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Manly Warringah Sea Eagles claimed its second premiership 49 years ago today in one of rugby league's most brutal matches of all time.

The 10-7 victory over the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at the Sydney Cricket Ground on September 15, 1973, will always be remembered for the violent brawls with many fights breaking out before Manly great Bob Fulton proved to be the difference between the two teams.

The outstanding centre scored Manly's two tries to give the Sea Eagles back-to-back premierships after the club won its first title in 1972.

Ken Arthurson, the 'Godfather of Manly', recalled the tough grand final in a special feature interview series called 'Arko' with former Sea Eagles player and official, Peter Peters.

"We played Cronulla in the semi-finals and we beaten them quite easily and people just thought it would be a similar walk over in the grand final,'' Arthurson recalled.

"Tommy Bishop really geed his players up and naturally, they put on a blue.

"We were silly enough to fight back instead of playing football."

Peters, who played in the premiership winning team, said it was a tactic of Cronulla's.

"That was the only way I think they could have beaten us. And that's what they employed. And it nearly came off."

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

1 Graham Eadie 2 Ken Irvine 3 Ray Branighan 4 Bob Fulton 5 Max Brown 6 Ian Martin 7 Johnny Mayes 8 Malcolm Reilly, 9 Terry Randall, 10 Peter Peters 11 John O’Neill, 12 Fred Jones (c), 13 Bill Hamilton, bench 14 John Bucknall, Coach: Ron Willey

Full Match Replay: Sea Eagles v Sharks - Grand Final, 1973

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Cronulla Sutherland Sharks

1 Warren Fisher 2 Ray Corcoran 3 Steve Rogers 4 Eric Archer 5 Bob Wear, 6 Chris Wellman, 7 Tommy Bishop (c), 8 Greg Pierce, 9 John Maguire, 10 Ken Maddison, 11 Grahame Bowen 12 Ron Turner, 13 Cliff Watson, bench 19 Rick Bourke, Coach: Tommy Bishop

1973 Grand Final

Sea Eagles 10 (Fulton 2 tries; Eadie 2/6 goals) d Sharks 7 (Bourke try, Rogers 2/5) at Sydney Cricket Ground, Saturday, September 15, Crowd 52,044. Half-time: Manly 5-0. Referee: Keith Page, Man of the Match: Bob Fulton

1973 Season Summary

Coach: Ron Willey

Captains: Fred Jones, Bill Hamilton

Biggest home crowd: 18,205 vs South Sydney, Rd 7

Average home crowd: 12,879

Top pointscorer: Graham Eadie (150)

Top tryscorer: Bob Fulton (21)

Longest winning streak: 9, Rounds 7-15

Biggest win: 70-7 vs Penrith, Penrith Park, Sunday, July 29, Rd 19. Record remains as the highest score in the club's history. 

Most Tries in a game: Johnny Mayes 4 vs Penrith, Penrith Park, Sunday, July 29, Rd 19

Most Goals in a game: 14 Graham Eadie v Penrith, Penrith Park, July 29

Most Points in a game: 28 Graham Eadie (14G) v Penrith, Penrith Park, July 29, Rd 19


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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