Smith sticks up for ig­nored Sea Ea­gle mas­ter­mind

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - PETER BADEL TRAVIS MEYN

QUEENS­LAND skip­per Cameron Smith has slammed spec­u­la­tion Daly Cherry- Evans is on the Ori­gin outer, la­belling claims the play­maker is on the nose with Ma­roons play­ers as “fab­ri­cated non­sense”.

Ma­roons coach Kevin Wal­ters has been forced to pub­licly ex­plain Cherry- Evans’ lat­est Queens­land snub af­ter hand­ing Bron­cos ri­val Ben Hunt his Ori­gin de­but.

Ma­roons se­lec­tor Dar­ren Lock­yer said Cherry- Evans would be im­pos­si­ble to ig­nore if he pro­duced a man- of- the- match dis­play against the War­riors last Satur­day night.

The Manly skip­per duly de­liv­ered, but 48 hours later, Ma­roons hi­er­ar­chy over­looked him in favour of Hunt, who a month ago was dumped to re­serve grade with the Ip­swich Jets.

Hunt’s head- spin­ning res­ur­rec­tion has fu­elled spec­u­la­tion Cherry- Evans is un­pop­u­lar with Queens­land play­ers and doesn’t fit their struc­tures af­ter los­ing his only two Ori­gin games as a start­ing play­maker.

But Smith came out swing­ing in sup­port of Cherry- Evans yes­ter­day, in­sist­ing it was time to set the record straight af­ter first hear­ing the toxic whis­pers in the build- up to Ori­gin I.

“I want to clear this up. There is no is­sue with Daly from any mem­ber of this team,” said Smith, cap­tain when Cherry- Evans made his Ori­gin de­but in 2013.

Manly half Daly Cherry- Evans.

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