After an epic final on Friday night, the neutral supporter would have been sceptical to think that it could be another great theatre in store. Conspiracy theorists heads would have been spinning was the fact that both games were played out in very similar circumstances.
In the first half, we saw the Doggies move out to a 16 nil lead. This was on the back the Doggies forwards shifting the ball to the outside men to expose the Manly edge. But, like the Friday night contest, the seemingly defeated team came back with Manly showing they never go away. To top off the comeback, it was Ennis, the disrespectful hair tussler himself, who crueled the Dogs by spilling a ball right on the tryline to give Blair a try to level the scores. The head rub which followed made sure Ennis would never disrespect any players haircuts ever again.
But this stage show wouldn’t be complete without a guest appearance from the most loveable, yet rare character in the NRL: the Biff. After objecting to a chicken wing tackle (kickbacks KFC), Starling got up to show Jackson that his arm was fine by giving him a face knuckle massage (found in many a massage parlour around the North Shore). This cost him 10 in the bin, but the Dogs were not to be outdone with Reni “topknot” Maitua showing he has had the tutelage on Manly masseuses.
Fittingly, this match came down to an old fashion dropkick-off, giving credit to the fact our game is called FOOTball. But at the end of the night, the most mispronounced name in Rugby League in Hodkinesin, I mean Hodgkinsun, or is Hudkrinsern? Anyways, the “Ice man” stepped up to kick a one pointer to set up a show down with the panthers.
So come on neutrals, get aboard a bandwagon! #panthwagon or #dogwagon.