Queensland legend Gorden Tallis says Daly Cherry-Evans’ stunning backflip could cost him the Maroons or Kangaroos captaincy, and claims the offer that kept him at Manly must have been on the table a lot longer than 48 hours.
Manly fans are jubilant the club’s star halfback has decided to stick around but their Gold Coast counterparts are incensed, with some suggesting on social media he could be booed when he lines up against Brisbane on Friday night.
Tallis, who is an ambassador for the Gold Coast club, said be believed Cherry-Evans’ “poorly advised” decision to renege on his deal with the Titans had tarnished his reputation to the point where it jeopardised his shot at leading Queensland in State of Origin.
“When you’re running out for your state you want everyone to believe in what you are saying,” he told Triple M’s Brisbane Grill Team.
“It’s different to club footy because people go and they get paid, but when you are playing for your country or your state it’s a different story.
“I was really disappointed simply because of the private conversations he was having and he kept re-assuring the Titans he was coming.
“There was a lot of smoke. Every time I’d get off a plane in Sydney people were saying `he’s staying, he’s staying’ … that’s the disappointing thing.”
Cherry-Evans announced on Wednesday he had agreed to a “lifetime contract” with the Sea Eagles reportedly worth more than $1 million-plus a season for eight years and $10 million in its entirety.
Tallis rubbished the 26-year-old’s insistence the offer had only been on the table for 48 hours, saying he himself knew about it long before that.
“The Manly money was there a lot longer than 48 hours,” he said.
“If I found out about it and it’s not even my contract, don’t you think he would have known?
“Everybody knew that offer was on the table.”
The stunning backflip hasn’t just cost the Titans Cherry-Evan’s services, it’s left the club’s recruitment in tatters and ultimately stopped them upping their efforts to keep departing stars Nate Myles and Aidan Sezer.
Disillusioned Titans boss Graham Annesley wasn’t playing the blame game over Cherry-Evans’ decision, but he admitted the soon-to-be-scrapped controversial “round 13 rule” had allowed the player’s management to play the system.
“What the rule has effectively allowed is for his management to use us as leverage with his existing club and they’ve had three months to negotiate after they in good faith had negotiated a deal with us,” Annesley said.
“It’s obviously set us back, we clearly planned on Daly being here next year.
“We’ve made recruitment and retention decisions on that basis, so you know we’ve lost three months in preparation for next year.”