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When three grades was a day out to remember

It will be a trip down memory lane of the grand old days of rugby league at 4 Pines Park this Saturday.

Three grades of rugby league between two clubs and at the same venue all on the one day!

Yes, it’s true. Depending on your age, remember those days when you would wake up on Game Day full of excitement and enthusiasm as you quickly dress in your team colours and look at the posters on your wall of your heroes that you would soon be watching live.

With breakfast quickly eaten, you were quickly buckled into the trusty old family car heading for your beloved suburban home ground.

Depending on how long your trip was, you thrived off the nervous energy and pride of getting to the ground early to watch the first of three games.

You would grab your Big League magazine outside the ground and head for your cherished seats.

The ones that you religiously sat on every week. It was your patch of turf at your home ground. And God helped those poor souls if there was someone else in your seat!

Then, as the crowds slowly built up, you embrace your fellow team supporters, many who would become instant friends, and some, even lifelong.

You would hear the ground announcer read out the third grade teams on the rusty old PA system with players running out in jersey numbers ranging from 30 to 50. It didn’t matter. They were your players representing your club.

In between, you would see the first grade players arriving, signing autographs and posing for photos on an old Kodak or Polaroid camera, as they carry their kit bag over their shoulders.

And if your team happened to be the poster inside Big League for that day, it was even more special to get a signature.

Before long, reserve grade would be on. Ah the old reserves! Hardened men with first grade experience playing alongside, and competing against, some promising players on the verge of the top grade as you closely followed their progress.

Those were the days, too, when a player could play two games in the one day!

As the game went on, the crowd would swell more as you would enjoy a very cheap meat pie or hot dog while an old man would walk around the hill yelling out 'peanuts, 50 cents, candy coated or in the shell'.

And then, the big game would arrive. The bigger the rival, the better the contest and the crowd. There be flags everywhere and some great signs too!

Kick-off comes, and you scream and shout, you cheer and clap, you ride the highs and lows.

And depending on which side of the score you sat on, there was that final five minutes where the clock would suddenly stop. If you were in front, you nervously  counted down the minutes, crossing everything possible and praying silently.

Then all of a sudden, the siren would sound. Kids charge the field for the cardboard corner post. It was mayhem!

If your team was in front, there was just sheer jubilation, especially if it was against a team you didn’t like. You had bragging rights too as you sang the team song and slowly walked out of your home ground with an enormous sense of pride and relief.

Well, if you want to experience this wonderful feeling of watching three games again, then Saturday, May 7, is your chance. Plus, you have the added bonus now of watching the game in sheer comfort in the amazing new Bob Fulton Stand.

The Sea Eagles versus the Wests Tigers in Jersey Flegg (U21s) from 11am, then the NSW Cup between the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles and the old Western Suburbs Magpies at 12.40pm, followed by the big NRL game at 3pm…the Sea Eagles and the Wests Tigers.

So, forget a lazy Saturday morning, and get your maroon and white gear on early and head to 4 Pines Park for all three grades and watch the next generation of young Sea Eagles coming through. 

You know, the grand old girl at Brookvale is waiting for you!

 

 

Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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