There’s no love lost between Manly and Eastwood, like Marlins coach Billy Melrose said leading into Saturday’s round 14 clash “the two clubs have played in some big games over the years, these are games we all look forward to”.
Those big games, of course, include the 1997 and 2015 grand finals, with Manly winning the former and Eastwood the latter.
Saturday’s is a big game too, not just in the context of the two clubs’ rivalry but in terms of the tenuous hold they have their respective ladder positions.
Eastwood are in a share for second with Northern Suburbs, both sides are trailing competition leaders Warringah by five points and two points clear of fourth-placed Sydney University.
The Marlins are three points further back in fifth, and sit five points clear of sixth-placed Gordon.
“It is an important game but all the games are important, really. You only have to have a slight stumble or two, like we did last week, and soon enough you’re back to squar