Upset win built on continuity: DCE
Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans has praised the continuity in the club's playmaking roles as well as the impressive efforts of a rotating cast of forwards for helping his side bounce back from two straight losses to record an impressive upset win in Canberra.
The 20-18 golden point victory – away to a team many are tipping as serious premiership contenders – was the eighth straight in which Manly's fullback, five-eighth, halfback and hooker have not changed despite injury and suspension forcing coach Trent Barrett to re-jig his forward pack virtually every week.
"This season we've had a little bit of turnover in the front-row stocks but we've had our nine, seven, six and one play every game together so we've had a lot of our backline stay in the side," Cherry-Evans said.
"These little things definitely help build continuity and I do think it's important we try and keep the same team on the park every week moving forward and build those combinations. We are able to do that at the moment and it's a bit of a reflection of where we're at."
 Telstra Premiership: Daly Cherry-Evans
Try Assists, Line Break Assists, Total Kicks.
Crucially, Cherry-Evans and halves partner Blake Green are working well together on the field as well as getting together like a house on fire off it.
"I think he's been fantastic for the side the way he's been able to come in and gel with everyone on a personal level I think that's the most important part," Cherry-Evans said of the former Storm five-eighth.
"The way Greeny runs this side it's obviously important he has the trust and respect of everyone and he got that very quickly.
"It's great to see what he's been able to do in such a short time for this side and for me personally we get on like a house on fire away from footy, we spend a lot of time with each other and our families to as well. He's been a really good mate this year, he's been really fun to hang out with."
There has been less continuity in the forwards, though unheralded back-rowers Curtis Sironen and Frank Winterstein plus lock Jake Trbojevic have each played every game and built as the year has progressed. But even with the likes of props Marty Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake (both sidelined with two-game shoulder charge suspensions), plus all of Nate Myles, Lloyd Perrett, Darcey Lussick, Shaun Lane and Jarrad Kennedy being unavailable through injury at various times, the pack as a whole has provided a tremendous platform – at least in the games Manly has won – for its playmakers.
"When they (the forwards) are on they're on and it's really quite easy for me to play the style of football I enjoy playing," Cherry-Evans said.
"I'm always trying to make sure they're hyped up ready to go and focused every week because I know when they're on… it does help my game a lot. I'm so happy to see them all gelling off the field and playing good football together on the field. I feel like that rotation is really working well at the moment."