Paul Crawley: Geoff Toovey should be front and centre for Dally M coach of the year LET'S talk about contenders for Dally M coach of the year. Most people rate Trent Robinson a walk up start for the job he has done rebuilding the Roosters into minor premiers. Michael Maguire is always the next name that gets mentioned given the wonderful work he has done transforming Souths from perennial under achievers into a premiership force. Gee Geoff Toovey couldn’t be far behind them. How do you rate the job he has done holding this Manly team together over the past two seasons to come up with a performance like they did on Friday night? So full of courage and grit and determination and everything that is good about this game. A team so tired they could hardly stand up heading into the final 20 minutes yet they just don’t know how to lay down and die. Cronulla had them, they were coming to get them, but the Sea Eagles players simply refused to surrender. They always say you can learn a lot about a football coach by the way his team goes about their business. They remind you of how Toovey used to play the game. When Des Hasler walked out on Manly at the end of 2011 pretty much everyone expected the joint to explode behind him. Toovey held his ground in his first gig as an NRL head coach. Even given his roster and the experience and quality of the stars, he had a lot of work ahead of him. And not many people expected the Sea Eagles would be still standing going into preliminary finals week because of their lack of depth. But you’d reckon the Bunnies fans will be having some sleepless nights ahead of their showdown at ANZ Stadium this Friday night. They’re a wonderful football team, Manly. So brave. But they'll need seven days to get over last night. Towards the end they looked out on their feet, like punch drunk fighters but they simply refused to give up. And as tremendous as their opponents were Cronulla just couldn’t find the knockout punch to take them out. It was a hell of a game. You think about last week’s 4-0 loss to the Roosters. In 80 minutes Manly didn’t concede a single line break against the Roosters but that effort was always going to play a part in Friday night’s contest. The Sharks pushed them hard in the opening 40 minutes but the class of Cherry-Evans was the single biggest difference. A wonderful 50 metre touch-finder from a penalty deep inside his own half was the catalyst for the opening points. From the ensuing set Brenton Lawrence charged like a buffalo and after busting through two defenders drew a penalty from Paul Gallen. Lyon drew first blood with the penalty conversion but it was a perfectly place Cherry Evans crossfield bomb that ended up in the hands of Anthony Watmough for the opening try. But the Sharks were never going to die that easily and a tremendous ball from Luke Lewis put Michael Gordon over to bring the margin back to 8-6. At that point Manly looked weary and were struggling before Cherry-Evans stepped up again, this time thinking on his feet with a grubber for Foran’s try and at 14-6 up at the break they were always going to be hard to pull back. Cherry-Evans and Foran are a fabulous halves combination and they needed all their skills to get Manly home. Together they combined for a premiership under Hasler in 2011 but the 2013 model is far more mature and they are both born winners. But you have to wonder what Manly had left after Friday night.