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How the Manly-Cronulla feud began

Discussion in 'Sea Eagles' started by SeaEagleRock8, Sep 16, 2013.

By SeaEagleRock8 on Sep 16, 2013 at 10:34 PM
  1. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    By Peter Peters

    It took a rising Immortal of the game to emerge like a beacon from the brawling and mayhem of the 1973 grand final between the Cronulla Sharks and Manly Sea Eagles at the Sydney Cricket Ground.


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Discussion in 'Sea Eagles' started by SeaEagleRock8, Sep 16, 2013.

    1. SeaEagleRock8

      SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      By Peter Peters

      It took a rising Immortal of the game to emerge like a beacon from the brawling and mayhem of the 1973 grand final between the Cronulla Sharks and Manly Sea Eagles at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

      Two sizzling tries by Manly centre Bob Fulton were the difference between the beachside clubs on a grey and overcast Saturday, September 15.

      The young Sharks club, just six seasons in the then NSW Rugby League premiership, went mighty close to springing a massive upset in a game that resembled a bar room brawl.

      Manly beat the Sharks 14-4 in a tight semi-final to advance to the club's second successive grand final but the Sharks battled their way into the club's first grand final under the leadership of the club's two English internationals, Tommy Bishop and Cliff Watson.

      Captain-coach Bishop was a fearless competitor; a scheming, aggressive and brilliant halfback – a typical English No.7 of the era. Watson was a miner who was as tough as his former profession and he had made an enormous impression in his time with the club.

      Incredibly, Bishop told me recently he received $15,000 a season to captain and coach the Sharks!

      As I recall it referee Keith Page let us get away with too much early in the game and the first 20 minutes was simply running in to flare-ups – usually started by Bishop – that ignited all over the field.

      Three mass cautions took place in the first half alone. But the "next-man-off" warning from the referee never eventuated.
      Both teams had big forward packs that refused to take a backward step. Unfortunately for the Sharks they were unlucky to come up against a club in the middle of a golden era and hungry for success.

      The 1973 grand final side contained nine internationals in the 13-man run-on side – Graham Eadie, Ken Irvine, Ray Branighan, Bob Fulton, Malcolm Reilly (who later coached Newcastle), Terry Randall, John O'Neill, Fred Jones and Bill Hamilton. I was the lone non-international in the forward pack which club secretary Ken Arthurson had assembled to provide the foundation for four premierships in the 1970s – by far Manly's most successful era in its history.

      A flick pass inside from wily captain and hooker Fred Jones for Bob Fulton to score was the only try of the first half. It was one of the first glimpses of actual football played in the opening 40 minutes!

      The Sharks’ hooker Ron Turner hurled himself at Manly's English star Mal Reilly in the opening minutes as Reilly attempted a clearing kick. Turner’s knee collected Reilly's hip and the big Englishman was forced off the field. He returned 10 minutes later with the aid of painkilling needles and remarked he had only "10 minutes" to play.

      In that timer he created havoc and managed to collide heavily with Sharks fullback Warren Fisher, who couldn't come back for the second half.

      Very little that went on that day would be allowed in the game today... and rightly so. But it was a different game, in a different time.

      A dazzling Fulton try from nothing gave Manly a buffer of 8-2 but a try to replacement fullback Rick Bourke and a conversion by 18-year-old centre Steve Rogers breathed new life into the Sharks before a Graham Eadie penalty from a scum near the Sharks’ posts gave Manly a 10-7 lead which was desperately defended until fulltime.

      I have no hesitation in saying we were a touch lucky. The teenage Rogers missed several easy kicks in the windy conditions.

      The Sharks managed to get our minds off football, and it took a great team – and one of the all-time greats in Fulton – to beat them.

      Just five years later the Sharks were back in the finals again and once more it was Manly as their opponents in the grand final and subsequent grand final replay.

      It finished 11-all in the grand final, with Rogers again astray with his goal-kicking and a late field-goal attempt.

      Manly romped home 16-nil in the grand final replay, with centre Russell Gartner and fullback Graham Eadie the stars for Manly. Such was Manly's strength that they had eight players chosen for the 1978 Kangaroos Tour soon after the grand final replay.

      Referee Greg Hartley caused plenty of controversy during the 1978 series, with seventh-tackle tries in the Manly v Parramatta semi-final and another in the grand final replay.

      So the Sharks have plenty of history to turn around on Friday night against a club which has always stopped them with the ‘Holy Grail’ in sight.

      It will be wonderful contest played with passion and pride... and a little bit of history. The beach boys – north and south – are ready to do battle again.

      http://www.nrl.com/how-the-manly-cronulla-feud-began/tabid/10874/newsid/74691/default.aspx
       
    2. Bearfax

      Bearfax Well-Known Member

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      Since when was Peter Peters a rising immortal? Oh sorry didnt realise there was more to read.
       
    3. HappilyManly

      HappilyManly MWTS Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      The anachronistic sycophant is rolled out once more :mad:
       
    4. ManlyBacker

      ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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      It's perhaps a little odd, but understandable nonetheless, that we'll all celebrate the 1973 grand final this week, as the two teams, Manly and Cronulla, face each other again in a finals series 40 years later. This year, of course, the NRL banned the biff - 40 years after the match said to be the most violent grand final of all time.

      ''None of the players in that side would have lasted 10 minutes in today's game,'' said one of the chief protagonists of the famed 1973 decider, the Cronulla prop Cliff Watson.

      ''The old softening up period,'' says Watson of that match, ''it went on for 80 minutes. We just belted the crap out of each other. They didn't back down, and neither did we. It just happened that way.

      ''We were pretty relentless. I don't think we had any intention of coming out and making a complete brawl of it. It just happened, and it just kept going. I'm actually surprised how fit we were, continuing it for 80 minutes.

      ''There was a bit of thuggery, and we probably went a bit overboard … which was good. We went out there to upset them. It was just the way the game was played. Perhaps a lesser team would have folded. We hit them with everything.''

      Esteemed writer Ian Heads wrote in the Sunday Telegraph the next day that it was a grand final as tough and dirty as any bar-room brawl. It was perhaps more like a bar-room brawl, replete with elbows, knees and the odd gouge. Watson had a few cracked ribs from a few weeks earlier, and John ''Lurch'' O'Neill tested the area out early and then regularly.

      Some of the stories are legendary. Mal Reilly was taken out early, by Cronulla hooker Ron Turner, and left the field to receive painkilling injections, But he returned to the field for as long as he could stand up - about 10 minutes all up - taking as many people out as he could in the time he had. ''He wasn't real happy because he could hardly walk,'' said Manly's Terry Randall. ''And when Mal gets cranky, he gets cranky.''

      How it started remains a mystery. Many say it was the gameplan of Cronulla's feisty captain-coach Tommy Bishop. But apparently it was only pre-meditated in his mind.

      ''Tommy's strategy was to turn it on them,'' says Cronulla lock Greg Pierce. ''It was the best-kept secret in the Shire. Such a well-kept secret that he didn't tell anyone, including us … But there's no doubt that he felt our best opportunity to win the grand final was to upset Manly - and that was by giving them a few whacks on the chin.''

      Manly forward Peter Peters said this of Bishop: ''Tommy would be running around like a little mad man. He'd start all the fights, and Cliff and their forwards would try and settle them.

      Watson settled many of them. Peters, working for The Sun at the time, recalls getting a sideline tip from photographer and colleague John O'Gready that he should look out as a murderous Watson was approaching him.

      ''It was a game straight out of hell,'' Peters said. ''You could hear the bones breaking. There were things I did that day that I'm ashamed of. But on the day, in the moment, you did what you had to do.

      ''It took a bloke who was destined to be an Immortal to win the game for us. People always talk about Cronulla not winning a premiership. They could have won a comp in their sixth year, if it wasn't for Fulton.''

      Among the brawling, there was brilliance. It came in the form of Bob Fulton. Peters said he believed Cronulla was the better side on the day. But Fulton's two tries proved the difference as Manly won 10-7.

      ''They just had that extra bit of talent; I still hate the bastard,'' laughs Watson. ''We managed to get Mal Reilly off - we should have taken Fulton out instead. It could have been a better result.''

      Glenn Jackson http://www.stmarysstar.com.au/story/1780670/the-softening-up-period-it-went-on-for-80-minutes/?cs=1256

      ------------
      Bishop was as dirty a player as I have veer seen. Always niggling. The only comparable player would be Gary Freeman, but he would run a long second to Tommy. The Sharks were filled with hardmen so it was a terrific victory considering how the game was played.
       
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    5. StuBoot

      StuBoot Well-Known Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      I just saw the picture on the home page and thought feud? Everything looked peaceful to me.
       
    6. Lord Eagleton

      Lord Eagleton Well-Known Member

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      Unaware there was currently a feud between us and them
       
    7. Bearfax

      Bearfax Well-Known Member

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      News Ltd says there is so there must be eh.
       
    8. Lord Eagleton

      Lord Eagleton Well-Known Member

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      Ah yes of course, sensationalised journalism aka News Ltd bread and butter.
       
    9. Frank

      Frank Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      For those of us old enough to remember I can tell you there was a feud. Manly has plenty of them. The main ones being (chronologically at least) against Cronulla, Parramatta, and more recently the Storm and Bulldogs.

      We denied the Sharks a couple of premierships to help keep their trophy cabinet bare. That was in the seventies and they sure were brutal times. The emergence of Bob Fulton was one of the main reasons I started supporting Manly in the early seventies. Never looked at any other team before or since.
       
    10. Brookie Brawler

      Brookie Brawler Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      I remember in 1996 their chairman (Paul Gow?) threatened to walk out on Superleague if they negotiated with Manly, supposedly because he didn't want Manly benefiting from all the hard work and risks taken by those already involved.

      After we had beaten them in the 95 and 96 finals (not to mention the wins in the 70s) the whole story has a stench of fear about it. He thought they had finally got away from us and then was scared Manly had been mentioned.

      In Superleague's dreams maybe.
       
    11. mosto

      mosto Well-Known Member Premium Member

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      There's a feud between us and everyone. Remember, no one likes us, we don't care!
       
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    12. Bearfax

      Bearfax Well-Known Member

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      Similar to you Frank. I started watching Manly the year before Fulton arrived. He arrived in 1967 and even as a 17 year old showed class and formed a pretty decent combination with Frank Stanton, who at that time was Manly's top player.

      Most older supporters know the stories but for the younger generation I'll recall them.

      The issues with Souths of course resulted from firstly the 1971 grand final by Souths when Manly's Bucknell broke Sattler's jaw, raising the tempo of the game. It was exacerbated by Manly borrowing Ray Branigan, John O'Neill and Bobby Moses, to assist them to win their first premiership in '72.

      Cronulla were as you say resentful because of Manly stopping their premiership efforts in '73 and '78, despite their seriously dirty tactics in the '73 grandfinal.

      The Parramatta issue involved the famed 7 tackle try in a 1978 semi final and the belief referee Hollywood Hartley was favouring Manly (Manly would still have won the game the same as they would still have won the North Queensland game in last years semi final, when Foran 'touched' that famous ball.

      The Western Suburbs one involved Roy Masters famed 'fibros and silvertails' comment exacerbated by Manly 'borrowing' Dorahy, Boyd and Brown from that club. The others you all know because its recent history.

      But it was all promoted by a media that seemed to like to attack Manly consistently, and promoted those angers. In fact I remember speaking with a young Parramatta and Cronulla supporter years later about the reasons for the dislike of Manly, and they couldnt say, only that everyone hates Manly because the newspapers say so.

      News Ltd have for a long time been promoting this scenario to promote papers. It probably started for them in the early 80's when Packer briefly left his love of Eastern Suburbs and supported a Fulton coached Manly.

      So as I say its mainly newspapers, especially News Ltd papers, promoting the issue to sell papers. And Manly's ongoing success just feeds the hatred.

      But then all older supporters know the story. Its almost Manly mythology now.
       
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    13. southsideeagle

      southsideeagle Well-Known Member Premium Member

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      I also started following Manly the year Fulton first came to Manly. Although I thought it was 1966. I live in "The SHIRE" and love the area. I heard a grandmother explaining to her grandson why Cronulla supporters hate Manly. The reason was that we robbed them of the chance to win a premiership. My view was that Manly were a much more talented outfit and the only way Cronulla was going to win was to bash us into not playing our best football. It nearly worked.
      I proudly boost my support and love of Manly. I'm thinking of getting small gift packs of tissues to hand out after this weeks match. I'm sure they will appreciate them!!
       
    14. bones

      bones Bones Knows Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      I thought it all started when Manly threw the cheque book at Jye Mullane to poach him away from the Sharks. They have never truly recovered from losing this once in a generation superstar.
       
    15. Mark from Brisbane

      Mark from Brisbane Living the dream Premium Member

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      Aah those were the days. I have been a supporter for 50 years now , but really only got into it about 1971-72. It's good to recount the stories so the younger supporters get to know our magnificent history.
       
    16. southsideeagle

      southsideeagle Well-Known Member Premium Member

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      Speaking of Jye Mullane ..his side just won their grand final in the local comp.
       
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    17. Bearfax

      Bearfax Well-Known Member

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      I must be getting old Southsideeaagle. I've been blundering with dates in several of these forums. Think I'm going senile. You are quite right. Fulton joined Manly in 1966, which means it was 1965 when I first started watching Manly. Thank you for rightfully embarrassing me again.
       
    18. Go manly

      Go manly Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      It makes me proud to know that they are resentful and never forget that day against the sharks at the SGC for our first premiership.
      what makes me even prouder of upsetting the Rabbitts,Magpies,Eels,Sharks is that we can add Dogs,Knights,Storm and cowboys to the list.In fact i think we can Easts because of fatty and Bozo.
      Bring back the adelaide rams so thye can hate us too.
      Go Manly
       
    19. EagleFromMay1967

      EagleFromMay1967 In bed before the room got dark.

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      The first game i ever attended at the Fortress was
      Manly V Sharks May 19, 1967. We snuck in at half time for free. Hence the username. Manly 39 Sharks 5. We lived nearby. I was hooked. The ground was an OVAL. for cricket.
      Les Hanigan scored the 5 try club record that day. Bozo set up some tries for Les, with Tenant, Pounder, Stanton.

      But i can barely remember anyone but Hanigan. Tall, willowy, coudn't really tackle or catch. People in the crowd were laughing at him. But what he could do was run. Like the wind! They stopped laughing and were staggered at HOW FAST he was. Those who remember Larry Corowa, gives you the idea.

      Actually these days, after the tough year they've had, i have a certain empathy for the Sharkies. But only a little.
      Manly by 16 on Friday.
       

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