Storm back Munster to make call on knee

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Cameron Munster will have the final say on whether he plays Friday night's NRL qualifying final against Manly after getting through captain's run comfortably with a stitched-up knee.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has backed the judgement of his superstar five-eighth to make the call on game day knowing the first spot in the preliminary finals is at stake against the red-hot Sea Eagles side.

Munster completed most of Thursday's training with the decision to come on game day depending on how the 26-year-old pulls up overnight.

However, given they have a second chance in the finals, Bellamy said they won't be taking any risks with the chance of busting internal and external stitches on his knee.

"We won't take any great risks with him, but basically the decision is going to be up to him," Bellamy said.

"He's an experienced player and knows what's expected in these big games so he will make that decision, and then we'll go from there.

"It doesn't look like it's hindering him at all ... it is a bit of a risk, it's his knee so he needs to do what he feels comfortable with."

His inclusion would be a huge boost for the minor premiers at Sunshine Coast Stadium as they face a healthy Manly side shaping as one of the biggest threats for the NRL title.

Star fullback Tom Trbojevic has attracted all the attention in recent weeks.

He's not only Manly's biggest weapon in pursuit of the premiership, but has landed among the greats with one of the best individual seasons in NRL history.

He appears to be warming up for a big finals series too.

Over the past fortnight the 24-year-old has scored six tries and two try-assists, including a whopping 19 tackle-breaks against North Queensland last weekend.

However, only a month ago Melbourne held Manly off for a 28-18 win, and it was one of just two NRL games this season Trbojevic hasn't scored.

But they couldn't stop him completely.

"Last time he had two try assists and a fair few metres," Bellamy said.

"We did do a pretty good job, but I imagine it's going to be another level (on Friday) night.

"We can't stop it, we've just got to try and reduce that effectiveness as much as possible."

Since then, the Sea Eagles have won four straight games including thrashing Parramatta, but they're yet to beat another top-four side this season.

Losses to South Sydney and Penrith twice early this season has left them without a major scalp coming into week one of the play offs.

Their most recent taste of Melbourne gave them a lesson, though.

A dismal 68 per cent rate and 13 errors handed possession over too easily to the ruthless outfit.

"We realised out of that game, it wasn't so much them controlling Tommy (Trbojevic), it's probably what we need to do to combat and to meet Melbourne," said coach Des Hasler.

"Possession is important, you can't turn the ball over.

"They're a side that can really strangle you."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting