Daly is the Cherry on top for Manly - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Daly is the Cherry on top for Manly

Ben Horne 17/07/2011 07:45:12 PM Comments (0)

There's a definite synergy between Manly's blossoming NRL season and the development of young halfback Daly Cherry-Evans.

Along with boom North Queensland forward Tariq Sims, 22-year-old Cherry-Evans must be a leading contender for rookie of the year.

He came up with some expert touches again in the Sea Eagles' 32-10 win over Newcastle at Ausgrid Stadium on Sunday, as he continues to be the club's unlikely hero.

When pundits were making their pre-season predictions, Manly's inexperience in such a crucial position was a perceived weakness.

Uncertainty over how Cherry-Evans would handle the NRL led directly to a lukewarm feeling about the Sea Eagles' chances of qualifying for the finals for a seventh straight year.

But Cherry-Evans' incredible composure and execution for such a young and inexperienced playmaker has been a driving force behind Manly rediscovering the confidence which netted them the 2008 premiership.

The Sea Eagles have nurtured their No.7 perfectly - with Kieran Foran, Brett Stewart and Jamie Lyon taking pressure off when needed, and the forward pack consistently giving him room to move.

Like his team, Cherry-Evans says he's growing in stature as the year goes on.

"Yeah definitely, I feel more confident, I know my game," he said.

"I have a lot to work on in all aspects but I'll just take it week by week and jump on the back of our forward pack which is going so well.

"My time (with the ball) has got to do with our forwards and our forwards have been going brilliantly. How quickly they're playing the ball and going forward reflects how much time I have to play with.

"Things are going well. We got through the Origin period well ... but there's plenty of good teams we've got to play in the back end of the rounds."

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