The Sharks will be hoping a change of venue results in a change of fortunes when they play the Manly Sea Eagles for the Steve Rogers Memorial Trophy on Sunday.
In what is the first meeting between the two clubs at Central Coast Stadium, the Sharks and Sea Eagles come together this weekend to play for a special piece of silverware to honour a Sharks Immortal and a former great of the game.
Manly currently have possession, having won it 19 times in the 23 occasions the Rogers Trophy has been played for, however with Steve’s ties running deep at the Cronulla club, the family is hoping for a different result this time around.
“I can only remember handing it to Gal (Paul Gallen) once in all that time,” Steve’s son Don said. “With Mat and myself being up on the Gold Coast we won’t have the opportunity to be there this Sunday to present it to the winning captain but we’d love for Wade (Graham) to be getting his hands on it and the Sharks to be taking the Cup back to the Shire on Sunday night after a victory.”
The Sharks and Sea Eagles, opponents in the 1973 and 1978 Grand Finals and ever since engaged in a fierce rivalry, meet in a round seven Telstra Premiership clash and the Steve Rogers Memorial Trophy is up for grabs.
A Sharks immortal, Rogers tragically passed away in January of 2006, with the two clubs coming together to honour his memory with the annual trophy match.
A member of the 1973 Grand Final side at just 18 years of age, Rogers went on to play 202 top grade games, amongst those matches the ’73 decider, Grand Final in 1978 and the midweek replay that followed, all against the Manly club.
Rogers represented NSW 21 times, Australia on 24 occasions, was a Rothman’s Medallist, Dally M Player of the Year and was named as one of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) in a list commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year.
With many good friends at Manly, Kangaroos Tour teammates Bob Fulton, Max Krilich and Paul McCabe among them, the idea of the Steve Rogers Memorial Trophy was struck with the first match played in 2006.
Since that inaugural game the trophy has been contested each time the teams met, until the end of the 2010 season, where it was since been contested just once a season at the current holders’ home ground should the teams be drawn to play each other twice.
However, in May 2016 Manly and Cronulla agreed to return to the original format of playing for the trophy each time the two clubs played to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Steve's passing.
Manly has won 15 of the 19 matches played for the Steve Rogers Memorial Trophy.
The Sharks v Sea Eagles match kicks off at 4.05pm.
Steve Rogers Memorial Trophy matches
Matches played 19: Manly 15, Cronulla 4
2019 - Rd 10: Manly 24 d Cronulla 14
2018 - Rd 21: Manly 33 d Cronulla 32
2017 - Rd 16: Manly 35 d Cronulla 18
2016 - Rd 3: Manly 22 d Cronulla 12, Rd 11: Cronulla 20 d Manly 12
2015 - Rd 26: Manly 14 d Cronulla 12
2014 - Rd 6: Manly 24 d Cronulla 4,
2013 - Rd 6: Manly 25 d Cronulla 18;
2012 - Rd 3: Cronulla 17 d Manly 14
2011 - Rd 5: Manly 19 d Cronulla 13
2010 - Rd 5: Manly 40 d Cronulla 12; Rd 19: Manly 48 d Cronulla 18
2009 - Rd 19: Manly 32 d Cronulla 26: Rd 25: Manly 18 d Cronulla 16
2008 - Rd 1: Cronulla 16 d Manly 10, Rd 18: Manly 34 d Cronulla 6
2007 - Rd 19: Manly 29 d Cronulla 22
2006 - Rd 3: Manly 20 d Cronulla 18, Rd 16 Cronulla 15 d Manly 12