HEAD TO HEAD | Manly Sea Eagles

92 matches [1967-1996; 1998-1999; 2003-2021] 38 wins, 53 losses, 1 draw Stats: themightypanthers.com/results_headtohead_manly.htm Penrith’s head to head history with the team based on the northern beaches of Sydney dates back to the inaugural premiership season in 1967. The first meeting was at Brookvale Oval in Round 3. Manly won 17-8, although Penrith did fight back in the second half after trailing 11-0 at half time. In June, Manly traveled to Penrith Park, where the Panthers were able to record a narrow 10-8 victory, courtesy of a penalty conversion only 3 minutes from full time. From that time until 1980, the Penrith did not have a good time at all against the Sea Eagles, only winning 2 of 26 encounters, both of them being at Penrith Park in 1970 and in 1976. In that stretch, Manly dished out a number of thrashings, none more so than the Panthers 70-7 loss at Penrith Park in 1973. The home team actually scored first, but then Manly scored the next 14 tries as they dished out what is still the heaviest loss in Penrith’s history. 1981 saw Penrith win both home and away matches – a very comprehensive 28-10 win at Penrith Park in Round 4, in what was described at the time as one of their best performances in their then fifteenth season, and then later in the year finally winning their first match at Brookvale Oval. The 1980s would see the Panthers starting to even the ledger up a little bit in terms of the win/loss ratio, including the start of a 6 match winning streak that would extend into the next decade. The biggest of these matches in that decade was a fifth spot playoff to qualify for the 1985 finals series. Penrith was on the hunt for the maiden finals berth, whilst Manly were a lot more seasoned in that regard. Penrith led 4-0 at half time, but it was forced to extra time as scores were locked 6-all at full time. Manly edged in front 7-6, but these were the days before golden point, so the full 20 minutes were played. Greg Alexander slotted two penalty conversions for the Panthers to record a 10-7 win and therefore advance to their first finals series. In the early to mid 1990s, the head to head battles almost mirrored their premiership standing – the Panthers streak was whilst they were heavyweights and Manly were mid to bottom table stragglers, but by 1993, the tables were being turned, with Penrith only winning 1 of 5 between 1992 and 1996. This solitary win, in 1996 was deemed one of the upsets of the year, with the 15th placed Panthers defeating the top of the table Manly 18-14 at Penrith Stadium. Hostilities were put on hold for the 1997 season as Manly played in the ARL Optus Cup, however, in the short term, their battles upon reunification would only last 2 seasons. In the 3 matches in 1998 and 1999, the Panthers only won 1, however, that would be a 52-10 thrashing at Penrith Stadium in late July 1999. At the end of 1999, Manly agreed to a merger with North Sydney to form the Northern Eagles. However, the Eagles only lasted for 3 seasons, with the merger dissolved in 2002, seeing the return of Manly in 2003. The 2 matches in 2003 were victories to the Panthers, with a tight 30-29 win at Penrith in May, and then a more comprehensive, albeit come from behind 52-26 win in the penultimate round at Brookvale after the Sea Eagles had held a commanding half time lead, but were kept scoreless in the second half. 31 years later, the Panthers were able to in some way atone for their 70-7 loss in 1973 by dishing out a 72-12 annihilation at Penrith Stadium in August 2004. In a rather symmetrical fashion, that became the club’s biggest ever winning margin, making Manly the club (currently) that has been the perpetrator of their biggest loss but also the victim of their biggest ever win. From 2005 to 2009, Manly dominated the head to head, winning 6 of the 9 matches. The most forgettable of those losses was at Brookvale in 2005 – the Panthers led 26-6 at the start of the second half, before Manly piled on 30 unanswered points to win 36-26. The highlight for Penrith in that period was a dour, but still upset 12-10 victory at the same venue in 2009, when Manly were suffering a slow start to their 2008 premiership defence. Heading into the 2010s, Manly continued to assert their dominance in the head to head, winning 4 of their 7 meetings – however, the 3 Penrith wins in that period on an individual basis held their own significance – the win at 2010 at Penrith showed the Panthers at their scintillating attacking best, in 2012 at Penrith it was an all too rare win for that season but just like 2009 it was against the defending premiers, whilst in the final round of the 2013 season at Brookvale, a second half comeback capped off a season of promise for the Panthers. The two wins over Manly in 2015 would be the start of the most dominant period for the Panthers in their head to head history. In mid-2016, the Panthers were down 24-4 at the start of the second half at Brookvale Oval, before Penrith staged a stirring comeback, putting on 27 unanswered points to record a 31-24 victory and in some way provide payback for the corresponding 2005 fixture. In the final premiership match, the Panthers held a 30-0 half time lead, but stepped off in the second half but still recorded a commanding 36-6 win. Penrith recorded 5 wins in a row both at home and away, before Manly recorded a 28-12 victory in the final round of the 2017 season at the newly renamed Lottoland. Significantly for Penrith, a flurry of late points for the Panthers ensured that the losing margin gave them a sufficient for and against to sneak into the finals and qualify seventh. Of more significance was that Manly qualified sixth and they would face off in week 1 in an elimination final. In an often fiery and spiteful encounter, the match was locked up at 10-all deep in the second half at Allianz Stadium before two late tries saw the Panthers record a 22-10 victory. Manly won their first match up in 2018 at Pepper Stadium, but the return encounter at Lottoland at 2018 was eerily similar to the 2016 encounter – Manly had opened up a big lead in the second half, but this time this lead was deeper into the second half, leading 24-6 with only 13 minutes remaining. And just like 2016, the Panthers wiped off the deficit, with a four try blitz in six minutes to record a stirring 28-24 win. In 2019 and 2020, both teams met just once – in 2019, Penrith held of a fast finishing Manly to record a 15-12 win at Panthers Stadium, whilst in 2020, the Panthers were amidst their club record 17 match winning streak when they visited Lottoland in Round 12, smashing Manly 42-12. The next meeting was early in the 2021, with an even bigger 46-6 win over the sluggish Sea Eagles, however Manly had improved their form by the time of their next meeting only six week later at Bathurst. It was more of a contest, before two late tries to the Panthers gave them a 28-16 win. Last updated 10 March 2022

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