorative logo was used throughout the 2006 season to mark the 60th anniversary of their inclusion in the competition.

During the 2007 pre-season, the club introduced a limited number of 65 playing and memorabilia green and white jerseys, for a trial match against the Melbourne Storm.

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 2006 Commemorative logo

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Leagues Club[edit]

Stadium[edit]

When Manly were accepted into the competition, the local Manly Council denied the club permission to use Manly Oval as a home ground. The council at the time was very pro-rugby union and attempted to stop the rival code spread to the area. Because of this, the club decided instead to acquire Brookvale Showground (now known as Brookvale Oval) to host matches, which was supported by Warringah Council, who still own the ground as of 2014.

The ground was mostly renovated between 1965 and 1980, including the construction of two grandstands along both the southern end (Southern Stand) and western side (Jane Try Stand) of the ground. In the early 1990s, these two grandstands were connected by the Ken Arthurson Stand. The ground has also retained grassy hill areas along the eastern and northern edges. On 1 September 2008, the Southern Stand was renamed the Fulton-Menzies Stand.

In recent years, Manly-Warringah have received criticism over the state of facilities at Brookvale Oval. In 2007, Manly-Warringah stepped up their campaign for government funding to improve the stadium, culminating in a "Save Brookvale Oval" Rally on 21 November. As of September 2008, $4,000,000 of Warringah Council funding and a $6,000,000 NSW State Government grant has been secured by the club to allow for the initial redevelopment of the Jane Try Stand (with an additional level) and improvements to the Southern Stand and other amenities. A further $10,000,000 was sought from, and granted by the Federal Government for the development of an eastern stand, with the intention of maintaining a 10-metre deep grassed area in front of it.[3]

In recent seasons, Brookvale Oval has been regarded as a graveyard for many opposition teams, thus earning the nickname "Fortress Brookvale".[4] Manly went through the 2011 season undefeated at its home ground, with no visiting team victorious at the ground since Round 26, 2010.

Today the ground has a capacity of about 23,000. In 2006, the ground saw its largest average attendance over an entire season, with an average of 15,484 patrons watching each of the club's 11 matches played there. The record crowd at the ground is 27,655, set in the final round of the 1986 season. Since the club started playing in 1947, over five and a half million spectators have visited the ground.

Players[edit]

2014 Squad[edit]

Manly Sea Eagles 2014 Squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coach


Legend:
  • (c) Captain
  • (vc) Vice captain
  • Injury icon 2.svg Injured

Updated: 15 January 2014
Source(s): Manly Squad 2014


2014 Signings/Transfers[edit]

Gains

Out

Past players[edit]

For more details on this topic, see List of Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles players.

In 1990, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles club recognised their players, past and present, with a team announced to reflect the best squad up to that point. That team is listed below.

No. Position Player
1 Australia FB Graham Eadie
2 Australia WG Tom Mooney
3 Australia CE Michael O'Connor
4 Australia CE Bob Fulton
5 Australia WG Les Hanigan
6 Australia FE Wally O'Connell
7 Australia HB Des Hasler
13 England LK Malcolm "Mal" Reilly
12 Australia SR Terry Randall
No. Position Player
11 England SR Phil Lowe
10 Australia PR Roy Bull
9 Australia HK Max Krilich
8 Australia PR John O'Neill
14 Australia RE Ian Martin
15 Australia RE Alan Thompson
16 England RE Steve Norton
17 Australia RE John McDonald

In 2006, a Dream Team of former Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles players was selected by a panel of selectors which featured former Manly-Warringah administrator Ken Arthurson, respected rugby league writer Ian Heads, the club chairman Kerry Sibraa and journalist Phil Rothfield.

No. Position Player
1 Australia FB Graham Eadie
2 Australia WG Ken Irvine
3 Australia CE Ray Branighan
4 Australia CE Bob Fulton
5 Australia WG Michael O'Connor
6 Australia FE Wally O'Connell
7 Australia HB Geoff Toovey
8 Australia PR Roy Bull
9 Australia HK Max Krilich
No. Position Player
10 Australia PR John O'Neill
11 Australia SR Steve Menzies
12 Australia SR Terry Randall
13 England LK Malcolm "Mal" Reilly
14 Australia RE Des Hasler
15 Australia RE Ben Kennedy
16 Australia RE Cliff Lyons
17 Australia RE Paul Vautin
Australia CO Frank Stanton (coach)

Coaches[edit]

¹ Sharp was also coach of the Northern Eagles between 2000 and 2002.

Records and statistics[edit]

Honours[edit]

1972, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1987, 1996, 2008, 2011
1951, 1957, 1959, 1968, 1970, 1982–83, 1995, 1997, 2007, 2013
  • New South Wales Rugby League, Australian Rugby League and National Rugby League minor premierships: 9
1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1983, 1987, 1995, 1996, 1997
  • New South Wales Rugby League Club Championships: 4
1972, 1983, 1987, 1988
  • Pre-Season Cup titles: 1
1980
2009
1982, 1983
  • Sevens: 3
1990, 1994, 1995
1954, 1960, 1969, 1973, 1988
  • Jersey Flegg: 4
1961, 1974, 1987, 1988
  • Presidents Cup: 2
1946, 1970
  • Third Grade: 1
1952

Supporters[edit]

The Sea Eagles, nicknamed the Silvertails, are well known as a team that most working-class rugby league fans traditionally love to hate.[7] Notable supporters of the club include Jim Anderson,[8] Allen Aylett,[9] Wendy Harmer,[10] Hugh Jackman,[11] Thomas Keneally,[12] Sean Fagan,[13] Jean Hay,[14] Doug Mulray,[15] Peter Phelps,[10] Mike Goldman,[16] Miles Stewart,[17] Sarah Murdoch,[18] the current NSW State Premier Mike Baird [19] and the current Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Code of Silence, Four Corners, broadcast on the ABC on 11 May 2009
  2. ^ Ritchie, Dean (21 March 2011). "Fulton rates Manly's win one of best", The Courier-Mail.
  3. ^ [1]. "Funding Boost for Brookvale Oval Project". (2013)
  4. ^ Fortress Brookvale ready for Hasler. The Sydney Morning Herald. (19 July 2012). Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  5. ^ Up until 1994, the top division of the premiership in New South Wales was the New South Wales Rugby League premiership; since then, it has been the Australian Rugby League (1995–1997) and the National Rugby League premierships.
  6. ^ Up until 2002, the second division of rugby league in New South Wales was Reserve Grade/Presidents Cup/First Division Premiers; since then, it has been the NSWRL Premier League.
  7. ^ Moore, Andrew (2005). Testosterone Overdose: Popular culture and Historical Memory. London: Routledge. p. 15. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  8. ^ Hanna, Jim (30 April 2003). "Five new scholarships to honour late MP". Australia: AAP General News. Retrieved 5 October 2009. 
  9. ^ Goodwin, Dorothy (26 September 1982). "Eels Premier Tip". Sun-Herald; League Souvenir (News). Retrieved 27 September 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ a b "Author tips script to go out the window". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 September 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2009. 
  11. ^ "Crowe to miss final, Jackman in doubt". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 September 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2009. 
  12. ^ "NSW recognises Keneally's literary talents". ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 20 May 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2009. 
  13. ^ Slattery Media. "Interview". sfaganweb.com. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Jean Hay blasts anti-Eagles `idiots' on council". The Manly Daily. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Koslowski, Michael (25 September 1997). "Field of teams". The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia). p. 6. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  16. ^ "Friday Night Download's Mike Goldman was Manly's mascot". The Daily Telegraph (Australia). 2 October 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2010. 
  17. ^ Weidler, Danny (14 March 1999). "Athletes told to fake it". Sun-Herald. p. 119. Retrieved 6 October 2009. 
  18. ^ "The culture war: the insular peninsula versus the world". The Sports Factor. Australia: ABC. 28 September 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2010. 
  19. ^ "New premier Mike Baird says Manly electorate will always come first". Manly Daily. Australia: The Daily Telegraph. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Prime Minister Tony Abbott throws support behind Manly Sea Eagles". The Daily Telegraph. Australia: Fox-Sports. 4 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 

Sources[edit]

  • Rugby League History; Sean Fagan
  • Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players, 1999; Alan Whiticker and Glen Hudson
  • ABC of Rugby League, 1995; Malcolm Andrews
  • Heritage Report on Brookvale Oval, Mayne-Wilson & Associates; August 2005

External links[edit]