Business as usual for Cherry-Evans after Origin snub
If Daly Cherry-Evans was feeling dejected by Queensland selectors overlooking him for the opening Origin game, he certainly didn't give any hints away at Manly training.
"I couldn't tell if he was down or not," Sea Eagles centre Brian Kelly said.
"He turns up and has the same attitude. He ripped into training and it shows he's looking forward to this week's game."
Manly take on the Cowboys at Lottoland on Thursday and having Cherry-Evans at halfback should help the hosts keep a better eye on Johnathan Thurston.
"Definitely as our captain and our leader it's good for us to have him for the Cowboys [but] unfortunate for him and we all feel for him," winger Jorge Taufua said.
"You can never really tell with Cherry if Origin played on his mind or not. He seems to have the same great attitude at training every day and today was no different."
The Maroons opted to have Ben Hunt at halfback and Michael Morgan as the bench utility for the June 6 match at the MCG. Cherry-Evans has played both No.7 and No.14 in six games for Queensland, the last in 2015.
"He was unlucky because he has been one of our best performers this year and last year," Kelly said.
But the Sea Eagles still found something to cheer about with both Trbojevic's finally to play for NSW together. Tom was 18th man last year and did not play in the series alongside older brother Jake, who made his Blues debut last year, playing all three games.
"It will be awesome for him to play with his brother there. They both work well together and it’s well-deserved by both of them," Kelly said.
"I'm not too sure where they'll play Tommy but wherever he goes, he's fast, he passes well, he can do a lot of things people don't expect. He's Tommy Turbo don't forget."
Kelly could hardly wipe the smile off his face as he and Taufua donned full NSW Fire Rescue kit and went up an extension ladder 30 metres off the ground after Sea Eagles training on Monday.
The Fire brigade boys are playing Navy in the curtain-raiser to the Manly-Cowboys game on Thursday.
But Kelly is also glad to have his wing-man Taufua back on his outside. Taufua had a knee reconstruction last year and missed 14 games, then only played three this season before tearing his pectoral muscle.
The last-minute 21-20 loss to Canberra last Friday at GIO Stadium was Taufua's first game back.
"It was pretty disappointing losing him so early," Kelly said.
"There was a lot of shuffling there on the wing outside me. It was good to have him out there and in my ear again. It was like old times. He just says the right things at the right time and does his fair share of tough carries."
Taufua, who has scored 72 tries in 116 appearances for Manly, can't really put his finger on why he has been plagued by long-term injuries recently.
"Every time I start to feel good and confident, something seems to come to set me back," he said.
"But I'm back on the field again so that's the most important thing. I'm a bit rusty but looking forward to improving.
"It's good to pair up with Brian again. I look forward to working that combination again. Two or three more games and I think we'll be back into the groove of things."