‘Relaxed’ Marlins Could Be the Real Deal At Last

by Paul Cook - With three rounds of the regular season remaining, Manly Marlins hold a narrow one point lead over Eastwood at the top of the Intrust Shute Shield ladder. Win all three with a bonus point and they will retain their mantle as Minor Premiers, having finished top of the pile in 2014 too. But while that achievement reflects a team’s dominance and consistency across 18 rounds, it is what happens in the following three weeks that dictates how history will remember you. Their last Premiership came back in 1997 and despite being in and around the title conversation as one of the competition heavyweights over the last 20 years, particularly since 2010, Manly have failed time and again to make it to the big dance, falling a game short in each of the last four years. So what’s different about this year? Perhaps the approach taken by fledgling head coach Damien Cummins. An assistant for the last four years, Cummins served a worthy apprenticeship under both Tim Lane and Phil
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