Daly Cherry-Evans says he has moved on from his Gold Coast Titans contract backflip controversy.
And, after being booed throughout Manly’s record 38-6 NRL win over the Titans on Monday night, he hopes the critics do the same soon.
His Sea Eagles halves partner, Kieran Foran, revealed the team had rallied around Cherry-Evans as he braced himself for the crowd backlash over reneging on a four-year Titans deal last month.
A vocal 9,632-strong Gold Coast faithful didn’t disappoint, jeering every time the halfback touched the ball in a rout that kept Manly’s faint finals hopes alive.
However, Cherry-Evans did his best to silence them with his confident display in the Titans’ worst home loss.
“What’s happened in the past has happened and I’m over it,” Cherry-Evans told Fox Sports.
“Let’s hope everyone else can move on sooner rather than later.”
Cherry-Evans appeared relaxed and smiled the first time he was booed in his first game at the Gold Coast since announcing he would instead sign a “lifetime” Manly contract.
He even had a cheeky dig at the vocal crowd in a halftime TV interview.
“I’m having fun and we’re winning so they’ll be quiet soon,” he told Fox Sports.
Foran said his Sea Eagles teammates had thrown their support behind Cherry-Evans in the days before the clash.
“The boys really rallied around him,” Foran said after the seven-tries-to-one romp.
“He knew coming up here he was going to face a bit from the crowd.
“But he wanted to do his job for the team and put in a really great performance for the side and I thought he did that.”
An unfazed Cherry-Evans set up Manly’s opening try to winger Tom Trbojevic in the 11th minute, as they cruised to a 20-0 halftime lead against an injury-hit Titans, and didn’t look back.
“I’ve got the best job in the world I get to play footy for a living,” Cherry-Evans said.
“I don’t think it really matters where I do it.
“I’ve just got to appreciate where I am and what I do for a living and I certainly think I do that.”
Manly coach Geoff Toovey saluted Cherry-Evans after the halfback defied the crowd to combine smartly with fullback and man of the match Brett Stewart.
“There were a few boos out there,” he said.
“There was always going to be pressure on him (to perform), from the media particularly.”
Ex-cellar dwellers Manly (13th; 6-10 record) are focused on an unlikely top-eight finish after their third win in four games.
“It is the wrong time of the year to be building but we are confident that we can make the finals,” Toovey said.
“But we are not getting ahead of ourselves.”