Hasler's master plan
Author Tom Keneally has not won any grand finals, but has written and sold a few books. He likens the contest to battles fought in Europe centuries ago.
"If Napoleon had a plan for Moscow, Des has a plan for Melbourne, except that Melbourne will fall permanently whereas Moscow was only a temporary entrance by Napoleon," he said.
The 'Des' he's referring to is Manly's coach Des Hasler - a former international and star half-back and now a hero to the club's fans for bringing the team back from the brink of extinction.
"His nickname when he played for Australia was 'sorry' because he used to cut men in two with tackles and he would say, 'oh, sorry mate'," Mr Keneally added.
"He would leave the game on Sunday afternoon, have a cup of tea and go to mass. He is not a womaniser, and only coaching has brought him to swearing."
The swearing has not upset Manly's star brigade of female supporters.
The 'Eagles Angels' were formed a few years ago to also give the team a lift. With Sarah Murdoch and Wendy Harmer among them, the aim was to lend their high profile to the club and raise some dollars in the process.
Ms Beachley says the aim is also to encourage women along to watch a traditionally 'blokey' game.
"We have this Eagles Angels lounge with chandeliers and couches and tarot readers and people doing pedicures and manicures and drinking champagne, so we're in the utmost of luxury when we go to games," she said.
She says women feel more welcome than they ever have been at matches, with the players and the club fully appreciative of their support.
League commentator Roy Masters was responsible for giving Manly its silvertail image, back when he coached arch-rivals the 'fibro dwellers' from Sydney's Western Suburbs in the 1970s and 80s.
Sydney rugby league fans particularly have a resentment against Manly for the raids that they made on clubs such as Souths and Norths and Wests. They probably will continue to harbour those.
Ms Beachley is sure that attitudes have changed towards Manly amongst the wider league community.
"Hopefully every rugby league fan can separate their differences, can kind of leave their hate for Manly, or even their dislike for Manly at home and just come out and watch a brilliant game," she said.
"I feel it's going to be an incredible match, and I'm really looking forward to it."
Mr Keneally sees the game as an art form, not just a sport.
"They're not all big, boofy blokes. A lot of them are magnificent young men who are fast," he said.
"As much as there is collision, the great joy of rugby league is in the avoidance of collision.
"I hope Geelong wins [AFL] for bleak city, but as for the rugby league side of bleak city, we're going to - the northern beaches is going to loot and pillage Melbourne."