When Queensland fans booed Daly Cherry-Evans, Maroons backrower Sam Thaiday admits he found the funny side.
But Thaiday is adamant Cherry-Evans is the key to ensuring Queensland has the last laugh in June 17’s State of Origin game two clash in Melbourne.
As guilty as he felt, Broncos backrower Thaiday admitted he had a quiet chuckle when the Suncorp Stadium crowd turned on Manly’s Cherry-Evans in Brisbane’s 44-10 NRL record win last Friday night.
The Manly playmaker had polarised the public with his decision to renege on a four-year Gold Coast deal and stay at Brookvale Oval.
Thaiday admitted he predicted some blow back after Cherry-Evans’ call but did not expect the Maroons favourite to be catcalled at Suncorp Stadium as a result.
“I was a little bit surprised. It may have helped us out if it put his game off that one per cent,” Thaiday said of the crowd jeering Cherry-Evans.
“But I am sure that will change in three weeks’ time.
“I am sure the jeers will turn to cheers when he runs out in a different maroon (not Manly) jersey.”
Queensland coach Mal Meninga has kept the faith with Cherry-Evans, slotting him in for injured halfback Cooper Cronk (knee) for June 17’s Origin II at the MCG.
Cherry-Evans did not believe he had anything to prove in game two.
“I have many ambitions and motives to play Origin and proving the crowd wrong is not one of them,” he said.
“The spotlight and the attention really hasn’t bothered me.
“The only support I haven’t got is from the media and that is quite irrelevant to be honest.
“I have just tried to enjoy footy and family life.
Thaiday was quick to shut down talk that Cherry-Evans’ contract saga would influence their game two camp.
“This isn’t Manly and I am not a Broncos player here,” he said.
“We are all Queenslanders here.”