Foran has last laugh at Brookvale
Manly's favourite son turned Parramatta saviour Kieran Foran says he'd never even been in the away sheds at his old home ground until Thursday night, but while he had to remind himself not to park in the home team carpark when he arrived he's never had cause to regret his decision to leave.
Foran was able to shut out the emotion of the occasion once he got out on the field and was just relieved to have been able to leave the place with two competition points.
"I guess a funny feeling before the game, being a part of the visiting sheds but my focus was on the game and once we got out there on the pitch we turned the focus on the game," he said post match.
"I had so many great memories here and such a great time here – it was a different feel walking in here as a visitor but it's nice to come away with the two points. It was a high quality match and that's all you want."
While he wasn't at risk of walking into the wrong sheds on the night, he admitted he did have to remind himself where to park once he arrived.
"When I was driving I forgot where the parking was, I was about to drive through and park where I used to park! I had to check myself and say 'no you're parking in the public school, you've got to actually walk to the ground'," he laughed.
"All that stuff before the game was a bit unfamiliar but once we got out there I just focused on the game."
He said there hadn't been too much in the way of banter from his old teammates as well as a pleasantly surprising lack of booing from his old home crowd.
"I wasn't copping too much. I copped a bit when I walked up at half time but overall they were good. I don't think I copped many boos," he said.
"I guess that's what you hope for, I hold no hard feelings to the club and I would like to think that the fans in the club would see the same way as me, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I like to think I played my heart and soul out for this joint.
"I made that decision to start fresh and felt like I needed the change and I haven't looked back since. It's been what I needed and I'm glad I did it."
Foran praised the effort from his teammates on the night in overcoming a fair bit of adversity in the shape of several overruled tries and a strong start by the home side that threatened to shut them out of the game.
"I thought it was a massive effort. I think for most of the game we were on the back foot. Manly did a good job of out-enthusing us," Foran said.
"They were able to make easy yards on us and get us down the field and march us on the back foot. I thought for us to weather that storm and wait for our opportunity to pounce, I thought we did that extremely well. In terms of the effort like we keep saying every week I think the effort's been outstanding."
Foran wasn't prepared to speculate on how far into the 2016 season the surprise co-ladder leaders could go but at this early stage said the character being shown was the hallmark of a quality side.
"There's a real resilience among the club at the moment, everyone's got a will to turn up for one another and not let each other down. At the moment it's working for us, we're winning games on effort and turning up for one another," he said.