1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

1978 and the Silvertails legend

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Rex, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    4,334
    761
    Ratings:
    +2,338 / 60
    Here's my recollection of the 1978 premiership and the circumstances around the coining of the term "silvertails.  My memory may be faulty.  Can anyone help clarify?

    In 1978 Roy Masters became coach of Wests.  Manly had won the premiership three times in the previous 6 seasons, and Wests hadn't won a premiership since 1952.   Masters decided to motivate his team through feelings of hatred, inequity and jealousy.  He coined the terms "silvertails" and "fibros", using language to suggest a class war.  One of the most brutal sequence of games ever played followed between the teams.

    Many supporters had feelings of jealousy and inequity and disempowerment in their lives - so Masters' imagery struck a cord and the terms and the imagery became fixed in the collective mindset of huge proportions of supporters.  Manly became the target for venting those feelings.  This attack on them galvanised the Manly team.

    Despite an horrific run of injuries and having to play 6 finals matches in 24 days including mid-week replays of a semifinal and the grand final due to draws after extra time, Manly won the premiership 16-0 that year.  For Manly the Silvertails attack on them became a symbol of their fight against all odds and against adversity. It was the premiership used to motivate the current team to win 40-0 against the Storm.
     
  2. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    13,234
    186
    Ratings:
    +212 / 5
    This Thursday October 9th at 9.35 on ABC 1 Tv you can catch a documentary on the Silvertails and the Fibros (though the title has them the other way around.)

    This rivalry started back in 1975 in a football code celebration in Melbourne in which the two teams played each other and it turned into a massive biffathon.

    Masters was my teacher at Tamworth High in 1973 and left to go to Penrith and Wests. Rather than bore you with the full story, watch the programme on Thursday night. I was lucky enough that year to win the state schoolboys comp and Masters was the one who spoke to us just prior to going on the paddock in the final. Fortunately Manly won the comp that year as well, beating Wests in the Preliminary Final. Great year!!!
     
  3. Zep

    Zep Active Member

    1,692
    8
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0
    lol canteen worker you probably would have gone to school with either my mum or dad (i forget which one went to tamworth high).

    I will be recording the program on mystar. I haven't seen it yet though it has been on foxtel a couple of times if i recollect right
     
  4. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    13,234
    186
    Ratings:
    +212 / 5
    Zep - what were their names? Went to my 30 year school reunion on Sat night and drove back down for Sunday's game. A big weekend!!!
     
  5. Zep

    Zep Active Member

    1,692
    8
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0
    given the age differnce (probably 4-5 years) you probably might have known my Uncle Peter Seivers. I just remembered dad got expelled from Farrah and went to tamworth high for a the last year of school... don't ask me when that was, probably 77-78 area
     
  6. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    13,234
    186
    Ratings:
    +212 / 5
    78 was my era so if he was there then, I would remember him!! Farrer were our enemies and we beat them 16-14 in that knockout that year.
     
  7. Zep

    Zep Active Member

    1,692
    8
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0
    mate i sent you a pm...

    btw is 1976 the grand final everyone forgets about? we had the two in 72 and 73, the big one in 78, for some reason i hardly hear it get mentioned.
     
  8. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    13,234
    186
    Ratings:
    +212 / 5
    76 was a funny game, best remembered for Neville Glover dropping the ball with the line open. Parra scored more tries and we got over the line on the back of scrum penalties and Graham Eadie's boot. There was also the flying wedge which Eadie stopped. Was a tough game but not a classic compared to others. Parra relied on bombs for much of their attack. Still worth a look and I still sometimes run the dVd.
     
  9. Ian Martin tragic

    Ian Martin tragic Well-Known Member

    981
    121
    Ratings:
    +137 / 0
    The 1978 saga was truly heroic. Lots of controversy also; people like Masters are absolutely convinced Hollywood Hartley was in Arko's pocket, with the try on the 7th tackle in the elimination semi replay v Parra, and a no try decision in the preliminary final v Wests (it was a graeme o'grady kick and regather). I don't remember the no try decision against Wests, but the 7th tackle one was neither here nor there: when Hollywood put up his arm for last tackle, manly put up a bomb and scored off it (sterlo's first ever game; he was picked at full-back and found himself with John Harvey charging down field at him). It wasn't like the 7 tackle try scored by bulldogs v Manly in the 95 GF, where they suddently spun the ball wide, taking advantage of the fact manly wingers had dropped back anticipating the kick downtown, and then had the extra tackle to score the try.

    I was playing in a schoolboy team in the sea eagles shield comp and we were co-coached by Bruce Walker that year. so we hung around brookie oval like a bad smell through the final series. they were like the walking wounded. players definitely had more endurance in those days, even if they weren't all as muscle-bound and fast. The actual GF I recall as a frustrating experience because everyone left the SCG at the end of the day without a result. but looking at it on the dvd recently, it was actually a cracking game with two teams that couldn't be split who played themselves to a standstill. Stevie Rogers had a shot at fieldgoal toward the end of the game that seemed to veer off target in mid-flight. That was as close as the sharks have been. That's as close as I'd come to having sympathy for them (rogers was a roll royce of a player, all class and effortless power).

    Hollywood blew a few 'interesting' penalties late in that GF. Maybe he was just a goose.....but maybe...

    To me the Wests game was the epitome of that finals series. The players were really knackered after the 2 games against Parra and hobbled off at halftime with a slender lead. Alan Thompson had a blinder; scored a try and kicked manly out of trouble all over the place. But the ultimate play was a BIG tackle by Terry Randall on Dallas Donnelly. Wests were on a roll and coming to get manly. they got a penalty that put them on the attack in manly's half. Donnelly was taking the hitup off the tap. Randall just ran out of the line at full speed before even the tap had been taken. As Donnelly caught the ball at full pace and looked up he got smashed backward about 3 metres by a horizontal one man flying wedge. Wests comeback was over.
     
  10. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    9,997
    516
    Ratings:
    +516 / 0
    Alan Thompson, one of my favourite players.  I still think the 72 GF was the most important game for Manly.  Started the roll and we've scored in every decade since.  Hartley, my favourite ref.  Although he's a Dogs tragic, I think he had a warm spot for Manly, probably the Zorba connection which preceded the radio days.
     

Share This Page