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Manly Sea Eagles

Full Name: Manly-Warringah District Rugby League Football Club
Nicknames: Sea Eagles
Founded: 1946
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Capacity: 23,000
City: Sydney
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The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles or simply Manly Sea Eagles as they are most often referred to are one of the most consistent team in the NRL who have enjoyed good levels of success throughout their history.

Formed in 1946, it wasn’t until 1972 when the club first enjoyed picking up their first title although they had finished runner up 5 times before finally winning) but that win started a decade of glory for the club winning the title 4 times in the 1970’s.

A solitary win in the 1980’s and 1 in the 1990’s was followed by the darkest day in the clubs history as they became one of the victims of the ‘Super League War’ by been thrown out of the league. Common sense prevailed in the end and the Sea Eagles were re-admitted in 2002.

In 2009, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles won their first Word Club Challenge to cement their place in history and as one of the world’s leading Rugby League clubs.

Manly’s Brookvale Oval home ground is one of the most atmospheric in the NRL and it is there Warringah based home ground where the team excels which has led to the stadium been nicknamed ‘Fortress Brookvale’.

Manly Sea Eagles NRL

The Sea Eagles are both one of the oldest and most established clubs in the southern hemisphere and one of the newest clubs depending on how you view their history.

But no matter if you see them as the original club or a new club formed out of the ashes of the failed Bears / Northern Eagles merger, their can be no denying that they are a top club that have enjoyed lots of success and have featured many of the stars of the game

Location

As you would expect from a club named the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, the club represent both the Manly and the Warringah regions of the Northern Beaches of Sydney, with their home stadium been located in the borough of Brookvale.

Stadium

The clubs home ground in known traditionally as the Brookvale Oval, or Brookie for short, and whilst it does change name on a semi-regular basis due to sponsorship deals, there can be no confusing which ground the Sea Eagles are playing at.

It is fair to say that the ground is far from the biggest or most modern in the NRL and in fact it is one that embraces it suburban setting but it is also a ground that that provides a fantastic atmosphere, especially when the hosts are in good form and the ground is packed.

The Brookvale Oval features a mix of all seater stands and a grassy hill for fans to sit and stand on to allow for a capacity crowd of around 22,000 fans, and there are big plans underway to redevelop the stadium although it will retain much of the charm and history that make it special for many fans.

Nicknames

The club have two main nicknames, the Sea Eagles and the Silvertails, which both come from their moniker although some also use the ‘Boys from Brookie’ or just simply Manly.

Rivals

Unfortunately for fans of Manly, their biggest rivalry for much of their history has ended and in arguably the worst possible way.

For much of the clubs history it was matches against their near neighbours, the North Sydney Bears, that were the matches to look forward to each season but that fell away when the 2 clubs actually merged together to form the Northern Eagles for an ill-fated 2 season before the Manly Sea Eagles re-established themselves as a standalone club.

Another long standing rivalry is between the Sea Eagles and the Parramatta Eels which first came to prominence during the 1970’s and 1980’s when the 2 Sydney clubs met in a number of big matches starting with the 1976 NSWRFL Grand Final although this rivalry has petered somewhat over the last decade or so.

Due to the 2 clubs coastal locations on the outskirts of Sydney, it is no surprise that Manly also have a long standing rivalry with the Cronulla Sharks, with the matches between the 2 dubbed the ‘Battle of the Beaches’ in part due to the 1973 Grand Final between the 2 sides which was claimed by many to be amongst the dirtiest and toughest Grand Finals to date.

Another former rivalry based on big matches in the 1970’s was between the club and the Western Suburbs, with their matches given the name ‘Fibros vs Silvertails’.

Colours / Playing Kit

Throughout their entire history, the club have played in their iconic colours of maroon and white and they have featured a Sea Eagle as their emblem throughout.

Whilst the kit changes over time, it is historically built around a mostly maroon shirt with a white chevron with white shorts and socks.

History

Even in a country where Rugby League is the dominant code and the most popular sport, the same historical problems have struck clubs on the other side of the world that have hit British and most destructively, French clubs as the fact that the Manly Sea Eagles play outside of Manly and in Warringah is down to down the hatred and abuse of power.

The club were accepted into the then top flight of Rugby League in New South Wales for the 1947 season and hoped to play at the Manly Oval but the top bosses in the Manly Council were Rugby Union supporters and used their power and influence to stop the club from playing in the borough in a big to stop the spread of rival code but that just led to the club moving to the then Brookvale Showground, now known as the Brookvale Oval.

The club joined the league alongside Parramatta and took a lot of their early players from the North Sydney Bears which helped kick start their rivalry and also helped the Sea Eagles to establish themselves as the Bears were one of the stronger teams of the era.

The Sea Eagles played their first ever top flight match against the Western Suburbs, at Brookie, on Saturday the 12th of April 1947 and although that was a losing effort, it did not long of r them to pick up their first win, against the Eels and in the end they ended their first ever season in 2nd spot.

It took until the 1951 season when the club made their first ever Grand Final appearance when they lost to South Sydney and it took another 4 losses before they went on to win a Grand Final which came in the 1972 final. That started a decade of dominance for the Maroon and Whites as they also won the 73, 76 and 78 finals.

The 1980’s started off where the 70’s ended as they were the dominant force in the league once again and reach 3 Grand Finals during the decade including winning the 1987 final.

As was the case for many clubs, the 1990’s was dominated by the Super League wars but this was a strong period for the club on the field as they reach 3 straight finals but by the end of the decade, their form had dropped off and they didn’t even reach the end of season finals.

That in part led to the ill-fated merger between the rivals of the Sea Eagles and the North Sydney Bears to make the Northern Eagles. This led to the club splitting their matches between Brookvale and Gosford on the Central Coast and as you would expect, this led to little success and alienated 2 big fanbases so it was no surprise when the merger ended and the club became a standalone entity once more for the 2003 season.

It was a slow start to life as a single club once again but by the mid to late 2000’s the club grew their roster, improved their quality and started to become one of the giants of the sport once again and by 2008 they were the champions of the NRL once again.

That led to them featuring in the 2009 World Club Challenge, when they took on and defeated the Leeds Rhinos to win their first WCC title. Success occurred once again in 2011 with another NRL title and whilst they have had their ups and down since then, you always know that they will be their or thereabouts come finals time.

Manly Sea Eagles Live Streaming

The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles or simply Manly as they are better known are no strangers to these shires having played in the World Club Challenge twice recently. This success and exposure to British fans has lead the Sea Eagles to have a large following over here and now thanks to the internet you can now follow Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles games live.

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