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Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Jethro, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Jethro

    Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

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    Written by: Matt Mitchell
    October 5th, 2008 7:47pm

    THE Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles are the toast of Rugby League’s Centenary season after attaining their first Premiership since 1996 in an astonishing 40-0 victory over the Melbourne Storm tonight.

    A crowd of 80,388 at ANZ Stadium bore witness to Manly’s annihilation of Melbourne, registering a whopping eight tries to the Storm’s nil in what is a record grand final margin in Rugby League history.

    Captain and playmaker Matt Orford said that the pain of last year’s loss to Melbourne was “gone...that’s truly, truly, gone,” speaking straight after the match.

    Fullback Brett Stewart, who had an outstanding game, said: “It’s what we worked hard for, it’s been 12 months.”

    “The first half set it up,” he said.

    That it did. After an intense and physical opening, Manly registered the first points through hooker Matt Ballin in the 24th minute. The next try went Manly’s way too. In the 34th minute, winger Michael Robertson treaded finely along the sideline to narrowly get his first of a hat-trick of four-pointers.

    At half-time Manly were confident and relaxed leading the Storm 8-0. In their sheds, Melbourne looked nervous.

    The Sea Eagles came out firing in the second half with a big hit on Michael Crocker in the opening minute. It set the tempo for the rest of the match.

    Many of their next six tries came from Melbourne mistakes.

    Robertson bagged his hat-trick after a further two tries in the 47th and 51st minutes.

    The Clive Churchill Medallist, prop Brent Kite, got his try in the 57th minute after the ball shifted from side to side, through six pairs of hands, before landing in his arms as he dived over the line. Kite had an enormous game – but all of the Manly forwards were strong.

    After witnessing his fellow winger score three, the “Wolfman” David Williams got his hands on the ball and crossed in his corner in the 68th minute.

    The victory for Manly was sealed.

    But the looming win soon became sweeter. The crowd began to cheer. It wasn’t for the injured Steve Matai. It was for his replacement, the legend, Steve Menzies. Like a fairytale, seconds after hitting the field the “Beaver” crossed to score.

    Menzies said: “I don’t think it’s sunk in...”

    “So much hard work the boys have done. It’s unbelievable

    “We did it for each other...but for all our fans [as well].”

    Fellow old hand and jet setter Steve Bell crossed for a try in the 76th minute, ending Melbourne’s pain.

    Coach Des Hasler said that he was "really proud of the boys...brilliant."

    "[They] worked really really hard.. they’re the ones that have done all the hard work... all due credit to them."

    The Sea Eagles were radiant - the scoreless Storm, ordinary.

    Manly are the deserving NRL 2008 Centenary Premiers.

    NRL Grand Final - Full Time :: October 5th, 2008 5:00pm
    Venue: ANZ Stadium, Homebush
    Referee: Tony Archer
    Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy & Jeff Younis
    Video Refs: Bill Harrigan & Steve Clark

    Melbourne Storm 0
    Manly Sea Eagles 40
    Tries: Matt Ballin, Michael Robertson 3, Brent Kite, David Williams, Steve Menzies, Steven Bell
    Goals: Matt Orford 0/2, Steve Matai 2/4, Jamie Lyon 2/2
    Half-Time: Manly 8-0
  2. Jethro

    Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +2,307 /13


    Manly demolish Storm in grand final walkover
    Jane Aubrey
    19:00 AEST Sun Oct 5 2008

    For Manly, it was the ultimate reversal of fortunes. Twelve months after a comprehensive defeat at the hands of Melbourne in the 2007 premiership, the Sea Eagles turned the tide to win their first grand final since 1996.

    The 40 points to nil victory, a record margin in a grand final, was cemented in the early part of the second half as Michael Robertson crossed for his second, and then third ties of the match — a remarkable achievement on such a stage.

    The win was as comprehensive as they get at this end of the season, with the Melbourne Storm bogged down in defence for much of the game and without the petrol in the tank to find the tryline.

    The possession rate told the story with the Sea Eagles dominant with 54% of the ball.

    "That is the best feeling in the world," halfback and captain Matt Orford told Wide World of Sports' Andrew Voss after the match.

    "That's made my year… I love all the boys, this is the best ever."

    For Orford, his grand final performance might just be the match to finally silence his ever-vocal critics. Orford outplayed his Melbourne counterpart Cooper Cronk comprehensively with the Storm number seven far from his outstanding performance in last week's preliminary final win over the Sharks.

    Manly's big men were superb and had their Melbourne counterparts out on their feet. Bullocking runs from Brent Kite, Steve Matai, Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart tore up the middle of the park — an area where Melbourne were sorely missing suspended captain Cam Smith.

    Kite's efforts earned him the ultimate individual prize in the grand final, the Clive Churchill Medal. Surely, such a performance will be rewarded with the rep jersey he's been craving all season, a start in Australia's World Cup side.

    The scoreline blew out in the final 20 minutes of the match with tries going to Kite and winger David Williams.

    With Steve Matai off the field through a recurring shoulder injury with nine minutes remaining, Steve Menzies in his final NRL appearance looked to have set up Robertson's fourth try of the match but running out of room the winger was forced to pass back to the veteran who crossed for his fairytale try.

    Not to be forgotten, Steven Bell also in his last match in the NRL was next to score. Jamie Lyon's conversion gave Manly a record margin in a grand final with the scoreboard ticking over for the final time in 2008.

    Melbourne who have displayed enormous fighting qualities over this year's final series still looked in with a chance, however slight with the score locked at 8-nil at half-time.

    The opening minutes were dominated by some enthusiastic defence from the Sydney-based side, forcing the Storm to scramble for any decent metres.

    The biggest cheers of the first half were reserved for Menzies, who made his way onto the ground after 19 minutes of play, as a replacement for Glenn Hall.

    Manly were rewarded for their persistence in attack with a try in the 23rd minute of the match, scoring through hooker Matt Ballin.

    A Menzies offload had earlier found the hands of the scrambling Melbourne defence giving Manly their second successive set in attack. At times struggling to find a way forward towards the tryline, Manly persisted and it was a dummy play for Ballin that caused enough indecisiveness in the Storm's defence to find a way over the line, despite the best efforts of Billy Slater.

    Matt Orford missed the conversion for Manly, the ball hitting the posts.

    As if to stamp their authority on the match, and confirm their favouritism, the Sea Eagles struck again with just minutes remaining in the first half as prolific try scorer, winger Michael Robertson added yet another four points to his tally.

    Storm centre Israel Folau was unconsolable at the full-time whistle, with tears flowing freely as his final match for Melbourne came to a close.
  3. Jethro

    Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

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    Manly cruise to grand final win

        October 05, 2008

    Manly not only took down Melbourne they buried them, winning 40-0 to secure their seventh NRL premiership with the biggest grand final thumping in the game's history.

    The Sea Eagles were sublime as they exorcised the demons of their 2007 grand final capitulation to beat a Storm side bereft of ideas and energy, the toll of an arduous campaign leaving the premiers helpless to weather the Manly onslaught at ANZ Stadium.

    The margin eclipsed Eastern Suburbs' 38-0 win over St George in 1975 as the biggest winning margin in a decider, with Melbourne also the first side since Cronulla in the 1978 replay to be held scoreless in a grand final when Manly was again victorious.

    That 1978 victory was a key part of coach Des Hasler's pre-season preparations with members from that side used in motivational talks to his 2008 team.

    Whatever they said must have left an impression with Manly avenging last year's 34-8 flogging by the Storm and celebrating their first premiership since 1996.

    Winger Michael Robertson was a hero with a hat-trick of tries, while Steve Menzies' record-equalling 349th and final first grade appearance was capped with a try, one of eight four-pointers for the victors.

    “That is the best feeling in the world, I can't describe it, that's made my year,” captain Matt Orford said.

    “It was awesome, I couldn't ask any more of the boys. The pain of last year - that is purely and purely gone.

    “We've been playing together for three years and this is what we've been playing for.

    “Now we've got memories for the rest of our lives.”

    Orford was brilliant for the Sea Eagles, the nuggety half-back showing the form which saw him claim the Dally M medal with a strong display in attack and defence.

    But it was Test prop Brent Kite who was voted Clive Churchill medallist as man of the match with his 167 metres and 26 tackles leading a dominant forward pack which never allowed Melbourne's array of backline stars to get into the contest.

    “It's fantastic I'm really proud of the boys,” Manly coach Des Hasler said.

    “They're the ones that have done all the hard work, they deserve the plaudits.

    “Our passes stuck and I think we took the most of our opportunities and I think that's what got us home.”

    For the Storm, the loss left them looking back on their three years of dominance with a feeling of underachievment, Melbourne with just one premiership to show for a period in which they won 80 per cent of their games and three minor premierships.

    In reality the Storm's premiership chances never recovered from the suspension of skipper Cameron Smith, the Test rake a forlorn figure as he sat on the sidelines watching a machine which all season had operated like a Ferrari, suddenly looking more like a 1983 Cortina in need of a service.

    The Sea Eagles seemed to be getting better as the game wore on - the silvertails pulverising their opponents over the opening 40 minutes before blowing them off the park over the second stanza.

    Up 8-0 at the break after tries to Matt Ballin and Robertson, the Sea Eagles broke the back of the Melbourne resistance seven minutes after the restart when a pin-point Orford kick found Robertson out wide for his second of the night, Steve Matai's sideline conversion taking the margin out to beyond two converted tries.

    His third four minutes later simply served to kick-start the party as Sea Eagles fans had their ultimate fairytale turn to reality with Menzies - who had only just come back onto the field for an injured Steve Matai - finishing off a spectacular movement to cross out wide in his last game for the club he has represented since 1993.

  4. Jethro

    Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

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    Menzies goes hell for leather

        October 05, 2008

    THE game was 18 minutes old when Steve Menzies eased himself out of his sideline seat and stretched that well-worn piece of leather across his skull.
    Menzies has been clinically attached to that ungainly piece of leather throughout his footballing career. For him, preservation of grey matter has always meant more than looking cool.

    When he ran onto the field two minutes later, the scoreline read 0-0. The two pre-eminent sides of 2008 had thrown everything into the first quarter of the game and neither side had conceded an inch or a point.

    Enter the Beaver.

    The official program paid tribute to Menzies for his "poise and timing off the bench".
    Well, for his 349th and last NRL appearance, Menzies could not have timed it better.

    Over the next 43 minutes he was in the thick of things as Manly ran in six tries and tore the heart and soul out of Melbourne Storm, a team laden with international and State of Origin talent, and who have dominated the past three NRL seasons.

    Then, with the game safely in Manly's keeping, coach Des Hasler decided it was time to give the Beaver a rest.

    Off he came and off, too, came that piece of protective leather.

    He disappeared down the tunnel and we thought we'd seen the last of him. Surely not.

    Moments later he was back on the sidelines and then, almost as if scripted, Steve Matai came off the field with his damaged shoulder.

    Out came the piece of headgear, and back into battle went Steve Menzies.

    Up went the cry "Beaver, Beaver" as a stadium full of Manly fans, gorged with success but wanting more, demanded that he sign off with a flourish.

    Within 60 seconds, they had it.

    Bounding downfield on his 34-year-old legs, Menzies latched onto a pass from half-back Matt Orford, then flicked it out to left winger Michael Robertson, who had already bagged a hat-trick of tries.

    Robertson ran out of room, hooked the ball back inside, and there was Menzies, clutching it above his head, wheeling 180 degrees and dotting it down for his 180th career try.

    It was a moment he will remember for ever. So will rugby league.

    It was the perfect finale to the game's centenary season - except, of course, for the hapless Storm players, beaten by a record grand final margin of 40-0.

    As for the piece of headgear?

    It may not quite be up there with the Don's baggy green, but when it has done its lap of honour in Menzies' valedictory season at Bradford, it deserves its own showcase in the rugby league Hall of Fame.

  5. Jethro

    Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

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    Manly smashes Storm
    05/10/2008 7:06 PM
    Adam Lucius at ANZ Stadium
    Related Links

        * Manly quotes after the match

    Manly has buried the demons of last year's embarrassing grand final loss and sent club great Steve Menzies out a winner, thumping Melbourne 40-0 in the 2008 NRL decider at ANZ Stadium.

    It's the biggest winning margin in grand final history, eclipsing Eastern Suburbs' 38-0 win over St George in 1975.

    Manly prop Brent Kite was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal for the best player on the ground.

    The Sea Eagles led 8-0 at halftime before finishing all over the Storm to claim the club's first premiership since 1996 and seventh overall.

    Veteran Menzies leaves the NRL victorious, joining the likes of Glenn Lazarus, Royce Simmons, Mal Meninga and Shane Webcke in departing the game with a title.

    The Beaver crossed for a try with eight minutes left, lifting the roof of the Olympic stadium following his 180th and final four pointer in Manly colours.

    The unsung hero for Manly was unfashionable winger Michael Robertson, who crossed for three tries before a crowd of 80,388.

    The maroon and whites scored eight tries while keeping a mistake-prone Melbourne scoreless.

    It's the first time since 1978 a team has failed to score a point in a grand final.

    The Sea Eagles have long felt the pain of their 34-8 defeat to the Storm in the '07 decider, using it as motivation to go one better a year later.

    Des Hasler's men started the first daytime grand final since 1999 at a frenetic pace.

    The quality opening didn't produce early points, with Melbourne coming closest 20 minutes in.

    Powerful centre Israel Folau shrugged off four defenders in an explosive blindside run before linking with winger Steve Turner.

    The Manly cover defence was up to the task and just four minutes later the Sea Eagles went up the other end and posted first points.

    Clever hooker Matt Ballin feigned to go wide from dummy half before burrowing past Russell Aitken and Greg Inglis to become the first rake in 17 years to score the opening try in a decider.

    Matt Orford's conversion clipped the upright for Manly to remain in front 4-0.

    The Sea Eagles doubled their advantage six minutes before halftime, Robertson squeezing over in the corner after some lovely lead-up work from Matt Orford and Brett Stewart.

    Orford was way off target with his conversion from wide out but it was all Manly at 8-0.

    The Sea Eagles continued to keep their foot pressed to Melbourne's neck after the break, scoring just seven minutes after the interval.

    Orford's grubber kick got in behind the Storm's line and Robertson was there to collect the ball and touch down in one motion.

    Steve Matai took over goalkicking duties to nail the sideline conversion and take his side to a comfortable 14-0 advantage.

    Robertson's third try four minutes later killed off any hope of a Melbourne revival.

    Prop Brent Kite sealed the win with a rare try just after the hour mark after Matai, Menzies, Anthony Watmough, Jason King and Heath L'Estrange kept the ball alive.

    Bearded winger David Williams snared his side's sixth try 13 minutes from the end before Menzies and Steve Bell added late four pointers to complete the emphatic victory.

    Manly 40
    Tries: Robertson 3, Ballin, Kite, Williams, Menzies, Bell
    Goals: Matai 2, Lyon 2

    Melbourne 0
  6. Jethro

    Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +2,307 /13
  7. Jethro

    Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +2,307 /13


    Magnificent Manly exacts grand final revenge

    Sunday, October 5, 2008 - 8:25 PM

    Source: ABC News

    The relentless Sea Eagles have shellshocked Melbourne in a 40-0 grand final ambush in Sydney, achieving atonement for last year's loss and claiming their first premiership since 1996.

    A stunning hat-trick from winger Michael Robertson was the exclamation point on a dominant Manly attacking display orchestrated by captain and Dally M player of the year Matt Orford, delivering the northern Sydney club its seventh title.

    Robertson scored two after the break to add to his first-half effort and complete a well earned treble, bookended by stellar four-pointers from Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, David Williams, Steve Menzies and Steve Bell.

    Menzies's 180th career try provided a fitting farewell to a glittering 15-year career in Australia, the 349-game Manly veteran equalling Terry Lamb's all-time appearance record.

    The Sea Eagles' triumph mirrored the grand final power shift achieved by Penrith in 1991, when the Panthers defeated Canberra in the decider after going down to the Raiders 12 months earlier.

    Kite's impact on the centenary grand final was immense, earning the Clive Churchill Medal for best-on-ground in a bullocking performance marked by 26 tackles and 14 hit-ups for 167 metres.

    Kite all but confirmed his place in Australia's Test side for the Rugby League World Cup, and his try provided a celebratory conclusion to a mesmerising team play that involved several sets of hands.

    "I'd like to start by thanking the maroon and white army... it's just awesome support from the crowd," Kite said during the post-match presentation in front of more than 80,000 spectators at Sydney's Olympic stadium.

    "I've just got to give a huge wrap to my guys, I accept this on behalf of you."

    Storm ambushed

    Melbourne half-back Cooper Cronk failed to fire in combination with Greg Inglis and Billy Slater, the absence of suspended captain Cam Smith painfully obvious as the 2007 premiers struggled to mount any serious attacking threat.

    Slater in particular was effectively taken out of the game after Manly's first-half aerial assault from Orford and the dynamic Jamie Lyon took its toll on the livewire full-back and blunted his ability to find speed and rhythm on the Homebush turf.

    Storm's languid attempts to produce consolation points were repeatedly denied throughout the second half by a Manly side hell-bent on revenge for its 34-8 loss last year.

    A trio of late tries to Williams, Menzies and Bell drove home to Melbourne the ignominy of the defeat and iced a record grand final display from the Silvertails.

    "It feels like a dream," an elated Menzies told ABC Grandstand following the match.

    "We've worked so hard from where we've come last year and turn it around the way we did... I'm a bit speechless.

    "You can't go out in a better so I supposed this has to top it (1996 premiership)."

    In stark contrast to Menzies's fairytale swansong, Melbourne farewelled foundation player Matt Geyer after 268 career performances and waved goodbye to departing stars Israel Folau, Michael Crocker and Antonio Kaufusi.

    The match exploded into life after half-time as the Sea Eagles poured on six more unbeaten tries, surpassing the previous 38-0 grand final record set by Eastern Suburbs in 1975.

    Robertson scored just the fourth grand final hat-trick in the game's history, and became the first player to do so since Steve Renouf's triple for Brisbane in 1997.

    Frenetic first half

    Manly justified its pre-match favouritism with an 8-0 half-time lead over Melbourne after tries from Ballin and Robertson put the Sea Eagles in the box seat.

    An absorbing opening quarter featured a State of Origin-like atmosphere as the top two sides in the competition found their way in the contest.

    Ballin eventually broke an intense stalemate which lasted for the opening 25 minutes, probing out of dummy half to ground the ball despite desperate goal-line defence from Slater, Inglis and Russ Aitken.

    Orford's most telling play of the opening half came in the 33rd minute when he forced a turnover in favourable field position that led to Robertson's first try.

    Line-breaks were at a premium, with Folau and Williams finding the only meaningful space of the first half with powerful runs in the middle of the field.

    Folau nearly sent Steve Turner in for a try after a strong run down the right channel, but Turner and subsequently Crocker were turned away in back-to-back drives towards the line.

    Manly: 40 (M Robertson 3, M Ballin, B Kite, D Williams, S Menzies, S Bell tries; S Matai 2, J Lyon 2 conversions)Melbourne: 0
  8. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Freakish ... Stewart flicks the ball on for the final try. Mark Evans October 05, 2008
  9. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
  10. earl

    earl Active Member

    +0 /0
    Just set the above image as desktop background.

    The missus wont be happy , but she will live.
  11. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14

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