An injury to Nate Myles couldn’t dampen Manly’s night as they thrashed Gold Coast 30- 10 in a match packed with State of Origin hopefuls.
Myles left the field at the end of the first half with a knee injury and only returned to shake hands at the end of the game.
Titans co-captain and close friend of Myles, Ryan James spoke to the former Titan and doesn’t think the injury is serious.
“It was just knee on knee and it was contact, we couldn’t really do too much about, it’s a contact sport – he’ll probably be back next week,” James said.
Manly coach Trent Barrett ruled out any major ligament damage but is unsure whether Myles will be fit for Origin camp, which will be announced on Monday.
“He’s pretty disappointed. We should know more when we get home… But it’s not ACL or PCL stuff, it’s from a collision,” Barrett said.
The clash at Cbus Super Stadium saw Origin hopefuls Daly Cherry-Evans, Jarryd Hayne and Jarrod Wallace all feature.
Cherry-Evans was the pick of the contenders, setting up three tries and says Origin wasn’t the motivation going into this game.
“I like exceeding expectations and tonight was a great team performance and I was able to play well and be a part of that. I guess off the back of a few snide remarks it felt good to play well,” Cherry-Evans said.
“(Origin) hasn’t been a priority, it has been a goal but it’s not been a priority.”
The Manly halfback was heavily criticised by former Queensland representative Gorden Tallis who said Cherry-Evans should not be considered for Origin due to his inability to perform at that level.
When asked what else Cherry-Evans could do to prove his ability for Queensland the Manly coach quickly jumped to his defence.
“I think he should be there, if you look at everything, all the halfbacks have done this year – he’s been equal if not better than a lot of them,” Barrett said.
Cherry-Evans produced long passes to devastating effect, finding Akuila Uate in the 12th minute for Manly’s first try before backing that up with another ball to Uate who gave a simple hand off to Dylan Walker for their second in the 20th minute.
It was a different story for Titans playmaker and former NSW fullback Hayne who looked tired as the Gold Coast failed to build on their three-match winning streak.
Since being shunted out of position and playing in the centres Hayne has been one of the Titans’ top performers in wins over Melbourne, Cronulla and Newcastle but failed to make a major impact on the game.
Manly’s Jake Trbojevic and Gold Coast’s Wallace both furthered their push for an Origin debut with Wallace running for 124m and Trbojevic a staggering 181m.