Cherry-Evans has last laugh in Sea Eagles win

Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans looks to offload as Cowboys defender Kane Linnett grabs hold.
Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans looks to offload as Cowboys defender Kane Linnett grabs hold. MICHAEL CHAMBERS

DALY Cherry-Evans laughed at the media last week but it was his football that spoke the loudest to put a full stop on a tumultuous seven days for Manly.

As talk of unrest at the Brookvale club and about the future of embattled coach Trent Barrett took hold, Cherry-Evans had the perfect response to the firestorm engulfing the Sea Eagles.

The captain and chief playmaker led his team to a remarkable 30-8 upset of North Queensland in Townsville.

He finished the game with more than 200 kick metres, four runs, 17 tackles and a try assist.

Cherry-Evans' game was highlighted by a passage of play in the first half where he nailed a long-range 40/20 kick then produced a deft grubber to set Jorge Taufua up for the opening try.

It was the on-field response needed to distract fans from the mayhem that's unfolded behind boardroom doors at the club, with a feud between CEO Tim Cleary and club great and Immortal Bob Fulton dominating headlines.

"That's good to get our year started with a win finally," Cherry-Evans said after the game.

"It's taken until round three to get it but I guess we've appreciated it a lot more because of the distractions we've had off-field.

"I'm really proud of that."

Cherry-Evans laughed at media earlier last week when questioned about the future of coach Barrett, who was under the gun after a 0-2 start to season 2017.

"I don't watch the news, I don't read papers, it's not my problem," Cherry-Evans said.

"I find it pretty comical."

The halfback was then berated by league legend Gorden Tallis for his attitude towards the situation his club finds itself in.

"He's got to make it his own team," Tallis said of Cherry-Evans.

"He can change it, he can take the pressure off (Barrett) by playing good."

And while the noise won't go away altogether until the Sea Eagles - and Cherry-Evans - prove they can play good football consistently, Saturday night's win ensures the focus will now be on something else for another week.

Topics:  daly cherry-evans manly sea eagles north queensland cowboys nrl rugby league

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