Manly not drawn on Cherry-Evans saga
Manly players and coach Geoff Toovey, as well as the man at the centre of the speculation, have all refused to elaborate on the likely destination of halfback Daly Cherry-Evans in 2016.
Following reports from Channel Nine on Thursday night that Cherry-Evans was considering reneging on a high-profile switch to the Titans from 2016, Toovey played a straight bat in the press conference after the side's 28-16 loss to the Bulldogs.
"It's just football as usual for us. That's more media speculation than what's happening in reality," he said.
"That's the rugby league world we live in these days. We just get on with trying to win games, I think that's more important than anything else."
Toovey maintained, as he has publicly throughout the contract negotiations with both Cherry-Evans and halves partner Kieran Foran, that the club would like to keep both – which is still an option under the Round 13 deadline, before which players have the option of changing their minds and clubs have the opportunity to try to convince them to do so.
"I think legally there's a chance [we can still keep them] but there's a good chance he won't. We'd love both the halves to stay, we'd like to keep all our quality players, that's not a reality and if they want to stay I'm sure they'll let us know," he said.
"The club want both halves to stay and we've done our best to try and make that happen."
Asked if he had spoken to Cherry-Evans about his future, hooker Matt Ballin simply said "it's not my place to comment on it. That's all I can say."
Cherry-Evans refused to comment to media when he left the ground.
For his part, he had a reasonably productive game, despite the speculation, the side's loss and the fact he is carrying an ankle injury.
He scored the side's only try of the first half, setting up another, defusing several attacking kicks and making 22 tackles.