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Forty four years since Sea Eagles Grand Final Replay win

Forty-four years ago today, Manly Warringah Sea Eagles again showed why they were the dominant club of the 1970s.

For it was on this day - Tuesday, September 19, 1978 – the Sea Eagles won their fourth premiership title by beating Cronulla Sharks 16-0 in the NSWRL Grand Final replay.

Three days earlier on September 16, the Sea Eagles and the Sharks drew 11-all in the premiership decider at the Sydney Cricket Ground on a Saturday afternoon.

Remarkably, it was the second NSWRL Grand Final in a row to end up going into a mid-week replay after the 1977 Grand between St George and Parramatta finished in a 9-all draw.

Full Match Replay: Sharks v Sea Eagles - Grand Final Replay, 1978

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The grand final replay was Manly's sixth game in 24 days with several Sea Eagles players having painful injections to get onto the field. Second-rower Terry Randall had a total of six injections - four in a shoulder and two in a groin. 

The victory in 1978 gave the Sea Eagles their fourth title after premiership wins in 1972, 1973 and 1976.

Ken Arthurson, the 'Godfather of Manly', recalled the toughness of the '78 team in a special feature interview series called 'Arko'

"There were that many injuries in that team, I can't believe how they got on the field for that Grand Final,'' Arthurson said.

"Some of them were really battered about. They rose to the occasion. They were a really tough and great side."

For Graham Eadie, Ian Martin and Terry Randall, it was their fourth premiership with Manly following grand final success in 1972, 1973 and 1976. They remain the only Sea Eagles to win four premierships to this day.

Sea Eagles team

1 Graham Eadie 2 Tom Mooney 3 Russel Gartner 4 Stephen Knight 5 Simon Booth 6 Alan Thompson 7 Steve Martin 8 Ian Martin 9 Terry Randall 10 Bruce Walker 11 John Harvey 12 Max Krilich (c), 13 Ian Thomson; reserves 14 Ray Branighan 15 Wayne Springall, Coach: Frank Stanton.

Sharks team

1 Rick Bourke 2 Chris Gardner 3 Steve Rogers (c) 4 Dave Chamberlin 5 Steve Edmonds 6 Martin Raftery 7 Steve Hansard 8 John Glossop 9 Eric Archer 10 Steve Kneen 11 Peter Ryan 12 Rowland Beckett 13 Paul Khan, Coach: Norm Provan.

Match Details

Manly-Warringah 16 (Gartner 2, Eadie tries; Eadie 3 goals, field goal) d Cronulla-Sutherland 0 at the SCG, September 19, 1978. Half-time: Manly 15-0, Crowd: 33, 552. Referee: Greg Hartley. Man of the Match: Graham Eadie.

Finals series


1978 Manly season summary

Coach: Frank Stanton

Captains: Max Krilich (15), Terry Randall (12), Graham Eadie (1)

Biggest home crowd: 23,168 vs St George, Rd 1

Average home crowd: 13,503

Top pointscorer: John Gray (134)

Top tryscorer: Russel Gartner (15)


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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