After a slow start to the season, including two losses from their first two games, the Manly Sea Eagles have bounced back to record two big victories against the Cowboys and Bulldogs.
The Sea Eagles have won by a combined margin of 66-8 over their last two appearances, including a 36-0 thrashing of the Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon. It was in that match where Daly Cherry-Evans returned to his devastating best, recording a remarkable five try assists in the win.
The Bulldogs simply had no answer for Cherry-Evans as he and his side dominated the match from start to finish as the Sea Eagles ran in seven unanswered tries over the 80 minutes.
Tom Trbojevic was one of the lone bright spots for a poor 2016 season, and he has only carried his superb form into 2017. So far this year, he has scored three tries along with five linebreaks in four games, and is averaging over 200 metres per match.
The combination between Trbojevic and Cherry-Evans has continued to improve, highlighted by brilliant try against the Bulldogs, in which Trbojevic broke through the line, passed it off to Cherry-Evans who then put a perfect grubber through for Trbojevic to score just before halftime.
If the pair can keep up their form, that creates a daunting combo for any opposition.
On top of their dangerous attack, their defence has shown progress over their last starts. To hold any team try-less is an impressive feat these days, even if it did come against a poor Bulldogs attack. However, what is most notable is their defensive performance against the Cowboys.
Despite the Cowboys enjoying 56% possession over the course of the match, as well as 62% of the territory, Manly were able to hold the 2015 premiers to just one try over 80 minutes.
Most NRL experts and fans, including myself, were tipping another unsuccessful campaign for the Sea Eagles in 2017, however their start so far has shown you shouldn’t count them out just yet.