Daly Cherry-Evans milestone exposes sad truth for Manly great Steve Menzies

The development has reignited a debate around the legendary Manly player.

Pictured left to right, Daly Cherry-Evans and Manly NRL great Steve Menzies.
Daly Cherry-Evans impending 300-game milestone for Manly has thrown up an awkward question about NRL great Steve Menzies. Pic: Getty

The NRL draw has conspired against Manly celebrating Daly Cherry-Evans' 300th game at Brookvale Oval amid renewed calls for Sea Eagles legend Steve Menzies to become a member of the club's elite triple century club. Injury permitting, Cherry-Evans is set to join Cliffy Lyons (309) as the only Manly player to reach 300 games when the Sea Eagles travel to Wollongong to meet St George Illawarra in round 22.

The club has ruled out following Canberra's lead with Jarrod Croker and attempting to manipulate a home game for DCE's milestone match – simply because the draw doesn’t align. After the Dragons match, Manly is away to the Roosters at the SCG before returning home for DCE's 302nd match against Penrith in round 24.

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The Sea Eagles boast many of the game's legends, yet Lyons is the only member of its 300 club. Cherry-Evans will become the first one-club player to reach that mark in Manly's 76-year history, but many believe the great Beaver Menzies should have been the first to claim that honour.

The head-geared backrower played 280 games for Manly and 69 for the Northern Eagles for an overall tally of 349. Former high profile Manly and Northern Eagles administrator – and media commentator - Peter Peters has long argued Menzies' games should be combined under the Manly banner.

On the left, Steve Menzies poses with the NRL premiership trophy he won with Manly in 2008.
Steve Menzies (L) poses with the NRL premiership he won with Manly in 2008. Pic: Getty

Steve Menzies at centre of Manly debate

"I said at the time I thought it was unfair and I stand by that. I still think they can change it," Zorba told Yahoo Sport Australia. "Beaver had no say in it (Manly and North Sydney merging). His contract was with Manly and was all the way through that joint venture period.

"It's not like he went somewhere else and came back. I think he deserved the honour of being the first one-club man at Manly to hit 300 games. "No-one was more Manly than Beaver."

Rugby league historian and stats guru David Middleton disagrees, He said: "My view is they (Manly and Northern Eagles) are separate and should be counted separately.

"Most people agree that's the case with the other joint venture clubs, so why would this be any different?"

Manly are well into planning for Cherry-Evans' 300th, both in Wollongong and back at 4 Pines Park prior to the Penrith match. “Obviously we want to celebrate Daly’s milestone as a club and it will be a big occasion no matter the venue," Manly CEO Tony Mestrov said.

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