Making the step up from the Club’s Holden Cup squad to the extended NRL squad in 2015, Manaia Cherrington featured heavily in Wests Tigers’ NSW Cup side before eventually making his first-grade debut in Round 13 against the Gold Coast Titans.

Coming into the side for the injured Robbie Farah, Cherrington played the next three games in tandem with Dene Halatau, before the return of Farah in Round 16 forced the former Junior Kiwi international out of the side. He would return, however, the next week against the Parramatta Eels and would go on to feature in seven of the Club’s final eight games of the season, all of which came off the interchange bench.

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Season Stats

Games

Tries

Goals

Points

Metres

Runs

Tackles

11

1

-

4

225m

30

164

 

Best Game — Round 14 vs. South Sydney Rabbitohs

Coming off the interchange bench, Cherrington quickly found himself as the sole hooker in the side as Dene Halatau left the field with a bicep injury.

The wiry hooker had an instant impact — putting Ava Seumanufagai over the line for a try that was later called back for a forward pass — before some strong defense in the second half saw him hold up a rampaging George Burgess for a crucial try-saving tackle next to the posts.

Wests Tigers would go on to thrash the defending premiers 34-6.

 

Season Highlight — Round 13 vs. Gold Coast Titans

While the clear highlight of the year for Cherrington was no doubt his first-grade debut against the Gold Coast Titans at Leichhardt Oval, the match took on a special significance for the 21-year-old after the match, with his family and friends performing a surprise haka for him after the match. The video of the haka (which can be seen below) went viral, with more than 350,000 people watching the spine-tingling moment online and on social media.

On the field, the main highlight was obviously Cherrington’s first NRL try — a lovely dummy and scoot against the Broncos in Round 19 for which the rake is known for.