Rugby league immortal Andrew Johns said it was “sad” to see interrupted Tom Trobozevic on Friday night when Darren Lockier questioned whether NSW could pick a superstar fullback for the State of Origin opener.
In his second NRL game, Trobozevic was a shadow of his natural disposition when Manley surrendered 36-0 to Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
Jonathan Thurston, 25, of Nine, said he was “good to go” for Origin, but Johns said the hard truth was that he was miles away from speed.
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“He’s not fit. It’s sad to see a champion play on one leg,” Johns said.
“He can’t break the tackle. And it’s easy for us to sit here and say ‘he shouldn’t play’ – sometimes the decision has to be taken out of his hands.”
“Medical personnel have to be strong and say ‘no turbo, you’re not playing.’ It’s very sad to see. From the outside, it’s sad to see that Turbo can’t compete. “
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Johns identifies Trobozevic as coming out of a challenge for Corey Oates as a sure sign that things were not right.
“It never happens – the champion players compete in everything. It was hard to see. He’s 50 percent fit.”
Trobozevich wore heavy strapping tape to his knee after returning from a PCL injury last week and has a long history of hamstring injuries.
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“(NSW coach) Brad Fitler has some concerns,” said Marun selector Locker.
“I don’t know if it’s good but he’s probably 80 percent right now. Not picking Turbo would be a big call. Fighting. “
Playing at the centers, Trobozevich won the Wally Lewis Medal for Origin Man of the Series last year.
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He was disappointed after the heavy defeat but promised to play through his illness.
“It’s not a bad thing, I’ve got a few knocks somewhere else so we’ll pick it up and it would be good to go next week,” Trobozhevik said.
“I’d better go (for Origin). I’ll fix it myself.”
Manly coach Des Husler also downplayed Trobozevich’s injury.
“She’s OK, she’s definitely coming back – she’s not quite there yet, but she’s OK,” Hasler said.
“He wouldn’t use that as an excuse. We were there tonight.”
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