BEST OF ENEMIES: DALY CHERRY-EVANS

The likes of Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Darren Lockyer, Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler and Allan Langer have terrorised the Warriors intermittently over the years, but no opposition player has quite the same résumé of dominance against the club as Manly talisman Daly Cherry-Evans.

DALY CHERRY EVANS – RECORD VS WARRIORS

Manly Sea Eagles (2011-17): 11 games (10 wins, 1 loss) – 5 tries, 2 goals, 4 field goals (28 points).

In 11 games against the Warriors, Cherry-Evans has suffered just one defeat – an unparalleled success rate in the Auckland-based club’s history.

But more impressive than that imposing winning percentage of 90.9 is the Sea Eagles halfback’s catalogue of match-winning performances in clashes between the teams.

DCE kicked two goals in a 20-10 victory over the Warriors at Brookvale Oval in 2011 – just the sixth game of his career in a Dally M Rookie of the Year-winning season.

But he played a far more integral role later that season, with a vital try just before halftime of Manly’s 24-10 grand final triumph over the Warriors the highlight of a display that wasn’t far off a Clive Churchill Medal.

A Kangaroos debutant at the end of 2011, Cherry-Evans picked up where he left off at the start of the following season.

He scored a try and picked up two Dally M points in a thrilling 26-20 win over the Warriors in Round 1 at Eden Park.

But that was merely an entrée for his man-of-the-match effort against the Warriors in Perth in Round 21 of 2012.

The Sea Eagles had clawed their way back into the game from an 18-0 deficit, before the 23-year-old scored two sensational tries in the last eight minutes to steal a 24-22 result.

Cherry-Evans suffered his sole loss to the Warriors midway through 2013 – an 18-16 classic at Mount Smart.

But he engineered a 27-12 victory at Gosford just nine weeks later, collecting two Dally M points after having a hand in two second-half tries and kicking a late field goal.

The Manly linchpin scooped all three Dally M points in a hard-fought 20-10 win in Auckland in 2014, producing a try-saver on Manu Vatuvei and scoring a solo try to seal the result with 10 minutes to go.

Cherry-Evans nabbed a Dally M point in the corresponding round at Mount Smart the following season – a crushing 32-12 win to the Sea Eagles.

He missed a trip to New Zealand early in 2016 during a rare injury absence but returned to break Warriors hearts in a Round 19 showdown in atrocious conditions in Perth.

DCE defied the wet to snap a left-footed field goal in golden point for a 15-14 win.

But his torment of the Warriors reached new heights in 2017.

After picking up the Dally M maximum in a 26-22 success in Perth – after Manly had trailed 16-0 – Cherry-Evans stole a crucial victory in the penultimate round at Mount Smart just eight weeks later.

He kicked a 78th-minute levelling field goal (with his favoured right boot this time) to send the match into extra-time, then resorted to his left boot again in the 85th for a 22-21 escape that helped the Sea Eagles end a three-year finals hiatus.

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