38 years to the day: 1978 Grand Final replay
It is 38 years ago today since Manly Warringah Sea Eagles beat Cronulla Sharks 16-0 in the 1978 NSWRL Grand Final replay.
Played on Tuesday, September 19, in front of 33,552 following the 11-all draw three days earlier in the premiership decider at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the grand final replay was Manly's sixth game in 24 days.
It was the second Grand Final in a row to end up going into a mid-week replay after the 1977 Grand between St George and Parramatta requiring a re-match to decide the Premiers after the original game had been a 9-all draw.
In the first half Cronulla had no answer to Manly full-back Graham Eadie's blind-side bursts. His display completely routed the hapless Sharks and Manly went to the break holding a 15-0 lead thanks to a try by Eadie in the scoreboard corner, one he set up for centre Russel Gartner in the same corner, and another 65 metre effort by Gartner after a sweeping backline movement saw him run into open space and easily outpace the Sharks defence to score in front of the Sheridan Stand.
The only points in the second half came from an Eadie field goal.
In the replay, as throughout their extraordinary finals campaign, Manly were inspired by the leadership of captain Max Krilich and coach Frank Stanton, their iron-man Terry Randall who had required numerous pain killing injections before every game of the finals just to be able take the field in what Frank Stanton called sheer mind over matter, their cool five eighth Alan Thompson and classy fullback and Man of the Match Graham Eadie.
Manly-Warringah 16 (Tries: Gartner 2, Eadie. Goals: Eadie 3. Field Goal: Eadie.)
Man of the Match: Graham Eadie
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
Referee: Greg Hartley
Manly’s September Grand Final Success
September 16, 1972: Manly d Eastern Suburbs Roosters 19-14
September 15, 1973: Manly d Cronulla Sharks 10-7
September 18, 1976: Manly d Parramatta Eels 13-10
September 19, 1978: Manly d Cronulla Sharks 16-0 (Grand Final Replay)
September 27, 1987: Manly d Canberra Raiders 18-8
September 29, 1996: Manly d St George Dragons 20-8.