Sea Eagles tip warm reception for returning Stewart
Former Brookvale favourite son Glenn Stewart can expect a warm reception from the crowd when he plays his first ever NRL game on the ground in an away jersey this Friday night for South Sydney.
Stewart was forced out of Manly in somewhat acrimonious circumstances when the club was unable to table him an offer due to salary cap pressure last year and has settled in well at his new club, playing some outstanding football either side of a thumb injury that sidelined him for nearly two months.
Sea Eagles halfback Daly Cherry-Evans – who was rumoured to not be on the best of terms with Stewart last year – said he hoped the crowd gave the returning back-rower a favourable reception befitting a club legend.
"I dare say he'll get a round of applause more than anyone being inclined to boo him," Cherry-Evans said.
"He's obviously done a lot for this club over a long period of time. I think he'll get a very warm reception."
Long-serving hooker Matt Ballin, who won two premierships with Stewart in 2008 and 2011, was in no doubt the fans still had a soft spot for Stewart.
"He's been such a good player for the club and a good bloke around the place, the fans love him and no-one wanted to see him go and it was a shame that he did have to go," Ballin said.
"I'm sure when he comes back he'll be really warmly received."
Ballin faced off against Stewart for the first time in either players' career when Souths downed Manly 20-8 at ANZ Stadium in Round 16 and said it will be another tough challenge meeting his old teammate.
"He's such a great player, it'll be hard playing against him," he said.
"We obviously played against him at ANZ and there were a few laughs out there. We've got to watch him, he's so good on their right side and we know how much of a good player he is and he'll be one of the ones we have to take care of."
Winger Jorge Taufua said despite coming off second-best against his old mate six weeks prior he would again be looking to run at Stewart if the opportunity presented itself.
"I kind of picked him out a couple of times and he got me very time. It will be no different this time, I'll be looking for him once again," Taufua said.
"I didn't know he was that strong!"
Taufua said while he had looked to add a little bit of gamesmanship to the contest, Stewart wasn't biting.
"I tried to wink or smile at him but 'Gifty' is all business," Taufua laughed.
"I have a lot of respect for him. I looked up to him every time he was here and still do, he's a good bloke."
Taufua also expected a positive response from the Brookvale faithful to Stewart's return.
"He's done a lot for this club and as I said I respect him very much and I know a lot of the boys here do," Taufua said.