He may be playing ducks and drakes – it wouldn’t be the first time.
Yet it appears Manly coach Des Hasler will rest fullback “Turbo” Tom Trbojevic and play captain Daly Cherry-Evans in Friday night’s round 18 game against St George Illawarra Dragons at CBUS Super Stadium.
The match will kick-off 48 hours after State of Origin Game III at the same Gold Coast venue.
It’s a selection policy with form. Two days after State of Origin Game I in Brisbane, Hasler rested Trbojevic for the subsequent Friday night game North Queensland Cowboys. Cherry-Evans, however, played – and indeed starred – in the 50-18 demolition at 4 Pines Park.
The National Rugby League‘s media wing reported the likelihood of a repeat of the selections after two very short yet telling quotes were elicited from Hasler.
When asked if Cherry-Evans would play and Trbojevic would not Hasler said: “Yes, one hundred per cent.”
When asked to confirm if that meant Cherry-Evans would back up and Trbojevic would be rested Hasler replied: “Yep”.
Despite Trbojevic’s likely absence, Manly remain $1.20 favourites to beat St George Illawarra ($4.50) who have had three players dropped – Matt Dufty, Tyrell Fuimaono and Kaide Ellis – while prop Paul Vaughan has been sacked following a well-documented party that breached the NRL’s biosecurity protocols.