Manly's Cherry-Evans named top rookie - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly's Cherry-Evans named top rookie

Joe Barton 06/09/2011 09:14:05 PM Comments (0)

Beating off a hot field including North Queensland's explosive second-rower Tariq Sims, Manly's Daly Cherry-Evans has claimed the 2011 Dally M rookie of the year award.

In the crucial role of halfback, Cherry-Evans steered the Sea Eagles around the park and into second place on the NRL ladder despite being just 21 years of age.

"The last twelve months have been very surreal, but I'm very fortunate to be in such a strong side and one that is in real contention for the grand final this year," Cherry-Evans said.

It is the second year in a row that the Sea Eagles have been forced to call on an inexperienced halfback.

Cherry-Evans' predecessor at Manly, now-Canterbury Bulldog Trent Hodkinson, was amongst the contenders for last year's award which was eventually taken out by Brisbane's Matt Gillett.

Like Hodkinson, Cherry-Evans was named the Queensland Cup player of the year in the season before taking the reins at Manly - but by claiming this prize, he has found a way to truly separate himself from the former Sea Eagle.

The other two nominees were Cherry-Evans' fellow Sea Eagle and NSW debutant William Hopoate and Brisbane centre Jack Reed.

Cherry-Evans will now take on dual Dally M medal winner Johnathan Thurston and his North Queensland Cowboys when he embarks on his maiden finals campaign on Saturday night.

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