NIGHT­MARE OVER

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NRL -

DALY Cherry-Evans left Sun­corp Sta­dium beam­ing af­ter Manly last night belted Bris­bane to end five weeks of hell.

“I think we are al­lowed to smile now,’’ Cherry-Evans said.

“It has been a tough five weeks but we are out of it. We got a win’’.

Salary cap scan­dals, in­fight­ing and on-field flog­gings were for­got­ten as the Sea Ea­gles turned Bris­bane into Brook­vale by beat­ing the Bron­cos to save their sea­son.

In their best per­for­mance of the year, Manly scored six tries to four to end a five-match los­ing streak marred by a se­ries of scan­dals.

Cherry-Evans de­clared the Sea Ea­gles’ hor­ror story over af­ter Jake Tr­bo­je­vic and Joel Thomp­son bagged dou­bles in the shock Sun­crop Sta­dium vic­tory.

“I think we are just ex­cited to get our sea­son back on track,’’ Cherry-Evans said. “It has been tough but that is footy.’’

The Sea Ea­gles’ sea­son of con­tro­versy be­gan in March when the club was fined $750,000 for a se­ries of salary cap breaches. The drama con­tin­ued when sev­eral play­ers were fined for at­tend­ing a strip club.

In­fight­ing then threat­ened the club with Cherry-Evans rep­ri­manded for an al­ter­ca­tion with un­wanted team­mate Jack­son Hast­ings.

“We just have to stick to­gether,’’ said Cherry-Evans.

“There has been a lot writ­ten about us and a lot of it was very far from the truth, too.

“We just stuck to­gether, trained hard and we got the re­ward for it tonight.

“We knew it was just a mat­ter of time and tonight was that night. We had a good feel­ing about the game and we trained re­ally hard. And here we are now. We’re back on track and it is re­ally ex­cit­ing.’’

Bolting to an 18-14 lead at the break af­ter Jake Tr­bo­je­vic scored his dou­ble and Thomp­son went in for his first, Cherry-Evans was in­stru­men­tal in set­ting up the upset.

The half­back booted seven goals and was a men­ace to the Bron­cos in the mid­dle. Api­sai Koroisau was an­other star per­former for the Sea Ea­gles, with the hooker scor­ing a solo try in the 46th minute.

“Ob­vi­ously it has been a re­ally tough five weeks for the boys,’’ Koroisau said. “To get that win tonight re­ally means a lot to us. “

Af­ter sac­ri­fic­ing their home ground ad­van­tage for cash by mov­ing the game to Bris­bane, Tr­bo­je­vic crashed over for his first try in the sec­ond minute and con­tin­ued his stormer by scor­ing his sec­ond in the 35th af­ter a pass from brother Tom.

“I feel re­ally good,’’ Tr­bo­je­vic said. “The last five weeks have been re­ally tough. To come up here and put in a per­for­mance like that is re­ally pleas­ing. And I think it is re­ally well de­served be­cause we have been work­ing real hard.”

But coach Trent Bar­rett was eas­ily Manly’s hap­pi­est man.

“Words can’t de­scribe how re­lieved we are and how happy I am for the play­ers and for the footy club in gen­eral, for our fans, we needed that more than ever,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of young blokes in there, hope­fully they never have to go through the month we’ve had again.”

Manly play­ers em­brace hooker Api­sai Koroisau af­ter his try and (in­set) Dy­lan Walker flicks the ball when tack­led by Alex Glenn. Pic­ture: AAP

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