Great halves battle at Suncorp
Manly half-back Daly Cherry-Evans is looking forward to another challenge against exciting Brisbane halves Anthony Milford and Ben Hunt.
The Broncos halves have been in fine form this season and are fighting Cherry-Evans for spots in the Queensland side just weeks out from the first State of Origin match.
“I had a personal test against Jonathan Thurston and Michael Morgan before the rep round. As a side and individually, I fell short,'' he said.
“I’m looking forward to another challenge against two up and coming halves, and talents at that.”
Queensland Coach Kevin Walters said earlier this week that Cherry-Evans was still very much in the mix for the Maroons squad, but the Manly number seven knows there is plenty of work ahead.
“It is always nice to hear those things. Being a harsh critic of my own game, I understand I need to play better football for Manly,’’ he said.
“We’re sitting at the bottom of the eight. For our standards, we feel as though we should be pressing a lot higher on the ladder.
“With them benchmarks being set, if I can play my role within the side and we can develop over the next couple of weeks, I am sure my football will speak for itself.”
The Sea Eagles have lost full-back Brett Stewart (hamstring) and centre Steve Matai (neck) after both were named on Tuesday.
Tom Trbojevic has travelled to Brisbane and will need to pass a fitness test to determine whether he returns from an ankle injury.
Cherry-Evans also said rugby league was the winner with more than 52,500 supporters set to enjoy the Brisbane Double Header at Suncorp Stadium.
“The fact it is sold out now, three of the top four sides are playing on Saturday night, (means) there is definitely a lot to be excited about,’’ he said.
“There are four teams that are going to be playing. I don’t think there will be too much of a one sided affair. The Broncos will have a fair contingency but I am quietly confident the Manly fans will turn out in numbers.
“It is going to be a fine spectacle on Saturday night for Queensland fans who are very passionate and love their rugby league.”
Suncorp Stadium has been a happy hunting ground in recent years for Cherry-Evans, who has won three of his five games against the Broncos there.
He has also scored four tries in those five games, including two in Manly’s 34-10 ‘home’ game win over Brisbane in the 2011 Double Header at Suncorp.