As Cherry-Evans prepares to play his 300th game for the Sea Eagles on Saturday night, he will join Lyons, appropriating the honour of being the only players to attain this significant milestone.
Lyon’s impeccable performance in his thirties is more than noteworthy. Viewing the impressive form of 34-year-old, Cherry-Evans, Lyons is adamant that the skipper still has much to offer in his career.
“He manages his health and keeps himself fit, and considering the way he has been playing, I don’t see why he can’t prolong his career,” Lyons commented. He added, “Even though ageing in the sport becomes increasingly challenging, it is also a time when you are at your wisest. The secret for a player is to evade getting caught with the ball as it hurts slightly more when you age.”
Expressing his hope for his fellow player, Lyons said, “He maintains fitness. I hope that he reaches 400 games. He has my full backing.”
Lyons expressed his disbelief at the lapse in time it had taken for another Sea Eagles player to join him in this exclusive club. He mentioned Steve Menzies as an honourable member, despite his few years with the Northern Eagles.
There exists footage of Lyons’s significant 300th game against Wests in 1999 on Youtube, a period that marked his last season in the first-grade. During this game, he significantly contributed to Menzies’s performance.
“I do recall setting up ‘Beaver’ [Menzies] for his 100th try that day,” reminisced Lyons.
Daly’s performance following ‘Turbo’ [Tom Trbojevic]’s loss has been commendable and a pleasure to watch, according to Lyons.
He said, “I’m eager to watch his performance this weekend. While his achievement is fantastic, it’s also an impressive season for him.”
Living in Curl Curl, the same suburb as Cherry-Evans, Lyons often runs into him. However, the only time he spars with him is during the State of Origin.
Cherry-Evans has a contract which runs through 2025, at which stage he will be 36. Manly has agreed to accommodate him if he chooses to prolong his career.
Fulton agreed that comparing different eras is challenging but was confident that “Manly is undoubtedly in capable hands with Daly.”
Many are left wondering what his thoughts would be on the present debate.
Evidently, Cherry-Evans has no inclination to quit playing representative football. He led Queensland to an Origin series victory this year. Coach Anthony Seibold corroborates this sentiment, convinced that their halfback is “at the peak of his career.”
His teammate’s commend Cherry-Evans’s ability to stay on the field.
“It took me seven seasons to play 100 games so I can only imagine how challenging it must be to play 300 games,” noted centre Brad Parker.
Cherry-Evans’s family will participate in the jersey presentation in Wollongong on Friday night.
In addition, Manly’s rake, Lachie Croker, will celebrate his own milestone- his 100th game. This achievement holds significance considering he surmounted three ruptured ACLs. Moreover, one injury at 14 necessitated an almost year-long wait to undergo surgery as a public patient.