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An emotional Ronaldo Mulitalo has broken down at Suncorp Stadium after playing his first NRL game seven days after being denied a State of Origin debut.
The 21-year-old was set to run out for Queensland at the same ground last weekend as a late replacement for the injured Reece Walsh.
Instead he was withdrawn on game day after his eligibility was questioned, the Sharks talent later ruled ineligible after the QRL had lodged an exemption with the NRL.
In his first game since the decision, Mulitalo ran hard and set up a try with a brilliant pass before he was denied one of his own when Jamayne Isaako knocked the ball from his hands in a 26-18 loss.
The winger spoke with family on the sideline post-game, breaking into tears as he walked away to cap the most dramatic of weeks.
"I can't tell you how tough and challenging the last fortnight's been for that young fella," Sharks coach Josh Hannay said.
"He's been let down by the game I believe, with the processes and how it's come to this.
"He's an emotional lad and we're always worried about that with these young boys."
Hannay said he would keep a close eye on him now that the dust had settled.
"He was really strong today, but I think it's going to hit him like a tonne of bricks tonight ... we've still got to get around him for the next few weeks.
"The one thing with Ronnie is that he wears his heart on his sleeve, which is a good thing.
"You know how he's feeling, he'll actually tell you, won't hide it."
Hannay said Matt Moylan had trained strongly on Friday despite some injury concerns and wasn't sure how severe the calf injury was that saw the half withdrawn moments before the game.