Manly coach Des Hasler might be telling fibs but he says his heart didn't go into his mouth when he saw fullback Tom Trbojevic pull up lame 42 minutes into the second half against the Rabbitohs at Lottoland on Saturday.
The Sea Eagles eventually won the round four clash 13-12 in golden point, but audible gasps could be heard from most of the 12,304 spectators when Trbojevic began limping towards the sideline with the recurrence of a left hamstring strain.
"Look it's part and parcel of the game," Hasler said.
"I felt sorry for the young fellow. He's worked hard on the injury and he does it tough on the sideline too. So he's going to have to do it a little bit tougher for a bit longer."
Another tear in the same leg muscle could mean a lengthier spell on the sidelines this time for the 22-year-old. He spent four weeks in rehab last time after first hurting the hamstring in mid-February in a trial against the Sharks.
Trbojevic missed the first two rounds of the season but returned against the Warriors a week ago. He made his presence felt with two tries in Auckland and one at Lottoland in just three halves of football.
Match Highlights: Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs
"We'll go through the scans and take it from there," Hasler said.
"Most sides in the off-season will train a number of players in different positions for moments like that.
"Brendan Elliott has worked in that position over the off-season and also a fellow like Jack [Gosiewski] can go from the back row out to centre and hold his end up.
"It makes all that work in the off-season worthwhile."
Elliott shifted from left centre to fullback. He made over 100 metres and three tackle-breaks.
Some of the stars of the win were props Martin Taupau (199 metres, five tackle-breaks) and Addin Fonua-Blake (160 metres, two tackle busts) - both with 60 post-contact metres - who along with Jake Trbojevic held the middle firm.
After two straight losses to start the season, Manly is now 2-2 and preparing to face the Knights next Saturday at McDonald Jones Stadium.
"It was an important win for us," Hasler said.
"It was an entertaining game where there was probably 21 reasons why we shouldn't have won the game and one reason why we did."
The 21 "reasons" was the error count by the Sea Eagles. The saving grace was Daly Cherry-Evans' field goal in the 85th minute.
"They showed some grit and determination so they are hallmarks in any team – especially against a side like South Sydney – that are very handy," Hasler said.
It was also Manly's first win at home in 2019 after losing to the Roosters in round two. But it was only their second win in 10 home games.
Clutch Cherry-Evans nails field goal for win