A hobbling Daly Cherry-Evans showed he is set to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to New South Wales finally wresting back the Origin rugby league crown, if he is fit, after playing a starring role in Manly's 32-10 National Rugby League win over the Bulldogs.
Struggling with a knee problem, Cherry-Evans engineered a dramatic Sea Eagles first half surge which set up Manly's win, before being replaced just after the break following a controversial tackle from Bulldogs forward Sam Kasiano.
The prop was put on report for diving at the legs of Cherry-Evans as he kicked the ball in the 44th minute.
The Manly playmaker, who is due to take over the Queensland No.7 role from the injured Cooper Cronk for State of Origin II on June 18th, left the field and didn't return.
Cherry-Evans sat on the sideline with his left knee heavily iced, the same knee he injured in Origin I, and didn't return to the game.
According to medical reports he jarred the knee in the Kasiano tackle but did no further damage.
With New South Wales seeking to break Queensland's eight-year stranglehold on Origin after their 12-8 win in the opening game, Cherry-Evans shapes as a key player in the Maroons line-up.
Friday night's win lifts Manly to level on points with the table-topping Bulldogs, who still lead the standings by virtue of a better points differential.