By STEVE MASCORD
MANLY players have revealed how Immortal Andrew Johns has overhauled the attacking play of halves Daly Cherry Evans and Keiran Foran for 2013.
It was a feature of the Sea Eagles’ 22-14 win over Brisbane on Friday night that the playmakers were often next to each other rather than patrolling different sides of the field, as has been the case for most of their time together in first grade.
“You might have notices they linked up a couple of times … which was good to see,” said prop Brent Kite.
“They’ve been locked in on their respective sides and it was good to see them linking up. We scored a try off one movement.
“I think Joey might have had a bit to do with that, Toovs (coach Geoff Toovey) as well. There’s a bit of a brains trust there – Brad Arthur’s going really well.
“They’re doing a bit of work with Joey away from the team but also, they’ve got a few structures where we big blokes are involved in some of their collaborations.
“We’re in the middle of some of their linking movements and we need to be there (at training) for that.”
Johns, who had previously worked as a consultant at a number of clubs, became a fulltime member of the Manly coaching staff in November.
Back rower Anthony Watmough added: “Having Joey on board is massive for our young boys. Look at the way they played. The thing is, they’ve got improving to do – that’s only going to be a bonus to us.
“Any time you can get your halves on the big side, running plays, it’s dangerous. Teams are doing it, so is our team, and it’s exciting football to watch.”
Hooker Matt Ballin said: “If we can involve Daly and Kieran in the same play and we’ve got guys like Brett Stewart out the back – and Jamie Lyon.
“We want to involve those two guys together and I think they’re really dangerous when they do play together. Whey they’re running the ball, they’re very good.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK