If this was the first week of the finals, Tom Trbojevic would be playing on Friday night.
But it isn't and he won't.
As good as he is, Turbo doesn’t decide when Turbo plays.
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Des Hasler does.
The superstar No.1 is pleading his case for inclusion in the Manly side to play against Canberra.
He will continue to hammer Hasler in the hope of changing his mind, but there's more chance of the Manly coach going a comb over fade at his next barber's appointment.
Hasler will listen to medical advice and rest his match-winning No.1 for at least a week after Turbo took a knock to his cheekbone against Parramatta, stirring up an old injury.
To go against the advice would invite unnecessary danger.
The brilliant No.1 hasn't trained with the main playing group this week and had been kept away from contact work in the strongest indication he won't suit up against the Raiders.
Trbojevic hates any suggestion he is a plasticine man and went out of his way to play down the cheekbone knock.
That's why he talked up his prospects of playing against the Raiders.
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) August 18, 2021
He's missed enough games without sitting one out when he feels he is fully fit and there's also the extra lure of adding to his Dally M tally.
Turbo is a footy player first and foremost.
If his talent hadn’t taken him to the top, he would have been more than happy playing with his mates and sinking tubes in the Manly A Grade competition.
He doesn't care about the fame and the money. That doesn't motivate him.
Footy is his drug of choice.
But sometimes he needs to be saved from himself.
Doubts over Andrew Fifita future
Have we have seen the last of Andrew Fifita?
No-one would begrudge Andrew Fifita if he decides to call time on his career in the wake of his serious throat injury.
The injury itself and the stress and worry it put his young family through would have anyone thinking twice about returning to the most brutal game of all.
The Sharks veteran has a year to run on his deal. He is 32, has represented Australia, Tonga and NSW and will go down as the man most responsible for handing – quite literally – Cronulla its first premiership with that incredible try against Melbourne in 2016.
At his peak, he was the best and most damaging forward in the game.
He has nothing left to prove.
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