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"If you are Rob Gronkowski, does that mean Daly Cherry-Evans is Tom Brady?"

That was the first question to Reuben Garrick after he celebrated his 60th minute try in Manly’s 36-24 defeat of South Sydney at Allegiant Stadium with a 'Gronk Spike'.

The move was pre-planned as Garrick admitted he had felt the urge to add to the hype of the first NRL match in Las Vegas by leaping into the air and slamming the ball into the turf after he scored.

Gronkowski would perform the celebration after catching a Brady pass and completing a touch down as the pair formed arguably the best quarterback-tight end pairing in the NFL during the era of domination by New England Patriots. 

“I said to some of the boys during the week that if I'm lucky enough to get over for a try I’ll do a 'Gronk Spike',” Garrick said.

Reuben Garrick Try - with a Gronk spike

“I loved watching him play a few years back and yeah, it was pretty cool.”

With the NRL committed to playing in Las Vegas for at least five years, Garrick’s Gronkowski impersonation is set to feature on highlights reels at the start of each season.

“I just hope I get a shout out from Gronk,” he said. “I guess we had to try and hype it up as well and for a lot of us it isn't natural to do that unless it's the try celebration month, but I guess when in the US …”

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Manly became the first team to win a premiership match on American soil and they did it in style, with superstar fullback Tom Trbojevic shifting the ball on the first play of the game.

The Sea Eagles have been working on an attacking style to capitalise on the speed in their backline through Trbojevic, winger Jason Saab and centre Tolutau Koula.

“We are not just representing Manly, we are not just fighting for two points, we are trying to get the game exposure over here,” Cherry-Evans said.

“As a player you try not to think too much about those bigger picture things, you are just trying to go out there and perform at your best but I hope the Americans have taken notice, I hope that they have enjoyed tonight.

“If we can make an impact and there is a bigger picture thing it is great for our game. It was obviously a tier above a regular season game back in Australia, you could tell there was a bit more to it with the entertainment and the indoor stadium.”

Garrick said to play at Allegiant Stadium was a career highlight, particularly as he had watched the Super Bowl at the same venue just a month ago.

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“It was awesome, I think it was everything it was hyped up to be - if not more,” he said.

“I think the crowd was exceptional and it was so cool to see heaps of Manly fans out there, but also just NRL fans.

“There was jerseys of teams that aren't even playing in the crowd and it's so cool to see that a lot of Australians come across and I hope there's a lot of US fans out there too.

“It's a really good concept and a great experience for us as a team, and I guess to get to connect closer too over the last couple of weeks, so there's plenty to take from it and hopefully the NRL got what they want out of it as well.”

With Saab unlikely to play in the Round 2 match against Sydney Roosters after suffering a hamstring injury, Manly coach Anthony Seibold said Tommy Talau or Raymond Vaega were in the frame to replace the star winger.

Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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