Cherry-Evans wary of finals run-in repeat

Daly Cherry-Evans can remember it clear as day.

Slumped in last spot for most of last season, Manly had picked themselves up off the canvas to string together four wins on the trot and make a miraculous late push for the NRL finals.

But their hopes vanished when they were upset by a struggling Parramatta side on their own turf.

“We just looked one week ahead,” Cherry-Evans said on Thursday.

“I remember real clearly. We had Parramatta at Brookie Oval and we had the Roosters, who were going really well at the time, the week after.

“To put simply, we just didn’t give the Eels the respect they deserved and they beat us. That was our finals race over.”

This year’s Sea Eagles are in almost the same predicament, sitting precariously in 12th spot but facing last-placed Newcastle at home on Sunday riding high on a three-game winning run.

Just three weeks ago they were dead and buried on the back of a seven-game losing streak, but now they are four points out of the top eight with six regular season games remaining.

“It’s very similar to last season, the way it’s played out,” Cherry-Evans agreed.

“We’ve dug ourselves a very big hole to get out of but we’re under no illusions that we still have a lot of work to do to put ourselves into finals contention, let alone play finals football.”

The Sea Eagles No.7 insisted they would not make the same mistake again and were looking no further than the Knights.

“They’re a very young side but I know with youth you get a lot of enthusiasm and you get a lot of excitement,” he said.

“They have a lot of players that aren’t really established in the NRL but are trying to make a name for themselves through good football.

“So we need to make sure that we have our guard up and we pay them the respect they deserve.”

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