Match Report: Rd 1 – Southern Districts v Manly

by Paul Cook - It’s difficult to know what to expect in round one of this competition, such are the vagaries of the off-season departures, arrivals, fitness levels and combinations etc. But one thing was certain, with two of last season’s top three sides meeting at Forshaw Park, bragging rights, and the chance to strike an early blow to a potential fellow contender, ensured that both Souths and Manly wouldn’t be holding anything back. As it transpired, it was the vagaries of the weather that played arguably the biggest role on the day, such was the swirling breeze around Sylvania and the effect it had on proceedings. It would be unfair to pigeon-hole the contest with the old ‘game of two halves’ cliché, Souths doing enough across the 80 minutes to warrant victory. But a scoreline of 17-0 in their favour before the break, and 17-6 in favour of the Marlins in the second stanza, certainly illustrated the benefits of playing with the wind at their backs. There wasn’t much e
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