CARL Manu delivered everything that Maitland co-coach Mick Hickling expected and more in his debut for the Blacks.
Manu, who joined Maitland for a challenge after The Waratahs dropped to second division this year, scored a try and helped set up two others in the 37-32 defeat over Southern Beaches.
“Even a couple of times when we were on the back foot, he was still able to produce some magic,” Hickling said of the inside centre. “For one try, he bounced off a couple of blokes, accelerated and found someone in support. In the second half, he threw a cut-out ball to the winger, backed up in support and beat a couple of defenders to score. He is a pretty handy footballer.”
Hickling also had praise for prop Willie Soe, who along with fellow bookend James Robinson, played 80 minutes in the heat.
The Blacks will be without Mick Howell (ankle) and Travis Brooke (knee) for at least a fortnight, and fullback Chis Logan (hand) is in doubt for the visit by Wanderers on Saturday.
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