Lussick preparing to deal with painful past
In two respects it was the most courageous performance of the 2016 Telstra Premiership.
In the week that Darcy Lussick's mother Christie passed at just 42 years of age – who gave birth to him when just a teenager – the Manly prop fronted up and played against the Broncos in the Suncorp Stadum double-header, because that's what she would have wanted.
Then, obviously still in the grieving stage post game, he agreed to talk to the media about his decision to play and the emotional torment he had been forced to endure in the days leading up to kick-off.
It was simultaneously inspiring and heart-breaking and with Manly to again play a part in the double-header in Round 10 - again against Brisbane - Lussick knows that he will have to face all of those emotions again.
"Obviously it wasn't the best week for me but I've just accepted it now," Lussick told NRL.com at the launch of the double-header in Brisbane.
"Playing at the same time this year I will have to deal with it again during that week but I've accepted it and moved on.
"It makes you feel a little bit stronger when you go through something like that. It's not something that you really want to deal with but you just have to and go on.
"My mum would have wanted me to play so I didn't have any regrets or anything like that. Just disappointed that we didn't win."
After undergoing a shoulder reconstruction at the end of the 2016 season Lussick went under the surgeon's knife when an issue with ligaments in his left wrist flared up during pre-season training.
He is targeting a return to the Sea Eagles top side in either Round 3 or Round 4 and admits that the entire Manly squad are itching to make up for a disappointing campaign last year.
"A lot of us do have that mentality that we do have to make up for last year," said the 27-year-old with 103 NRL games to his name.
"A lot of people are already writing us off this year which is understandable from some of our performances last year but we're very confident in what we can do. We just want to start playing and show how far we've come.
"We've had a year together and another full off-season so there's not really any excuses for us not to perform well this year.
"It's been a long and lonely pre-season for me. I did something to the ligaments and had to get a pin put in the bone to hold it all together.
"It happened at the end of the season and I could have played through it but it just kept getting worse in pre-season training so just had to get it done so it wouldn't affect my year.
"I've been able to get a lot of 'kays' in the legs which is the main thing for me. I'm looking forward to this year and playing and not just running by myself at training."