Malcolm Reilly was a trailblazer of the English game. As a player he won a host of honours, including Premiership victories for his club Manly in 1972 and 1973.
Manly Rugby League Shirt Polo Mal Reilly Hall of Fame
Produced by Ellis Rugby, Manly Rugby League Shirt Polo Vintage. It is a heritage 100% cotton Retro Polo shirt. This is an Inspiration by Malcolm Reilly Hall of Fame in his spell with the Sea Eagles 1972 & 73. It is when the club achieved back-to-back Premiership titles.
1972 PREMIERSHIP of Manly Rugby League Shirt
The 1972 New South Wales Rugby Football League Premiership contested by Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and Eastern Suburbs Roosters
The game tied at 4 points to 4 at half-time. The Sea Eagles hooker and Captain Fred Jones went over for a somewhat controversial try. There exist an allegation that the New South Wales and Australia Rugby League international had lost the ball during the grounding. But referee Keith Page awarded the try. In reply the Eastern Suburbs (Sydney Roosters) full back Allan McKean kicked two penalty goals.
Ray Branighan, the Manly Centre went through to score mid-way through the second half. He went after receiving the ball from prof forward Bill Hamilton. Hamilton nicknamed “Herman” by teammates after his resemblance to popular television character Herman Munster. Hamilton was a tough player and one of the cornerstones of the Manly pack. This try took the score out to 19 points to 4 points in the Sea Eagles favour. Resulting in celebrations by the Manly fans who felt the team had done enough to secure the Premiership.
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The Eastern Suburbs (Sydney Roosters) got back into the game with two quick tries. First, former Australia Rugby Union international John Ballesty scored a fine try. The Union made his debut against the “All Blacks” in 1968 before signing for Easts in 1970. Then powerfully built winger Bill Mullins went for a try to bring the score back to 19 points to 14 points. Bill Mullins owned a Fish & Chip shop in the Kings Cross area of Sydney
The Rooster just ran out of time. And it was Ray Branighan’s goal kicking which made the difference as Manly finally won their first Premiership Final.
Mal Reilly had a fine game with clever handling and effective tactical kicking combined with his usual ferocious defence. The man of the match award went to the Sea Eagles. And 6 Cap Australia Rugby League Scrum Half Dennis Ward.
After securing their first Premiership in 1972, Manly were hungry to repeat this achievement. They had defeated Cronulla in the major semi-final 14 points to 4 to reach the final. The Sharks then had a second chance in the Preliminary Final. Where they beat Newtown by 20 points to 11 points. They beat to set-up the return in the 1973 New South Wales Rugby Football League Premiership final.
The game will go down in history as one of the toughest and most brutal finals. Described by the Sunday Telegraph reporter Ian Heads,’It was a Grand Final as tough and dirty as any bar-room brawl’.
Both packs went at each other from the start. And Manly’s English import Malcolm Reilly targeted by the Cronulla defence. Reilly had avoided a late tackle from Ron “Rocky” Turner. He avoided while executing one of his trademark tactical kicks. However, the Cronulla hooker didn’t miss the second time. While in mid air Reilly had his supporting leg taken from beneath him. The Manly loose forward left in agony with a badly bruised hip and left the field for painkilling injections.
Once Reilly had returned to the field of play he knew he wouldn’t last the remainder of the first half. And he set about getting retribution for his injury. He left the game and the carnage behind him in the 25th minute. And reserve grade forward John Bucknall replaced him.
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While the forwards displayed brutality it was Manly’s Australia Rugby League superstar Bob Fulton who showed his footballing brilliance. His first try came from a superb pass by the Sea Eagles skipper Fred Jones flick. That try resulted in Fulton split the centre pairing of Steve Rogers and Eric Archer and scored from around just twenty-five metres. He gave Graham Eadie an easy shot at goal. And Manly went in at halftime 5 points to nil in front.
Further, Fulton’s second try was again exceptional. Five-eight (Stand-off) Ian Martin delivered a short pass the Full Back Graham Eadie who created the space for the flying Fulton who despite the best efforts of Cronulla cover defence through Rick Bourke and Steve Rogers managed to score in the Brewongle Stand corner.
The Sharks Steve Rogers had kicked a penalty goal before Fulton’s second try and with Eadie missing the difficult conversion for the Sea Eagles the game was finely posed at 8 points to 2 in Manly’s favour. Cronulla tried in vain the break down the Manly defence, then in the 70th minute a crack appeared. It was the eight times Australia Rugby League international forward Greg Pierce whose perfectly timed pass allowed replacement Rick Bourke to score a fine try. Steve Rogers easily added the extra points and Cronulla where behind by a single point.
Graham Eadie nudged Manly further ahead with a well struck penalty. Cronulla launched attack after attack in the final few minutes was, but the Sea Eagles defence stayed resolute and they completed an outstanding achievement with back-to-back Premiership victories.
Rugby League Cares and Manufacturing
This Ellis Rugby Manly Rugby League Shirt Polo shirt is an inspiration by Malcolm Reilly. Malcolm was inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame, He was a major part of the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Back-to-back Premiership winning team during his spell in Australia.
With every sale, Rugby League Cares receives donations as a charity. The donation helps players transition out of the sport. Also, it supports players’ past and present who are enduring poor health or hardship.
Manufactured from 100% chunky pique cotton, the Manly Rugby League Shirt Polo Hall of Fame top features detailed embroidery. In addition, there is an appliqué badge as well as an embroidered collar stand. The available sizes are S to 5XL.
Small, Medium, Large, X Large, 2X Large, 3X Large, 4X Large, 5X Large