Say please Broncos, with a Cherry on top

MEMO Broncos - rip up the contract supposedly prepared for Cameron Smith to sign from 2015 onwards, and replace it with one for Daly Cherry-Evans.

The rangy Sea Eagles halfback - he's 180cm tall, or six foot to those closer to my vintage - was absolutely superb in their gripping elimination final win against the Sharks on Friday night.

In fact, he was the difference between the two teams.

His kicking game was excellent, a bomb leading to Manly's first try and a crafty grubber resulting in their second.

He repeatedly took the right options in attack and it was Cherry-Evans who started and finished the short-side raid for the much-needed try that established their match-winning lead.

And right at the death, when the Sharks grubbered in a last-gasp effort to take the game to golden point, it was Cherry-Evans who was johnny-on-the-spot to dive on the rolling ball and snuff out that last flicker of hope.

But most impressive was the maturity shown by one so young.

In just his third NRL season Cherry-Evans has developed in to a genuine leader and his coolness under pressure is akin to the qualities that make Smith such a commanding on-field general.

A post-match comment by the Manly halfback is not just typical of his honesty and maturity, but also tells us he is a tough marker. He said he was unhappy with his defence - yet he made 23 tackles and missed just three.

Already with a whiff of Origin experience and a green and gold jersey in his closet - and possibly another when the World Cup squad is announced - this kid is the next big thing in rugby league. He is Cameron Smith in the making.

And that's why the Broncos, who have desperately lacked on-field generalship since Darren Lockyer retired two seasons ago, should offer the Redcliffe-born redhead the big bucks they have allegedly put aside for Smith.

Following the poorest season in their 25-year history the Broncos have acknowledged they need a recruiting drive to restore their dulled lustre, and marquee players head that list.

And in that respect they don't come any bigger than Smith.

But the Storm, Queensland and Australian captain will be a rising 32-year-old at the start of the 2015 season, and that is dad's army territory. Cherry-Evans, on the other hand, will be 26 and a much better long-term investment.

Cherry-Evans would bring an exceptional package to Red Hill. Apart from his brilliant skill set, he has a warmth that would charm their coterie of gilt-edged sponsors and his media presence is dazzling.

As far as marquee players go, he is gold bullion.

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