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Sunday's home game at 4 Pines Park will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Manly's 1973 Grand Final victory over the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

And to help celebrate the special occasion, some of the Manly premiership winning players from the 1973 side in Max Brown, Bill Hamilton, John Bucknell and Peter Peters will do a lap of honour for fans to show their appreciation.

The 1973 season was one of Manly's finest, with the Sea Eagles finishing as minor premiers and premiers.

Manly won 17 of their 22 matches for four losses and one draw under Coach Ron Willey to finish one point clear of Cronulla, who also won 17 games.

The Sea Eagles were 104 points clear of the Sharks on points differential, such was the quality of their attack.

After accounting for St George 18-0 in the major preliminary semi-final, Cronulla took on Manly in the major semi-final. The Sea Eagles beat the Sharks 14-4 with centre Bob Fulton and winger Max Brown crossing for tries. Full-back Graham Eadie kicked three goals. Fulton also kicked two field goals.

The victory saw Manly advance to the Grand Final. Cronulla then beat Newtown 20-11 a week later in the preliminary final to earn their way through to the season decider, meaning the best two teams of 1973 would contest the Grand Final.

Manly went on to beat Cronulla 10-7 in a brutal decider at the SCG with Fulton proving the difference with two tries. Eadie kicked two goals after the Sea Eagles led 5-0 at half-time in front of a crowd of over 50,000.

The victory saw Manly claim back-to-back premierships after Willey coached the Sea Eagles to their first premiership title in 1972.

It also meant a second premiership title to Eadie, Ken Irvine, Ray Branighan, Fulton, Max Brown, Ian Martin, Malcolm Reilly, Terry Randall, John O'Neill, Fred Jones, Bill Hamilton after their success the previous year.

Eadie finished the 1973 season as Manly's top pointscorer with 150 points while Fulton was at his outstanding best with 21 tries.

Manly and Cronulla played each other four times in 1973 with the Sea Eagles winning three of the matches, including a 12-8 win at Brookvale in round 10. Their only loss to the Sharks was a 9-7 defeat at the SCG in round 21.

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

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

Match Details

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


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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