NRL 2021: Manly Sea Eagles news, Fans fall in love with rugby league’s most hated teamManly were once the club opposition fans used to hate but rugby league supporters have fallen in love with the soaring Sea Eagles this season — and here’s the proof.
Manly's freakish last-play try covered the longest distance recorded in a single tackle.
They were once the club we used to hate but rugby league has fallen in love with the soaring Sea Eagles.
Unrestrained and unshackled, Manly has captivated and fascinated the NRL — and News Corp has data to prove it.
It’s no coincidence that Manly’s surge into the finals has helped the club secure a multi-year major sponsorship deal worth about $5m.
The club has attracted roaring television ratings through their swashbuckling style along with spikes in sponsorship, membership and social media.
They may not admit it to their anti-Manly mates, but footy fans are thriving on the once deplored Silvertails’ adventurous approach.
Tom Trbojevic’s stunning form has made the Sea Eagles must-see TV this season. Picture: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
Manly’s free-to-air and pay TV broadcasting ratings skyrocketed during their surge into the top four with fans mesmerised by a team that has scored a record-breaking 28 tries from inside their own half since the irrepressible Tom Trbojevic returned from injury in round six.
The Sea Eagles’ game against North Queensland last weekend recorded an 11.1 per cent television ratings increase (290,000 viewers on Fox) on the corresponding game in 2019.
There wasn’t a round 25 match last year due to a Covid-shortened season.
In round 23, Manly’s game against Canberra jumped a staggering 33.9 per cent (257,000 viewers on Fox) on the same match in 2019. The week before, Manly’s match against Parramatta (387,119 on Nine, 266,000 on Fox) was up 8.7 per cent, while in round 21, the Manly v Melbourne clash had a remarkable 26.8 per cent spike (403,945 on Nine, 269,000 on Fox) from the corresponding game in 2019.
Find out morAnd here is the reason why.
Just last week, Trbojevic finished off the try-of-the-year, an 80th minute movement against North Queensland which travelled 149 metres, according to GPS and game statistics data.
Fan favouritesSEA EAGLES' TV RATINGS
- Round 25 (v Cowboys) – Fox 5.30pm game Saturday up 11.1% on corresponding game in 2019 (Bulldogs v Broncos, Round 25). 290,000 viewership.
- Round 24 (v Bulldogs) – Fox 2pm game Sunday down 6.4% on corresponding game in 2019 (Sharks v Raiders, Round 24). 191,000 viewership.
- Round 23 (v Raiders) – Fox 6pm game Friday up 33.9% on 2019 equivalent (Cowboys v Panthers, Round 23). 257,000 viewership.
- Round 22 (v Eels) – Fox/Nine 7.30pm game Saturday up 8.7% on Channel 9 v equivalent in 2019 (Souths v Bulldogs, Round 22) and up 8.1% on Fox v equivalent in 2019 (Souths v Bulldogs Round 22). 387.119 viewership Channel 9 + 266,000 viewership Fox.
- Round 21 (v Storm) – Fox/Nine 7.30pm game Saturday up 26.8% on Channel 9 v equivalent in 2019 and up 35.9% on Fox v equivalent in 2019. 403,945 viewership Channel 9 + 269,000 viewership Fox.
Collectively, Trbojevic, Reuben Garrick and Daly Cherry-Evans covered 429m during the play, Garrick running for 185 metres while attaining a maximum speed of 34.0 km/hr. It was breathtaking.
Since Trbojevic returned in round six, Manly has scored 122 tries – the most of any club during that period. Manly scored more than double Newcastle and Canterbury in that time. And, amazingly, 23 per cent of those Manly tries have started from inside their own half.
How could you dislike this team?
“We’re definitely playing a very entertaining, attacking brand of footy and that has caught the attention of both traditional and new fans to the game and Manly. The brand of footy is quite compelling,” Manly CEO Stephen Humphreys said.
“I’ve got lots of friends of mine who sent me messages saying they never thought they’d see the day when they are really looking forward to watching Manly play, which is terrific.
Manly winger Reuben Garrick set a record for points in a season in 2021. Picture: AAP Image
“Manly was so successful in the past and I think most of us were envious of their ability to attract the best players. They had a real feeling and success and resolve about them. Over time, people have softened a bit to that and are now attracted to the footy we’re playing.
“We are thrilled at the opportunity we have created this year and I know the boys are totally focused on capitalising on that over the next few weeks. We also look forward with real confidence and expectation.”
“When you joined Manly, the club’s godfather, ‘Arko’, (former secretary Ken Arthurson) had the same message to every player – get used to being hated by opposition fans who are jealous of our success.
Manly fans see it as a badge of honour,” former premiership-winning forward and life member Peter Peters said.
Sizzling Sea EaglesBETTING
Manly blew out to $34, $41, $67 and eventually $101 in round four, according to TAB. Now third favourites at $7.
Since Round 6, Manly scored 122 tries, the most of any NRL team in the same period.
The club registered 12,000 members this year but are forecasting 15,000 for 2022 – an increase of 20 per cent. The club will kick-start its membership drive on Wednesday.
Club preparing to announce a three to four year major sponsorship (not from globaleagle, I added this in as a joke and boy did it backfire, lol) deal worth around $5m. Current partners United Resource Management (URM), Shaw and Partners Financial Services, 4 Pines Brewing Co, Poche Indigenous Health Network, TripADeal and Industree Group have re-committed to multi-year deals.
Club reports a 90 percent rise in website users with more than 1.1 million visits to the club website in 2021. Facebook page has jumped to nearly 200,000 likes.
“But I’m not surprised about the love coming our way now because Manly is the most entertaining side in the premiership by a long way.”
Early indications suggest Manly’s membership will enjoy a healthy surge next season. The club secured 12,000 members this year but are forecasting 15,000 for 2022 — a 20 per cent increase. The club will kickstart its membership drive on Wednesday.
Digitally, Manly has recorded a 90 per cent increase in website users with more than 1.1 million visits to the club website in 2021. The club has posted a significant spike in its younger audience on Instagram.
Manly’s free-flowing style of play has won over plenty of fans. Picture: Glenn Hunt/Getty Images