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The Rock-itt : March 2010
It's been to long since we've seen the mighty maroon and white of Manly grace the footy field, but with the NRL season set to kick-off in just a few weeks the junior representatives have been whetting out appetites for the bumper season ahead. A tumultuous selection process the Harold Matthews (u16s) and SG Ball (u18s) ventured out to Cronulla for round 1 in the battle of the beaches as both grades looked for improvement from last season. The Harold Matthews kicked off round 1 with a bang in a hard-hitting contest against the Sharks in round 1. With the rain steadily falling all morning both Manly and Cronulla found it very tough to keep hold of the ball and in both games the teams made up for their poor completion rate with some thunderous hits on the opposition which led to casualty ward lighting the No Vacancy sign by the end of both games. Manly got off to a flying start, registering 16 points in the opening 13 minutes with tries to: Jake Trbjoveic, Harrison Blake, and Luke Bartley whose try was one of the easiest you'll ever see on the football field, the ball literally falling into his arms from a Cronulla error 2 metres from the try line. The second half panned out in a similar fashion with Manly laying on two more tries in quick succession of each other through Luke Gosling and Vinniey Baranyi as the Eagles claimed a comfortable 28-14 Victory. Unfortunately SG Ball wasn't so lucky, after surviving the Sharks opening bombardment where the Shire side quickly forced an error and scored a try in the opening 2 minutes, the Eagles composed themselves and slowly chipped away at the much larger Cronulla forward pack. A late try to Kayse Greer gave the Sea Eagles a glimmer of hope but a Sharks try after an unforced Manly error sealed the win for Cronulla and an 0-1 start for the under 18's. Round 2 saw the teams travel to Sydney's south west to take on last year's champions from both grades the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. There were some impressive aspects of Manly's game last week, and their ball handling was not one of them. This again was a worrying occurrence all game, and started on just the second tackle with the Sea Eagles coughing up the football putting the Bulldogs inside the 20 early. The Canterbury-Bankstown side didn't convert on that occasion, but made amends minutes later when they created an overlap out wide making it easy for fullback Dwayne Brown to stroll through for the try. The Harold Matthews side forced their way back into the game, and much like last week when they got a comfortable lead the went into cruise control and still managed to snare the two competition points thanks largely to the part the bench played in the match, in particular young guns, Vinniey Baranyi, Robert Wolfgramm, and the Harold Matthews equivalent of one of the Sea Eagle's favourite's George Rose, Eddie Faingata'a. The SG Ball side again weren't so lucky. After going toe-to-toe with the Bulldogs in the opening 20 minutes the crowd looked set to witness a contest, but a few calls went against Manly, and the bounce of the ball started going the way of the blue and whites, and before you knew it the Bulldogs had piled on 4 tries, continually showing throughout the game that they are the benchmark in the SG Ball comp, eventually winning 64-8. The next month will see the sides face some tough opposition in the likes of Newcastle, Parramatta, and the Roosters as the Harold Matthews attempt to push further in the top 8, and the SG Ball stake a claim to grab their first victory. HAROLD MATTHEWS CHRIS ALAVANOS RICHARD ANAE WAYNE ANAE LUKE BARTLEY HARRISON BLAKE VINNIEY BARANYI EDDIE FAINGATA'A FABIAN GOODALL LUKE GOSLING SAM GERRY CLINTON GUTHERSON JAMIL HOPOATE JACKSON KELLY JOEY LUSSICK BLAKE LANG JORDAN MENZIES JAI MONTGOMERY FABIAN NATOLI LATTREL SCHAUMKEL JAKE TRBOJEVIC LUKE WALSH ROBERT WOLFGRAMM SG BALL PETER BENT NATHAN CLARKE JOSH DRINKWATER CHAD DAVIS JAZIAH DAWSON JAKE FULLER KASYE GREER COREY HEWITSON CALE HOBDAY MATT IKAVALU CONAN KANG FRANCIS KATOA LUKE KEARY HAAMI KERR-TUAUPIKI ALEX LANGBRIDGE JORDAN MEREDITH CHASE McMILLAN LINCOLN TUBRIDY LUKE VESCIO JAMES VAKA SAM VAKA AARON WESTON LUKE WAIPOURI SANI VEA 2010 SQUADS