Relieved Barrett finds solace in NRL win

Trent Barrett has seen his Manly side end a five-game NRL losing streak.Manly coach Trent Barrett hopes he never has to repeat what he’s endured over the past five weeks.

But if he does, then he’ll be prepared for it.

From the salary cap scandal, to the Gladstone drama, to the Jackson Hastings saga, and even hysteria over his coaching future, it’s been a tumultuous season thus far for the NRL’s youngest coach.

However, Barrett finally received some respite in the form of a 38-24 win over Brisbane on Saturday, ending a harrowing five-game losing streak that began in Gladstone.

“Words can’t describe how relieved we are and how happy I am for the players and for the footy club in general. For our fans, we needed that more than ever,” Barrett said.

Barrett was quick to exalt the leadership of his senior players, with Trbojevic brothers Jake and Tom, hooker Api Koroisau, and skipper Daly Cherry-Evans all featuring heavily in the win.

He even reserved some praise for rising talents Moses Suli and Brian Kelly.

The performance was the perfect tonic for a coach who appeared on tilt with the club after being captured meeting with his manager and lawyer earlier this month.

“I’m hoping I don’t have to go through a lot of them again. But if I ever do, I’ll be well-prepared for it. Only experience can give you that,” Barrett said.

He admitted there were some situations that he would’ve handled differently, but those lessons only came from the issues he’s experienced.

“It’s easy for everyone to sit on the outside and say you should do this or do that, but there was some situations there where you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t,” he said.

“Everyone wants honesty. (But) sometimes when you give honesty, you get shot down for it.

“I will learn a lot from the last five weeks. It’s taken some resolve. It’s been difficult, but I’m glad we stuck it out and you’ve seen that tonight.”

Cherry-Evans, whose captaincy was questioned after revelations of an incident between him and Hastings in Gladstone that resulted in him being fined, said he had also learnt from their ordeals.

After making the finals last year, he discovered how quickly their fortunes can turn.

“We had a really good season last year and through the first eight rounds we only had two wins and all of a sudden we were in a really poor situation,” he said.

“It’s been really pleasing to see the group stick together despite what’s been written about us.”

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