Article 007: First Match - Round 1, 1947

Manly played it's initial first grade match against Western Suburbs at Brookvale Oval at 3 pm on the 12th of April 1947.

Manly scored three tries to one against the strong Western Suburbs team, but lost the game on the back of a string of scrum penalties from controversial referee Aub Oxford.

Wests scored five minutes after the start but Manly hit back quickly with a try scored by second rower Megsy Kirkwood from a centre kick by Kelly McMahon. This, of course, gave Megsy the distinction of being the first ever try scorer for Manly.

Then fullback Bert Collins broke through from within his own quarter to send Johnny Bliss away on 50 yard dash for the try of the match. McMahon scored Manly's third try to set up a 13-9 half time lead. Manly failed to score in the second half and Wests snuck home with three more penalties.




Team: A. J. (Bert) Collins, Jim Walsh, Kelly McMahon, Mackie Campbell, Johnny Bliss, Merv Gillmer, Gary Madrell, Jim Hall, Megsy Kirkwood, Max Whitehead (c), Pat Hines, Ern Cannon, Harry Grew.

Scorers: Tries: Kirkwood, Bliss, McMahon; Goals: Gillmer (2).

Referee: Aub Oxford

Crowd: 4,200

Sources: Smith 1991 |  Document 3    |