Green and co help Cherry blossom
Blake Green has played with some pretty special players over the years, but even he couldn't remember seeing a better individual performance than what halves partner Daly Cherry-Evans produced in Manly's 36-0 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday.
The Sea Eagles' skipper toyed with Canterbury's defence from start to finish, with the halfback laying on five try assists including four in the first half alone.
It was a complete performance from DCE who set up tries with well-timed passes, audacious grubbers and even with his wrong foot as Manly shot into the top eight following their second-straight victory.
Having signed an eight-year contract extension back in 2015, the pressure has been on Cherry-Evans to prove his worth as the Sea Eagles look to rebuild following the departures of a stack of club legends.
The 28-year-old had his doubters after the first two rounds, but on Saturday he responded in style, and Green said that was down to the rest of the spine stepping up to make their halfback's job easier.
"I haven't known him a hell of a long time, but from the outside in, I think he's been placed under an enormous amount of unwarranted pressure after he signed that long-term contract," Green told NRL.com.
"But I spoke to him when I got here and told him that he's not on his own and that I'm here to take some pressure off him when it comes to trying to control the team.
"We've got some other guys like Tom Trbojevic and Api Koroisau who have been great this year, and if all of us continue to play our roles then that will allow 'Chez' to just float and pick his time. I think we got that balance right and you saw what happened.
"He's a brilliant off the cuff player and he's a really instinctive footy player. I thought we got the balance right, particularly in the first half.
"I thought we were really controlled in the first half and got to the right points of the field and that allowed Chez to swing to both sides of the field and create space. When we do that, you can see just how good he is."
Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett was full of praise for his star halfback, but was quick to add it was his side's forwards who paved the way for Cherry-Evans to dominate.
"I think Cherry was good on the back of what his teammates were doing around him. As a half, you can't perform without the platform the forwards are laying," Barrett said after the game.
"I thought it was our best team performance. If we do all those little things right then there are enough individuals in the team to do it.
"I played in the halves, and if things aren't going right around you then it's pretty hard for an individual to shine. Whilst we can continue to do that, it'll give Chez more chances to do what he's good at."