Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and Newcastle Knights will play for the annual Malcolm Reilly Challenge Trophy at Hunter Stadium on Monday.
Reilly played 89 games for Manly from 1971-75 and played in their premiership winning teams in 1972 and ’73. He later coached Newcastle to their first premiership victory against Manly.
The two clubs play for the trophy when they meet for the first time each season. The trophy was first played for in 2007 with Manly currently the holders following the 30-10 win at Brookvale Oval last season.
Of the nine matches played, Manly have won the trophy six times.
Malcolm Reilly Challenge Trophy results
Rd 22, 2007: Manly won 50-16
Rd 2, 2008: Newcastle won 13-12
Rd 4, 2009: Newcastle won 26-12
Rd 3, 2010: Manly won 36-12
Rd 3, 2011: Manly won 26-12
Rd 19, 2012: Newcastle won 32-6.
Rd 2, 2013: Manly won 32-0
Rd 10, 2014: Manly won 15-14.
Rd 9, 2015: Manly won 30-10.
Profile on Malcolm Reilly by Alan Whiticker, The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players.
Fiery, superbly gifted Great Britain lock, had a tumultuous career with Manly before returning to Australia in the 1990s to find grand final success as coach of Newcastle. Reilly was the spearhead in Great Britain's Ashes win in Australia in 1970 and his services were quickly snapped up by Manly for the then record transfer fee of $30,000.
The Castleford forward immediately created headlines. Reilly was a magnificent ball-player with a great chip-kick but was not backward in his clashes with his opponents and his aggression did not endear him to all Australian fans. He was sent off on several controversial occasions and was constantly troubled by knee problems but there was no denying his genius with the ball. Reilly played in Manly's maiden grand final win in 1972 but lasted only 25 minutes of the 1973 decider after suffering a kidney injury after being hit with a late tackle.
After his retirement, Reilly started a successful career as Great Britain coach and proved himself to be thoroughly professional and progressive. In three Test series against Australia under his coaching, Great Britain managed to win a Test against the reigning world champions but the Ashes eluded him during his coaching career.
In 1994, Reilly relinquished his position at Halifax to come to Australia and take on that role with Newcastle. In 1995, at the height of the Super League war, he was signed by the ARL to a five-year loyalty agreement. Two years later, he orchestrated Newcastle’s miraculous last-minute win over Manly in the Optus Cup grand final. 1998 proved to be his final season in Australia, returning to England because of family commitments.