DCE ends tough week on a high
After being forced to defend himself, his family and his integrity in the media, Daly Cherry-Evans has ended a tumultuous week in the best possible way.
The star halfback put in the game-winning assist as he led his side to an inspired 12-10 win over the top-of-the-table Storm.
Weeks of built-up frustration poured out of DCE as he leapt in the air, fist pumping as teammate David Williams cross for the 71st minute match-winner.
It was finally a moment the 26-year-old could savour after enduring weeks of unsubstantiated rumours surrounding his playing future.
A fed-up Cherry-Evans fronted the media at the start of the week to put those rumours to bed and Saturday night's win could provide the perfect way to turn over a new leaf in 2015.
"It is just nice to come up with the right option in the later stages of games," Cherry-Evans told NRL.com after the game.
"As a halfback that is obviously a pretty important thing to do, to come up with the right decision at the right time and I felt like I did that tonight."
The Manly No.7 cut a sore figure as he limped to the team bus, a by-product of what he says was yet another epic encounter against Melbourne.
His mind will now turn to recovery as he is set to be named in the Kangaroos' squad for next Friday's Trans-Tasman Test against New Zealand.
He could well find himself partnering the very man he overshadowed on Saturday night.
For the second time this season Cherry-Evans got the better of Cooper Cronk, having the deciding hand in both Manly tries and looking a constant threat whenever in possession against the Storm.
Manly will remain at the foot of the NRL ladder despite the win but with just four points separating fourth and 16th place, Cherry-Evans is adamant his final season with the Sea Eagles will not be a forgotten one.
"No doubt this (win) could be a turning point for us," Cherry-Evans said.
"With the right people on the park for the rest of the season I've got no doubt this side can produce a lot of wins in a row. We can really stabilize our season and come finals football time we think that we will be there despite our position on the ladder.
"There is no secret we had a few special players back tonight and it really brought the best out of the side.
"I think we got our confidence back. We've been working extremely hard the last few weeks and haven't been getting the rewards we're after so I think some hard work has finally paid off."