Manly Warringah prop Darcy Lussick says the high level of respect the players have for Coach Trent Barrett is showing through on the field.
Now in his second season of a three-year deal, Barrett has lifted the Sea Eagles to fourth place on the Telstra Premiership ladder with 10 rounds remaining before the finals after experiencing a horrid first season in which the club finished 13th.
Lussick said his team-mates enjoy what Barrett brings to each one of them.
“Trent has been a fantastic coach. The best thing about Trent is how well he gets on with all of us, how he treats all of us,’’ Lussick said today.
“It shows on the weekends that we go out and play for him. We love playing for Trent, and hopefully he is here for many years to come.
“In some teams, you can tell (if) people (are) playing for the coach or not. Here at Manly, we definitely play for the coach, the club, and the fans.
“Most of all, we really enjoy coming to training every day. We enjoy each other’s company and we love being coached by Trent. It is showing on the field.”
Lussick praised the leadership style of captain Daly Cherry-Evans, noting how much the half-back had changed since the prop left Manly for Parramatta before returning home to the Sea Eagles.
“Before I left, he was one of the young kids here as we had a lot of dominant senior players,’’ Lussick said.
“He (Daly) is now that dominant senior player. He has that attitude of ‘follow him’ every week, and we know what he expects of us. He is a great captain.
“This year, he has brought a lot of stability to us. He has really taken control of the team and is leading us well every week.”
Lussick says he is determined to recapture his outstanding form of last year after experiencing a season mixed with injuries and suspension.
“I have had a very frustrating year. All I’ve done is try and prepare as best I can for the back end of the season,’’ Lussick added.
“Hopefully I can string a few games together and contribute to the team and get back to where I was last year.
“I’ve put it all behind me now and I can finish the year on a high.”