Andrew Harvey: Why I hate Warringah

It’s generally the first two dates you mark on the calendar each year when the draw comes out – Home derby and away derby.

The home derby is normally on a fast track. Sunny skies, a packed hill and the Manly faithful in the stands cheering ‘Marlins, Marlins’… previously it was the ‘Blues, Blues, Blues’ call as we pushed back those in green via scrum or maul!

Then of course there is the return leg up the Rats drainpipe that is Pittwater Rd.

While Google Maps will tell you it’s only 14.4 km between Manly Oval and Rat Park, in all honesty, it could be a lifetime away.

Everything just seems a little slower. People talk that way, drivers drive that way, Rats wingers run that way.

The drive in is when you have to really switch on. You generally lock your car doors as those staying across the way in the caravan park can never be fully trusted.

And when you run out of those sheds, a place that takes you back to medieval times, you know you will be greeted with a cold breeze that makes the face numb.

You know your loved ones are going to have to watch the game sitting on a hard cold concrete surface as the stand hasn’t seen sun in, well….. ever.

And you know the ‘Rats’ call will be loud and annoying as they beg the ref for ‘a go’ and to ‘get them onside!’

Rats supporters tend to like the idea of Manly “choking”, even delight it in.

What a strange concept it must be for them as they have never really achieved anything to be in that sort of position.

It’s like the second round loser at Wimbledon enjoying watching Federer get rolled in the final. It’s all very odd.

But looking back it is hard to hate a club you have had so much success against.

I couldn’t tell you their victory song as I’ve very rarely heard it.

The Rats are like the little brother you never really wanted but had to appease for the start of your younger years just to make your parents happy.

You always looked forward to leaving Rat Park, getting back down to God’s Country, where normal conversations can be had, drivers stick to the speed limits, and running rugby is always played at it’s best.

Let’s bring on another chapter of this famous Derby! The Battle of the Beaches, rugby doesn’t get any better!!!!

GO YOU MARLINS!

Andrew Harvey
Former Manly Marlin!