Daly in finals showdown

DATE WITH DESTINY: Daly Cherry-Evans and his Manly Sea Eagles teammates will meet the New Zealand Warriors.
DATE WITH DESTINY: Daly Cherry-Evans and his Manly Sea Eagles teammates will meet the New Zealand Warriors. Grant Trouvilleaap

FORMER Mackay player Daly Cherry-Evans is living the dream and is the envy of many.

This year's Dally M Rookie of the Year is set to figure on the biggest stage of them all.

The Manly halfback played an instrumental role as the Sea Eagles defeated the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night to book a grand final berth.

The Sea Eagles will meet the New Zealand Warriors on Sunday in the NRL premiership showdown.

It will conclude an outstanding season for Cherry-Evans, who debuted in the opening round.

His dad, Troy Evans, described the 26-14 preliminary final win as a great result for the club.

"They played well and deserve to progress," he told the Daily Mercury.

"They've been playing some good footy in the finals."

Cherry-Evans produced a man-of-the-match performance under the added pressure of finals football.

He capped an outstanding display with two try assists and 10 tackle breaks.

Evans said his son had gained a lot of confidence out of winning the Rookie of the Year award.

"He's got a good team around him as well," he said.

"They're a very familiar team.

"He's been with them for three or four years, so they're a very close-knit side.

"He gets a lot of help. He's got a great forward pack.

"If your forward pack aren't doing a good job your halves are going to struggle a bit.

"So I think they're laying a good platform for him for what he has to do."

The Evans family are regulars at the grand final.

"We normally go down every year and spend a week with him," Troy said.

"We're just fortunate enough this year that we get to watch him play in a grand final, so it's great.

"The whole family will be there."

Evans said the grand final represented a great achievement for the team.

"They work hard and to get an opportunity to play in a grand final is like a reward for them," he said.

The Sea Eagles will meet the Warriors in the premiership decider after the Warriors defeated the Melbourne Storm in the other preliminary final.

"After losing their first semi they've got their game together in the last two and produced some good football," Troy said of the Warriors' win.

"Hopefully they (Manly) do enough to win it."

Topics:  daly cherry-evans manly sea eagles new zealand warriors rugby league