It is a rivalry that has only recently picked up the pace, in light of coach swapping, player rumours, as well as on field action – but it was a game that was ultimately won by the apprentice, in Manly coach, Geoff Toovey.
In front of a crowd of almost 25,000 at ANZ Stadium, it was the Sea Eagles who came out the victors, winning 12-10, with Manly wearing their ANZAC camouflage strip, that perhaps was a bad omen to start the game, as they came under early pressure.
The game was headed for a grandstand finish, after Bryson Goodwin scored near the full-time siren, to give the Dogs a fighting chance – particularly in light of other cliffhanger come-from-behind results.
Following their somewhat patchy form throughout the season, Manly coach Geoff Toovey hopes that this win can get them back on the right track.
“There’s been a lot of hype around and we always knew that was going to be the case,” Toovey said.
“I’m just pleased we got the two points and they didn’t. I don’t enjoy things that cause controversy as it distracts from our football.
“We started the year well and have fallen away a bit. We just need to get some consistency in our game.”
For Dogs coach Des Hasler however, despite the club’s loss, a loss that is their 4th in five games – he refused to be to focus on the negatives.
“We’re one from five now, we’ve played two quality sides in the last two weeks, that being Melbourne and Manly tonight,” Hasler said.
“I thought we were in position to win both of those games but you’ve got to be consistent and play pretty well for the 80 minutes.
“We’re a work in progress. I was really pleased with the boys’ effort, I thought it was a tough game and a dour game … we’ll take a lot out of that and we’ve got to come back next week and start again against Parramatta.”
The loss was made worse for the Dogs, with Steve Turner set to face a lengthy sideline stint, with a fractured patella.