This time Gold Coast NRL fans no doubt wished Daly Cherry-Evans hadn’t arrived at the Titans.
Cherry-Evans was public enemy No.1 as he led the Sea Eagles to a 38-6 win on Monday night over the hapless Titans.
In Cherry-Evans’ first game at the Gold Coast since his infamous contract backflip in June, cynics could have argued that Titans fans should have been happy the Manly No.7 finally showed up.
But Cherry-Evans was predictably booed every time he touched the ball and when he appeared on the big screen – or did anything at all.
Yet the Sea Eagles’ playmaker appeared to revel in the hate campaign as he helped inspire back-to-back wins that kept Manly’s faint finals hopes alive.
Cherry-Evans was never going to win over new fans on the tourist strip on Monday night after sensationally reneging on the Titans’ lucrative four-year deal.
And he did not try to endear himself to the crowd which sounded more than the 9632 in attendance when they bayed for his blood.
Asked what he thought of the crowd’s constant niggling at halftime, a smiling Cherry-Evans told Fox Sports’ Kevin Walters: “I am just here to have fun – they will be quiet soon enough”.
The Titans’ fans ultimately left shellshocked as Cherry-Evans’ Sea Eagles ran in seven tries to one against a mistake-riddled Titans.
It was a shot in the arm for Cherry-Evans after a tough period in which he was dropped by Queensland selectors ahead of their record series-clinching 52-6 State of Origin III win in Brisbane.
Manly (6-10 record) still face a tough road to make the top eight, even after leapfrogging Gold Coast to 13th on the ladder, but five of their last eight games are at home.
To add injury to insult, Gold Coast’s Test prop Nate Myles (shoulder) went down in the 52nd minute.
A Jorge Taufua double helped Manly jump to a 20-0 halftime lead.
It was more of the same in the second half as a Jamie Lyon bust set up pivot Kieran Foran’s 45th-minute try.
Willie Mason (68th) added to the carnage before winger Tom Trbojevic completed his double in the 75th minute.
Gold Coast finally were able to get on the board when debutant Nathaniel Peteru crossed in the final minute.