Daly’s hair-raiser – on and off the field

WHEN the Manly Sea Eagles took the field against the Titans at the weekend, I waited for a member of the FoxSports commentary team to inform viewers the reason for the rather eccentric haircut being sported by Daly Cherry-Evans.

For those who did not see the game - or the hairstyle - the champion Sea Eagles halfback was sporting a pseudo Mohawk, but his looked as though it had been styled with a knife and fork.

If he was endeavoring to make a statement, I suggest it was lost on most viewers.In this day and age when a prominent sports person - particularly a footballer - suddenly emerges parading a new haircut or another tattoo, none of us should be surprised.

Even sexagenarians like me have become immune to the shock factor.

But the reason I make mention of the Daly Cherry-Evans hairstyle is because it seems totally out of character, and came completely out of the blue.

When I saw it I was hoping there was some simple explanation - he was doing it for the Leukaemia Foundation's World's Greatest Shave, or had made a promise to a young cancer sufferer.

I am still wondering what possessed this terrific young bloke - an outstanding media performer and a genuine pin-up boy of the NRL - to make such an erratic statement.

As he took the field I noticed a smirk on his face, or maybe it was an embarrassed simper.

From the outset the halfback played superbly.

As he always does he dominated the game and early on kicked a marvelous 40-20.

But at a vital stage of the match he made an indefensible error, one that cost his team the two premiership points.

With the scores locked at 14-all, Cherry-Evans sent a line drop-out sailing over the sideline and the resultant penalty goal gave the Titans a 16-14 win.

There was nowhere for the halfback - and his haircut - to hide.

Not for one minute am I suggesting the haircut was the reason for the misjudged kick, but the question begs to be asked - what was his mindset when the haircut happened?

And what did his team mates think when they first saw the result this out-of-character decision?

My thoughts turn to 1996 when another brilliant halfback, Andrew Johns, ran out for Newcastle against Manly with his hair dyed red.

In his autobiography - The Two of Me - Johns rated this match the worst of his career, and revealed the incident had been a cry for help.

Ironically, Johns is currently coaching the Sea Eagles halves.

Surely we can't draw a parallel between the two incidents?

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