Manly stand tall after a month from hell
After five consecutive losses and a month from hell off the field, an emotional Manly coach Trent Barrett was a proud and relieved man after his team's stunning 38-24 win over Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
Barrett and his men have coped with the Jackson Hastings saga, salary cap dramas and rumours players will be moved on, as well as failure on the park. They were rank outsiders to beat the Broncos.
"I'm very proud of them. To come to Brisbane is always difficult," Barrett said.
"It has been a very, very hard month for the whole football club so words can't describe how relieved we are and how happy I am for the players, the footy club and the fans. We needed that win more than ever. Not many teams come up here and do that.
"We've got a lot of young blokes and hopefully they don't have to go through the month we've had again. We'll get so much out of the last month. We'll be better for it."
Barrett, who also had to deal with rumours that he wanted out of the troubled club, said he had learned plenty from the experience.
Captain Daly Cherry-Evans, who was fined $10,000 for his part in the drama that unfolded in Gladstone after the round five loss to Gold Coast, was outstanding against the Broncos.
"You don't really got through those situations very often in your career. That will certainly be a time I look back on and reflect," Cherry-Evans said.
"I understand how quickly things can turn. We had a really good season last year and for the first nine rounds [this year] we only had two wins.
"It has been really pleasing for the group to stick together. Despite what has been written about us, the playing group has stuck together.
"It could've fallen apart far worse than this."
Tom and Jake Trbojevic, Dylan Walker, Api Koroisau and Cherry-Evans were all enormous for the Sea Eagles, who now face a daunting road trip to Melbourne next Saturday.