Manly claim “crucial win” and build momentum ahead of Warringah clash
Manly coach Billy Melrose has labelled Saturday’s gutsy away win over Southern Districts as “crucial in the context of the season.”
The Marlins made the most of a strong breeze in the first half and raced away to an 18-0 lead, then defended brilliantly in the second stanza to hold out a fast finishing Rebels’ side and claim a 30-19 victory.
“Souths were always going to give it everything and the conditions just made it that little bit harder,” Melrose told Rugby News.
“There wasn’t a whole lot between the two side. Running into the wind, we were able to score points with the few opportunities we had. I also think we managed the game quite well with the wind behind us in the first half.”
The win was an important one for Manly. The Marlins leapfrogged Gordon and Easts into fifth spot and can go close to guaranteeing a spot in the playoffs this weekend if they can beat competition leaders Warringah at Rat Park
“The Rats have had a great period. They’ve been fairly settled and in form for a while now.”
In contrast, Manly has had a horror run with injuries but still find themselves in the mix with three rounds remaining.
“From that perspective, it’s been really pleasing. We’ve continued to debut new players and get by with different combinations throughout the side and that shows good character and an ability to find ways to win when it’s not easy.
“I’m not sure what XV we will have on the park against Warringah but whoever it is, we need to make sure we play each of the 80 minutes on Saturday. If not, we may as well forget it.”
Warringah host Manly in the second Northern Beaches Derby of 2019 at 3pm on Saturday at Rat Park.
Photo: Adam MacDonald