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Manly coach Des Hasler

Coach Des Hasler has dropped a subtle hint to Moses Suli of how fragile his place might be in the Sea Eagles back line.

The 20-year-old was relegated on the grounds of performance issues from the side that beat the Rabbitohs 13-12 in extra time last Saturday, 

Hasler never divulged what Suli's indiscretions were but ruled out any integrity concerns, such as missing training, arriving late, or alcohol-related behaviour.

On Friday, as the Sea Eagles prepared to board their bus for the trip up the M1 Motorway to Newcastle for Saturday's clash with the Knights, Hasler said Suli would definitely be in the team.

But he added a small caveat.

"He's been good. It's sliding doors isn't it? One player goes down and he gets his chance again," Hasler said, referring to Tom Trbojevic (hamstring) missing this weekend.

"He [Suli] would have done it tough last week too in that game. He fully understands the consequences and fully understands the professional nature of this game."

Knights v Sea Eagles - Round 5

Brendan Elliot was Suli's replacement at right centre against South Sydney, but moves to fullback to cover for Trbojevic. Bench utility Jack Gosiewski jumped into the centres and did a great job in defence opposing Dane Gagai.

Hasler on Friday wanted to sew the seed in Suli's mind that if Trbojevic hadn't been injured the Fairfield United junior might not have been an automatic choice to return to the centres.

"How long is a piece of string? Someone else might have got hurt and someone else got back in. It's not about that," Hasler said.

"Without re-hashing everything it's about the standards that players set themselves."

Manly centre Moses Suli
Manly centre Moses Suli ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

Suli lasted at Hasler's former club the Bulldogs less than a month in 2018, when repeated warnings on professional behaviour went unheeded.

But Hasler knows Suli's potential and is determined to get the best out of the youngster, even if that means a bit of tough love.

"He does have that [potential]. He's moved on now and he'll be all the better for it," he said.

Hasler then turned to the Knights to throw a few mind games their way by saying he felt they were a top four side despite a 1-3 start to 2019.

"You need to put that into context. They've been in every contest, they lost last week in golden point, so we need to be one our toes," he said, adding he had told his troops to expect Kalyn Ponga on the field.

The talented fullback arrived back from New Zealand on Friday, after attending a family funeral, and was expected to complete the early evening captain's run.

"You always prepare for a strike player like Kalyn," Hasler said.

"He's a special player in that sense, so you do your due diligence with players like that."

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