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Silvertails' 2008 Grand Final preview

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Matabele, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    This time it's personal

    Watching the Storm on Friday night I was transported back 17 years to a remarkably similar “dynasty” - that of the Canberra Raiders circa 1989-1991.

    There are profound similarities except that by their third Grand Final the Raiders has two Premierships under their belt when they entered the 1991 finals series.

    But both the Raiders and the Storm had/have that same air of battered hubris about them.

    When the Raiders won in 1989 it was against the odds – particularly as they had endured a slow start to the season.  Similarly in 2006 noone expected the Storm to feature in the finals following the loss of Orford and Bell.  But both teams were stacked with a young group of players that played with an excitement and panache that made them crowd favourites.

    The following year (1990 and 2007) both dominated the competition and concluded it with an emphatic victory in the Grand Final against a side that was rising but dogged with criticism.  Both of the vanquished sides that year (Penrith and Manly) featured a halfback (Greg Alexander and Matt Orford) criticised as flaky in big games and prone to choking.  Both sides we resoundingly beaten.

    So we come to compare 1991 and 2008 where the dynastic team comes into a replay with the side they vanquished the previous year.  Again there are remarkable similarities.

    In '91 Raiders and '08 Storm both made it to the Grand Final the hard way – hard slogging victories that took an immense wear and tear on bodies already tired from massive representation during the Origin series.

    Their tag of “crowd favourites” were shed during the year as both sides submitted to a nauseating hubris – a born to rule mentality vented in ranting and raving driven by a culture of being above the law from a corrupt club management. 

    In 1991 the Raiders were found to be widely rorting the fledgling salary cap and at the end of the year the club would face an exodus of some of its biggest names, including the Brisbane-bound “brick with eyes” Glenn Lazarus.

    As the Raiders marched into the Grand Final against a keen-to-atone Penrith Panthers side their fans  romped around in “t-shirts” emblazoned “this time it's personal”, fueled by their rage with what they saw as the injustices of the competition's administration.

    Flick forward seventeen years and there are the extraordinary diatribes coming from south of the border alleging judiciary corruption and media conspiracy following the thoroughly justified suspension handed out to Storm captain Cameron Smith for trying to unscrew the pumpkin off Sam Thaiday's shoulders.

    It's hard to miss the similarities between Penrith '91 and Manly '08 too.  The previous year both sides seemed content to just make the Grand Final and were powerless to stop a juggernaut.  However, the losing experience pained them and drove them for twelve months.

    Manly enter the 2008 Grand Final immeasurably stronger than the previous year and has strengthened it's “spine” with Lyon, Stewart and Orford 12 months better and wiser in their positions and the Ballin/L'estrange hooker combination a more skillful manifestation than the previous year's lone hand played by  Michael Monaghan.

    The other great similarity is that this Grand Final will be the last game at the club for legendary club stalwarts.  For Penrith it was Royce Simmonds who had a grand farewell in 1991, capped off with a remarkable two-try performance.

    Simmonds was the first player from Penrith to represent his country and had been with the club through many dark years.  Steve Menzies is the once-in-a-generation forward who stuck with the club through the dark years of the Northern Eagles merger disaster.

    It would not surprise should Menzies repeat the two-try farewell of Simmonds in the 2008 decider – he is the greatest try-scoring forward of all time so it would be oh-so appropriate.

    So we're a week away from the big square off in a Centenary year.  The bruised and battered champion somewhat bloated by its own hubris against the stripped-down and hungry challenger looking for atonement and a fairy-tale finish for one of its greatest champions.

    Let's hope the ending is similar to 1991. 

    This time it's personal. 
     
  2. eagle_predator

    eagle_predator Active Member

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    Bloody good read Mata. I've said already I'm very confident we will be premiers in 08. And the Trophy is heading back to the Northern Peninsula where it belongs.

    Man i have a good feeling about our side this year, and how far they have come as a side.
     
  3. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    or we could also compare
    95, 96 & 97
    Manly in 95 were the best team all year and lost to the bulldogs in the decider
    Manly hit back and won the GF in 96 against the Dragons
    97 Manly had their hooker suspended from the gf in Jim Sedaris and lost to the Knights

    2006, 07, 08
    2006 Storm best all year lose the the Broncos
    2007 beat Manly
    2008 Storm have their hooker suspended who face Manly
     
  4. Corso_Pete

    Corso_Pete Well-Known Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Good read Matabele (not that we would expect anything different). The general feeling last year amongst most Manly supporters was that to win the GF we would have to play our absolute best game and the Storm would have to be off their best by 5% or 10%.

    This year the feeling is different, we are not as good as what the Storm were in 2007 but their standard has fallen, and that fall has hastened in the past 4 or 5 weeks. Their form on Friday night, against possibly one of the worst ever semi final performances by the Sharks was a long way from impressive. On current form Manly would have beaten the Sharks by 50.

    Whilst not over confident this year, our desire to win will be greater than that of the Storm, our defence will be what brings the silverware back to Brookvale.
     
  5. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Great work Mata and a top read. Yep, there is a lot of history that is looking good for Manly.
     
  6. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    I didn't really want to mention the other recent 3 grand final side (apart from the roosters), being Manly 1995-97.  

    We did have a bit of hubris about us in 1997 and it was enough to weigh us down against a drug-stiffened side who were given a leg-up by officialdom because of the travails of Newcastle city at the time.

    Does the recent sub-prime crisis and the resultant losses in equity represent a difficult time for the good folk of the Northern Beaches?  
     
  7. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    If it gets us a Premiership - then hell yeah, we are ALL suffering around here!!!!
     
  8. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Yeh good read......... let's hope it's the same result as '91. I must say I'm probably 3 or 4 times more confident then I was this time last year. As Pete said, Melbourne aren't anywhere near as imposing as '07 and we are an appreciably better football side in both skill and composure than we were last year. You can't forget that old adage, got to lose one to win one.

    By the way there is no "d" in Simmons.
     
  9. Central Coast Eagle

    Central Coast Eagle Active Member

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    Awesome read mate, bring on those stupid purple pricks!
     
  10. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    I realised how much we had improved when they showed footage of Manly players slumped after the final whistle in '07 and Halfasanga was amongst them.
     
  11. eggson

    eggson Well-Known Member

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    ALL IN 08!!!

    I kept saying that over and over last night
     
  12. Fro

    Fro Well-Known Member

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    For a self appointed wordsmith who has spent a lot of time in Canowindra you could maybe check with some of your friends there and in Cowra how Royce Simmons spells his surname
     
  13. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    oh bla bla bla.  Who can be bothered getting a spell check on the name of a player retired 17 years on a Sunday afternoon.
     
  14. Fro

    Fro Well-Known Member

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    when he is the favorite son of a town near where you lived I would have thought you would have known it without a check :)
     
  15. hoax1210au

    hoax1210au Member

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    Good read Mat.
    You should have a go at being a Sportswriter.
     
  16. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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      My two oldest boys were born in Cowra too.  Nice oval named after him.  But as I said - couldn't be bothered on a warm and drowsy Sunday afternoon to go to google.  :p
     
  17. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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  18. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Good read Mata and you are right: This time it is personal.
     
  19. Jono

    Jono Well-Known Member

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    Nice read but I'm a little disappointed that you are comparing us with the Chocolate Soldiers ;)
     
  20. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    they shed the tag that day - became the licorice all-sorts the year after when Ben Alexander drove himself into a pole.
     

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