7th Tackle Awards: Biggest kahunas

Winner: Tim Cleary

As it so happens, you don’t need to prevail to win this award -- which is just as well for ex-school principal Tim Cleary, who set a new record for the shortest-ever term for a Manly CEO. And given the revolving door that sits at the front of Narrabeen HQ, that’s some feat.

His sin? Trying to rid the club of Sea Eagles patriarch Bob Fulton, as well as Bozo's sons and daughter, all of whom were involved in some capacity when Cleary arrived.

Acting under instructions from his chairman, Cleary charged at arguably the most powerful family in rugby league like a Kamikaze pilot.

The resulting explosion was interesting for a few weeks, but the fallout was entirely predictable. The chairman lost his nerve, and it was Cleary who reached for a parachute that was lined with a healthy payout.


Honourable mention: Daly Cherry-Evans

Let’s pause on the Northern Beaches for a while. After all, it’s a nice spot and residents are known to never leave once they settle in.

This brings us to one of the area’s most celebrated personalities: DCE.

The Sea Eagles skipper refused to abandon God’s Country even after signing a contract with the Titans and purchasing a multi-million mansion on the Gold Coast. One day they’ll make him Mayor for that.

DCE was thrown under the bus. Pic: Getty

But in the meantime, Daly will have to be content with our adulation. His press conferences aren’t always smooth, the language isn’t always natural, the levels of mutual admiration never reaching any significant altitude.

But DCE’s address to media shortly after the NRL announced it would be examining Manly’s salary cap history in June was bang on. He wasn’t impressed about being made to front the cameras and let head office know.

“They should be the ones out here answering your questions,” said DCE with a none-too-subtle flick of his head toward the admin building.

Sadly for DCE, being summoned to face someone else’s music is one of the perks of playing for a club without a CEO.