Manly’s Daly Cherry-Evans says he is not feeling any more pressure than usual despite having to help bed in a new five-eighth amidst the Sea Eagles’ sluggish 0-2 start to the NRL season.
The Sea Eagles have been one of the big disappointments after the opening two rounds, failing to deliver on their hype with losses against Canterbury and Wests Tigers.
While the season is still fresh and coach Trent Barrett predicted it would take several weeks for inexperienced pivot Dylan Walker and Cherry-Evans to combine, they have come under scrutiny after a couple of below-par showings.
“So far it’s been okay. It hasn’t been outstanding by any means but we’re continuing to work hard, to get on the same page as soon as possible,” said Cherry-Evans who gave the pairing a pass mark.
One of the big questions coming into 2016 was whether halfback Cherry-Evans could successfully run on both sides of the field, similar to North Queensland great Johnathan Thurston, as Walker gets used to the five-eighth role following his switch from the centres.
Asked if he was feeling pressure following their slow start, Cherry-Evans said: “None more than previous years.
“Anytime I wear the No.7 jersey I always feel the result may hinge on how I play.
“With two losses I’m obviously disappointed so I’ll make sure I’m working hard with the team to right the wrongs.”
The Sea Eagles are second last and desperate to open their account at Brookvale Oval on Monday night against the Sharks, who they have seemingly had the wood over for the past 50 years.
The Sharks have endured a horrible record at Brookvale since their inception in 1967, winning just five of 38 matches there.
While Cherry-Evans was not making much of their opposition’s hoodoo, he was expecting they would have a point to prove after the Sea Eagles upset the Sharks in round 26 last year.
Their surprise win cost the Sharks an all-important top four spot and contributed to their exit from the finals in week two at the hands of North Queensland.
“It could be fresh on their minds,” Cherry-Evans said.
“It’s not something we’ll worry about. We need to make sure we work hard and stick together and if we can continue to improve on the first two rounds and put ourselves in a position to win again, I’m sure we’ll learn from our mistakes.”