Daly Cherry-Evans during a Manly training camp in the pre-season. ‘I hope our supporters can hang in there.’ Picture: Gregg Porteous
Daly Cherry-Evans was asked yesterday how he responded to suggestions he wasn’t living up to his $10 million contract.
“I laugh about it,” the Manly halfback said. “I am getting sledged about how much money I make. There are worse sledges in the world. They’re naysayers. I completely respect other people’s opinion, but it is their opinion.
“I respect more the people’s opinions that have a full effect on my day-to-day life, which are my teammates, my coaching staff, and my family and friends. It is nothing but support from them.
“Every No 7 in the competition, whether you win or lose, will get the attention for good or bad reasons. At the moment it is going to bring not very much constructive criticism to my game.
“But I am happy to take that on the chin knowing that hopefully this week or in coming weeks when we do click, it is all going to work and I am going to have a big smile on my face and a bit of, ‘I told you so’.
“Until that time comes, I am going to have to keep my head down and keep working with the boys.”
Two games into the season, Manly are still waiting to break their duck. Cherry-Evans, having signed an eight-year deal believed to be worth upwards of $10 million, is yet to register a try-assist or line-break assist.
His runs and metres per game are down on last year. In his and Manly’s defence, it is only two games. The season has barely begun.
“It is definitely not ideal. But we definitely haven’t lost confidence as a playing group. Externally there was a lot of hype around us, but we knew within the side that there was going to be a lot of hard work to get the continuity.
“It’s taken longer than we would have liked but it’s not going to stop us from working hard and getting it right sooner rather than later.
“I am still very confident in the side and hopefully doing my role better in the coming weeks to help everyone get a win. I have so much faith in this side and the coaching staff.
“I hope our supporters can hang in there because when we do win and win well, it is going to be really pleasing because I know it is going to kickstart our season.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the Sea Eagles on Monday night as they welcome Cronulla to Brookvale Oval. The good news is that fullback Brett Stewart, having missed the two defeats, is expected to make his return from a hamstring injury.
“Stick together and keep working hard — we know that is the secret to getting out of a couple of losses,” Cherry-Evans said.
“We have been in this position before so we know that hard work and sticking together with your teammates is the priority. The losses last year — I think we lost five in a row — this isn’t the worst thing in the world.”
Meanwhile, Manly have stood down young front-rower Liam Knight following a driving incident in the early hours of yesterday morning. Knight was pulled over by police at 1.15am and returned a positive alcohol reading of 0.176. He was also charged with driving at 137km/h in a 70km/h zone. Knight has had his licence suspended and will appear in Manly Local Court on April 20.
The Sea Eagles reported the incident to the NRL integrity unit yesterday morning.