Lane left Barrett 'speechless' with Eels move
Shaun Lane arrived at Manly with his career at a crossroads and left Trent Barrett speechless when he announced he was moving again.
Both men had a mid-season heart-to-heart, with the 198cm back-rower departing for Parramatta next season in the form of his life and channelling Sea Eagles legend Steve Menzies' strike rate with five tries in his last four games.
Lane, who has agreed to a three-year-deal at the Eels, said Manly fought hard to keep him.
He landed on Sydney's northern beaches late in 2017 year after a bright first grade campaign at Canterbury in2015 was followed up with a lacklustre one at the Warriors in 2016.
With 20 games and eight tries as Manly's leading try-scorer so far this Telstra Premiership season, Lane has been one of the club's most consistent performers in a horror year, making the inevitably difficult call to Barrett that much tougher.
"I came here to Manly in a weird position in my career, I wasn't enjoying my footy over in New Zealand," he says.
"I came here to reignite my career. It took a while but I've been happy with my form and it was a tough position when it came to staying or leaving, and I made the best decision for myself.
"Manly tried hard to keep me and calling Baz over the phone wasn't easy. He was a bit speechless to start, he was obviously disappointed and I just had to explain how I made the decision and he was completely understanding.
"There was no bitterness involved, he told me there wasn't going to be any punishment or anything like that.
"I've started in the back row ever since pretty much, so he's shown me a lot of faith and stuck to his word, and I think I've repaid him a bit too, that's what I've been trying to do."
While he departs on good terms Lane is also determined to ensure Manly avoid the first wooden spoon in the club's 71-year history, even if it means delivering the unwanted cutlery to Parramatta's door.
After their one-point upset of NRL heavyweights Cronulla last week, a win over Canterbury on Saturday at Lottoland will likely kick them clear of the wooden spoon dogfight between the Sea Eagles, Bulldogs and Cowboys (all on 14 competition points) and the Eels (12 points).
Given his future teammates face three top-four teams in a brutal run home, they will likely find themselves relying on other results to avoid a last-placed finish.
"I think if we get this one against the Dogs that's pretty much us out of the race for the wooden spoon I suppose," Lane says.
"It'll put them in a worse position and our run home isn't as bad as what we've had recently. It's one thing you definitely don't want, to finish the season with a wooden spoon.
"Parra's had a tough year as well, they're a bit like us, they've got themselves in positions to win but haven't been able to finish it off.
"They've got new players coming in next year and it's looking pretty good and I'll look forward to finishing here and then starting again over there."