Bears versus Manly

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Journey Man
So guys - we have leaked only 1.4 tries a game this season thus far. I know as a Bears fan, this type of figure would NEVER have been talked about. So, for the long time Manly supporters:-

2007 to the mid 90's - Did you feel more confident THEN, than you do now, or vice versa in our defence - particularly goal line?

I know - even against The Bulldogs, and someone else has said this in the traps, I didn't think they would bust our line, and that is a very strange feeling !!!

Canteen Worker

First Grader
I felt more confident in 95/96 as they could do it week in and week out. We also had Cliffy then and a fabulous attack. (Attack is often the best form of defence.)


UFO Hunter
I felt more confident in the 90's, however I also thought we had all 3 games won which shows confidence doesn't mean much as a supporter :(

My real opinion this season is its a little bit more lop sided that previous years.

Theres 3 or 4 teams who are a cut above the rest. All the other teams are battling it out to make the 8. I think we are one of the teams near the top and is a cause for optimism considering we aren't clicking in attack yet.


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
I felt more confident then for a few reasons

1 - It was a fairly new style of defense and teams weren't sure how to play it
2 - We had strike power all over the pitch
3 - We had a massive forward pack that was extremely mobile as well

We defend well now but dont attack as well. Whilst our defensive structure is fairly similar to that of the mid 90's we dont have the size or counter attack that we use to


First Grader
I felt better then. Our forwards were huge and belters and the backline found the tryline, week in week out. This years team is good, but I'd not put it in the brilliant pile just yet..

Kiwi Eagle

Staff member
I would say everyone felt better back then, because prior to that period we hadnt had the huge deficencies in defense that we had to put up with for 3-4 years where 50+ on us was pretty common. So watching now i think we probably always expect the bubble to burst and the floodgates to open


Ridge at the back marshalling the defence and defusing any kick coming his way, Cliffy causing havoc with Toovey and Kosef as his sidekicks, big fast outside backs in Hoppa, Innes and Hill, Gillespie, Carroll, Serdaris in the middle and Beaver and Gartner running the fringes..... I'm almost drooling thinking about it, and they were all great defenders, it wasn't about being confident the team could win, it was about KNOWING the team would win back then for me. The 90's were great, Manly, Canberra and Brisbane all had great sides at some point that would send shivers down the spine of any coach today.

Mid 90's over this side any day of the week for me.


Winging it
I know it is a long way to go this season BUT if they keep playing like they have been, Beaver and Ox coming back, the attack looking good then I don't doubt people may talk about this year's line-up in the same way. Having the same players year on year until it finally falls into place is part of it. I will admit that right today it is hard to go past that fantastic era and I am hoping we are looking at something similar.


First Grader
One of my best mates was a bears fan, I cant recall them beating us. It used to really **** him, haha. Those were the days.


Tipping Member
Interesting title for this thread I agree. That little (no pun intended) bear heart still beats deep down in Ryan’s chest.

Nothing that Manly has thrown up before or after the mid 90s comes close to that defence. We are starting to finally see some of that attitude come back and if the technical side keeps improving it could be the cornerstone of our resurgence. It is only 5 games though so we really have to keep a lid on our praise for a bit longer yet.

People tend to forget how inconsistent we were back in the late 80s / early 90s. As supporters we had experienced success so we always had confidence that the next period of strength was just around the corner. Added to that, we could always rely on the team to entertain us in attack in that distinctly Manly style of hurling it around until an opportunity arose.

During the week I watched a replay of the Monday night top of the table victory over Easts in 1996. We won 34-6 after a tight first half where it was only 10-6. The crowd was just under 38k and it was a brilliant atmosphere at the ground.

I think that performance was one of Manly’s best (that I have seen). Easts were camped on our line in the first half and the defence was so calm and worked completely as a unit. Players put their bodies on the line which I have noticed happening more this year on the tryline.

At the same time the attack was constantly threatening. As we know the backrow was awesome, particularly Nik and Garts that night.

What I think is funny looking back is how mediocre our general kicking game was at times. In this match and the 96 semi against Cronulla it was crap but we still were able to win comfortably against strong opposition.

I think the pieces are falling into place again.
Team P W L PD Pts
13 10 3 97 24
14 10 4 118 22
14 10 4 78 22
13 8 5 66 20
14 8 6 143 18
13 7 6 81 18
13 7 6 -55 18
14 7 6 42 17
14 7 7 37 16
15 8 7 -8 16
14 7 7 -50 16
14 6 7 13 15
14 6 8 -55 14
13 4 9 -126 12
14 4 10 -121 10
13 3 10 -129 10
13 3 10 -131 10
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