Cap drama takes toll but won't derail Manly: Barrett
Trent Barrett says the past week of salary cap dramas was draining on himself and captain Daly Cherry-Evans but praised the way Manly responded with a dominant 32-16 win over Canberra on Saturday night.
"It was a great win and we certainly needed it against a very desperate side," the coach said.
"Our first half set the win up for us. We did a lot of things really well. I thought our discipline was particularly good.
"We are trying to work hard with the referees with our 10 metres and we didn't have any play the ball ones. Second half it evened up and was a pretty scrappy affair in the second half but really happy we got the two points coming off the back of last week."
He said the majority of the team was "pretty easy" with the salary cap situation – the club is appealing the hefty fine and associated reduction in available cap money for this year and next year – but it was draining for himself personally.
"There's a lot of young players there that don't worry about too much at all. [It was] probably more taxing on Chez and myself," he said.
"It was tiring. I was tired midway through the week and I know Cherry was certainly fairly drained with it all so it was an important day for us as a club that we won and it was an important day for our squad that we won.
"The only right of reply that I've got and the players have got is to play well and I thought we did that so that's what I'm real happy about.
"It won't affect us, the way we play. Obviously, it's got repercussions elsewhere in terms of your recruitment, what we can and can't do but that's not the players' responsibility and I'll do my best to shield them from it and we've just got to keep trucking along."
Cherry-Evans admitted it had been hard not to think about the situation during the week but insisted it was easy to shut off once it came time to train or play.
"Certainly in the time I've been here I can't remember something as big as this hitting the club," Cherry-Evans said.
"It's hard not to think about those things because it's a place we all care about from Trent all the way through to the playing group. We take a lot of pride in our performance and the club we play for.
"I thought that was a good reflection tonight of how we feel about this place and off the back of that as a player I can't thank our coach enough the way he sheltered us from it as much as he possibly could and took the hit in front of the media, faced them, answered all their questions.
"I like to think I'm pretty good at when it's time to train I'm focused on what we have to do and try not to take my work home with me as well," he said.
"When you're sitting in the car on the way to training you let your mind wander and those things pop up quite quickly but when I'm around the boys or out on the field training or playing it's easy to forget, there's too much to concentrate on."