The Wash-Up: Semi-Final – Manly v Sydney University

by Paul Cook - ********************** THE WARM-UP: ********************** With only two losses in 19 games and the boost of home advantage, Minor Premiers Manly came into this one in pretty good shape. But they faced a Sydney University side chock-full of Super Rugby talent and smarting from last week’s Qualifying Final defeat at the hands of Southern Districts. The Marlins had their own powerhouse on board in the shape of Wallaby, Wycliff Palu, given licence from Michael Cheika to wreak havoc from the bench. But perhaps the biggest obstacle for Manly was the weight of history, as they aimed to be the first Marlins side since 1997 to reach the big dance. ********************** THE BREAKDOWN: ********************** Uni looked like a team on a mission in the warm-up, fired up, feisty and ready to rip in and they wasted no time in playing on the potential big game nerves of their opponents’ and their supporters, with two strikes in the opening quarter of an hour. Captain David Hickey
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