Turbo eyes Blue as McLean’s debut hopes dashed
Size up Tom Trbojevic's Blues jersey now Freddie, Turbo is ready to take off.
Trbojevic made an impressive yet far from perfect return from his hamstring injury in Manly's 22-20 win over the Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday night.
The Sea Eagles fullback produced two try assists and ran for over 100 metres but he also dropped two bombs, including one that led to a North Queensland try.
But most importantly for NSW's chances of levelling the Origin series in Perth in a fortnight's time, Trbojevic's troublesome hamstring pulled through unscathed.
The reigning Blues players' player will come straight into Brad Fittler's side for Origin II on June 23, most likely to replace Canberra's Nick Cotric on the wing.
Trbojevic now must avoid injury in Manly's clash against St George Illawarra at Lottoland on Sunday to secure his NSW Origin recall.
The Sea Eagles flyer was thrilled to be playing again after his eight-week stint on the sidelines.
"It's great to be back," Trbojevic said.
McLean hamstring injury a blow for Blues
Cowboys prop Jordan McLean should be David Klemmer's replacement as starting prop for NSW in Origin II.
McLean has played eight matches for Australia and deserves his chance to impress for the Blues.
The Sydney-born prop was barnstorming against Manly with strong running and solid defence before hobbling off late in the second half with a hamstring injury.
Hopefully McClean can recover because Fittler could do worse than giving him an opportunity to rip into the Maroons.
Michael Morgan has regained his mojo as one of the NRL's premier playmakers.
Morgan has battled for consistent form since his purple patch in 2017 but he appears to be rebuilding his confidence.
The Cowboys captain set up two tries against Manly while he looked classy and dangerous every time he touched the football.
Morgan may be playing in the centres for Queensland but his versatility makes him one of the NRL's most potent players.
CHERRY RIPE FOR SUCCESS
Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans backed up his classy Origin performance for Queensland with a solid display against the Cowboys.
Cherry-Evans controlled proceedings for the Sea Eagles with his pinpoint passing and kicking game but lacked his usual spark.
In fairness, DCE has only played two games since returning from his six-week absence due to an ankle injury and he'll only get better with more match fitness.
This shapes as significant news for a Manly team determined to defy the pre-season predictions and make the finals.
MANLY A GENUINE THREAT WHEN FIT
Des Hasler had his spare part Sea Eagles flying without Daly Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic, so they've got no excuses now their stars have returned.
Hasler's men have the potential to compete with any team in the competition if all their players are on deck.
They proved this against North Queensland even though they were rusty, especially in attack.
Manly must find another gear if they can seriously challenge the top teams like South Sydney, the Roosters and Melbourne.