Players? Check. Strapping tape? Check. Powerade? Check. Gherkins? Check.

Go ahead, pick the odd one out.

When Manly planned what they'd need on the sideline at Brookvale Oval when they took on the Eels, they'd clearly thought not just outside the box but outside the shopping centre the box came from.

Five minutes into the second half of their 22-10 loss to Parramatta, a Channel 9 camera panned to a table on the Manly bench, and in amongst the bottles of energy drinks and cups was a jar of gherkins.


potted by commentator Ray Warren who initially asked, "Is that some sort of peptide?", it was later revealed the pickles had a very specific purpose.

It wasn't, as Phil Gould suggested, for the forwards to eat so that the opposite pack would be put off by their bad breath in a scrum. No, according to Brad Fittler, gherkin juice is the perfect anti-cramping medicine.

Sport science and strength and conditioning researcher at the University of Queensland Vince Kelly tweeted that Fittler's explanation was bang on.

We've come a long way from half-time oranges.