Daly Cherry-Evans' admission about Tom Trbojevic after 'embarrassing' scenes

The Manly captain opened up about his side's woes without their fullback after an ugly loss to the Titans.

·4-min read
Daly Cherry-Evans, pictured here alongside Tom Trbojevic.
Daly Cherry-Evans admitted Manly missed Tom Trbojevic in their loss to the Gold Coast. Image: Getty/NRL

Daly Cherry-Evans has lifted the lid on Manly's inability to 'connect' in attack in the absence of Tom Trbojevic, after the Sea Eagles slumped to another ugly loss without their gun fullback. Manly went down 26-10 against the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday night at a rain-soaked Brookvale Oval.

Trbojevic watched on from the sidelines after suffering a groin injury against the Wests Tigers last week in the latest worrying development for the 2021 Dally M winner. The loss left the Sea Eagles' record without Trbojevic at 18 wins from 54 matches since the start of 2019 - a winning record of just 33 per cent.

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It became abundantly clear how important Trbojevic is to Manly's attack, as his side played without any real impetus and couldn't execute on the Titans' line. Young replacement Kaeo Weekes lacked the quality touches that Trbojevic usually provides, and struggled to find his way into the game.

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans missed Trbojevic the most and struggled in conjunction with Weekes. Speaking to reporters after the game, the halfback said: "It's always going to be different when Tom is not playing. As much as we try and keep things similar, Kaeo has different strengths.

"On a short turnaround we didn't get as many reps as we would have liked. We have to go away and look at our attack, because we didn't throw a lot of punches."

Daly Cherry-Evans, pictured here after Manly's loss to Gold Coast.
Daly Cherry-Evans looks on after Manly's loss to Gold Coast. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Manly coach Anthony Seibold said: "You always you want your best players. But I thought young Kaeo Weekes held his hands up.

"We didn't seem connected in attack tonight, we didn't ask a lot of questions. He didn't have the chance to play his best tonight."

Manly are hoping to have Trbojevic back on Friday night against the Broncos, but Toff Sipley will be missing after he was charged with a grade-two crusher tackle on Phillip Sami. The front-rower was sent to the sin-bin and will miss three matches with an early guilty plea, or four if he fights the charge and loses.

Manly fans were highly critical of the performance against the Titans, labelling it 'embarrassing' and 'awful'.

David Fifita continues hunt for Queensland jersey

David Fifita was a beast for the Titans, scoring a try and assisting another as he continued his push to reclaim his Queensland State of Origin jersey. The rampaging back-rower was overlooked by Billy Slater for the 2022 series, but will surely come back into contention following a red-hot start to the 2023 season.

Fifita was easily the Titans' best player on Saturday night, with his fast hands putting winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira across for the first try. Fifita then carried three men over to score a try of his own from dummy-half, finishing with 185 metres and five tackle breaks.

Khan-Pereira completed his double from a Brian Kelly grubber on half-time, before Phillip Sami's four-pointer and a late Jayden Campbell long-range effort ensured no collapse for the Titans after their fadeout against the Dolphins last week. "Obviously after last week, things play on your mind," captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui said.

"But I knew the boys were ready for it. We learned from our mistake, none of the boys dropped their head and were sad about it."

with AAP

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