With the Vodafone Warriors travelling to Brookvale Oval for the first time in nine years tomorrow, today’s edition of Throwback Thursday reprises the club’s first win over Manly Warringah 21 years ago.
The famous suburban ground answers to the name of Lottoland today but it will always be fondly – or maybe so fondly for some – remembered as Brookvale Oval, or ‘Brookie’, for the rugby league faithful.
It was there on March 21, 1999 – a beautiful Sunday afternoon – that the Vodafone Warriors lit up to hand the Sea Eagles a decent hiding.
Kiwi rugby league great Mark Graham was in just his third match as coach in the year the club began life under Tainui’s ownership. The campaign had started with a stunning 26-16 away win over the Sydney City Roosters followed by an 18-22 home defeat by North Sydney.
The Sea Eagles, then guided by the legendary Bob Fulton, weren’t in good shape coming into the contest after suffering heavy losses to Newcastle (18-41) and the Roosters (0-46) away from Brookvale.
They would have relished the chance to play at their home ground again – but the Vodafone Warriors were in no mood for charity.
With the brilliant Stacey Jones in wonderful touch, they scored 18 points in each half to pull away to an exceptional 36-10 victory, which still stands as the club’s record winning margin against its toughest opponents in the competition.
Today we have three tries from the first half. Well worth watching.
March 21, 1999
Brookvale Oval, Sydney
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 10 (Jim Serdaris, Andrew Frew tries; Brendon Reeves conversion).
Vodafone Warriors 36 (Stacey Jones, Jason Death, Joe Vagana, Bryan Henare, Nigel Vagana, Odell Manuel, Logan Swann tries; Stacey Jones 3 conversions; Gene Ngamu conversion).
Halftime: 18-4 Vodafone Warriors.
Referee: Mogsheen Jadwat.
Vodafone Warriors | Cliff Beverley; Odell Manuel, Joe Galuvao, Nigel Vagana, Lee Oudenryn; Shane Endacott, Stacey Jones (c); Brady Malam, Jason Death, Terry Hermansson; Ali Lauitiiti, Tony Tuimavave; Logan Swann. Interchange: Tony Tatupu, Bryan Henare, Joe Vagana, Gene Ngamu.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles | Andrew King; Andrew Frew, Albert Torrens, Terry Hill, Brendon Reeves; Adam Hayden, Craig Field; Owen Cunningham, Geoff Toovery (c), Adam Peters; John Hopoate, Daniel Gartner; Nik Kosef. Interchange: Jim Serdaris, Wes Doyle, Steve Crouch, Jason Lussick.