Daly Cherry-Evans has backed the Manly Sea Eagles to cope without star fullback Tom Trbojevic who has been ruled out for the rest of the 2022 NRL campaign.
Trbojevic sustained a shoulder injury in last week’s defeat against Parramatta. Despite it looking bad, it was hoped he may have been able to avoid surgery. That would have given some hope of a return this season.
However coach Des Hasler has confirmed their worst fears. “He will have the operation and will not play again this season,” Hasler told reporters.
Tom Trbojevic out for the season
The news is a devastating blow for the Sea Eagles and their hopes of making finals. In general they are not the same team without the gun fullback. Already their season has been written off by the media and pundits alike.
However Cherry-Evans says that is certainly not the feeling within the club. The skipper is backing Reuben Garrick to fill the No.1 jersey in Trbojevic’s absence.
He also says the more senior players are ready to step up to the plate. Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran will be crucial as the Sea Eagles look to fill the void.
“It’s understandable that people have an opinion on rugby league and agendas get driven that Manly can’t win without Tom, but the most important opinions are the ones inside our four walls,” Cherry-Evans told reporters.
“Our coaching staff haven’t lost hope and our players certainly haven’t lost hope and we’re excited for Reuben [Garrick] to get into that role and myself and Foz [Kieran Foran] have spoken and we’re excited about the more hands-on role we can take.
“As the halfback and an older player in the side I understand the impact [Tom’s injuries] have had on our side over the past 18 months but our job is to focus on what we can do to help the side now.
“It’s really important we communicate and get on the same page because we still believe we can go ahead and play finals.”
Melbourne Storm test
Manly’s first test without Trbojevic will come against the Melbourne Storm on Thursday. They sit in 10th spot on the ladder with five wins from the opening 11 games.
It is as tight as can be and the Sea Eagles need to regroup quickly. So do the Storm who have suffered back-to-back crushing defeats against Penrith and the Cowboys.
Craig Bellamy will be expecting a response from his side, and they will also welcome back Jahrome Hughes from injury.