Dylan Cleaver: Made in NZ - educated in Manly

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A number of Kiwis have played for the Sea Eagles down the years. Dylan Cleaver nominates some of the best.

Mark Broadhurst

Broadhurst's Manly career was brief, 1981-82, but spectacular. His might have been the most lasting NZ legacy of all at Brookvale because people still talk about his performance against Newtown in the 1981 major semifinal with a mixture of awe and horror. The former boxer and hardman went toe-to-toe with Newtown's firebrand Steve Bowden. The fight was fairly even until Bowden landed two vicious headbutts, dropping Broadhurst to the ground where he was still set upon by a shower of Bowden punches. Bowden was sent off but to everybody's amazement Broadhurst played on with horrific facial injuries, including a broken cheekbone. Though Manly lost 15-20, Broadhurst's legacy was sealed.

Watch the brawl between Manly and Newtown on YouTube

Darrell Williams

When Williams was coming on to the scene as an Auckland junior it was thought he would end up high on the list of all-time greats. However persistent injuries robbed him of some of his explosive pace and he became more renowned as a ferocious defender and solid centre.

He was an integral member of Bobby Fulton's 1987 Premiership-winning side, Williams' first of six years at the club.

Graham Lowe

Lowe coached the side for three seasons, 1990-92, winning 40 of the 70 matches he was in charge. It was during Lowe's tenure that New Zealanders' love affair with Manly was at the height of its passion, with him bringing Matthew Ridge across from rugby and using the Iro brothers, Tony and Kevin, as his mercurial attacking weapons.

Matthew Ridge

Ridge was a dead-set Manly legend and Graham Lowe's greatest gift to the club. One of the toughest, bravest fullbacks, Ridge set a new standard for goalkicking in the NRL when he arrived in 1990. He played 122 games before defecting to the Warriors in 1997. In 1994 and 1995 he kicked more than 100 goals for the season.

Craig Innes

The former All Black played for Manly after coming across from the ill-fated Western Reds. The ultra-consistent Innes played 50 matches for the club in 1996-97, playing in two grand finals and winning one, alongside Ridge in 1996. He had the impressive record of 25 tries and kicked the odd goal too.

- Herald on Sunday

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