Daly Cherry-Evans of the Sea Eagles.
Daly Cherry-Evans of the Sea Eagles. DEAN LEWINS

No more excuses for Manly, says DCE

RUGBY LEAGUE: After a horror 2016, there will be no excuses for poor performances under Daly Cherry-Evans' watch at Manly.

The new Sea Eagles skipper said a messy betting scandal, lengthy injury list and coach Trent Barrett being in his rookie year all contributed to the side suffering its worst season since 2004.

"We definitely had a lot of excuses and reasons to not play well last year and we probably bought into them, myself included," Cherry-Evans said.

"This year I feel as though the playing group won't give themselves an opportunity or excuse to lay down. I think that's going to be a great trait of ours this year."

Cherry-Evans has replaced the retired Jamie Lyon, who led the club to two premierships during his 224-game career with the Sea Eagles.

But his reign ended with successive years out of the playoffs.

"To be honest, I didn't watch too much of the finals series because it really did hurt," Cherry-Evans said.

"I'm looking forward to this year, to hopefully put me back on the map."

The 28-year-old admitted he was surprised to get the captaincy nod ahead of Jake Trbojevic, who has led the Sea Eagles to two trial match wins ahead of their round-one clash with Parramatta on March 5.

"I understood that I would've been in contention, but to get it I was definitely surprised, just purely based on the amount of good leaders we have," Cherry-Evans said.

"Obviously that leadership role wasn't given to me last year. I wasn't expecting that to change, but it has and it's an opportunity for me to show my leadership skills."