Is Manly star Tom Trbojevic fit enough to handle the rigours of State of Origin?
That's the question after the fullback's tepid performance in the Sea Eagles's humbling 38-0 defeat to Brisbane on Friday night.
The reigning Dally M medallist played the full 80 minutes in the opening night of NRL Magic Round, but was clearly in discomfort with his knee heavily bandaged.
It was the first time Manly had been kept scoreless in a regular-season game since 1999 and the defeat was the Sea Eagles' biggest-ever against Brisbane.
Trbojevic lacked impact from the back and his form on a wet Suncorp Stadium track in his second game back from mid-season knee surgery will leave NSW coach Brad Fittler with plenty to ponder ahead of Origin I on June 8.
Andrew Johns described Trbojevic's contribution and inability to compete as "sad".
"He's not fit," ex-NSW star Johns said on the Nine Network. "He can't break tackles.
"It's easy for us to sit here and say 'he shouldn't be playing' (because) sometimes the decision has to be taken out of his hands."
Both Trbojevic and Manly coach Des Hasler insisted after the game he was fit, but it was noticeable in one Broncos try Trbojevic didn't even get close to stopping Brisbane winger Corey Oates from touching down.
Manly have just one win from their last four and face Parramatta and Melbourne in the next fortnight.
"We've got a tough couple coming up and it's important (to have Trbojevic on deck)," Hasler said. "But it's important we start putting games together and start getting some consistency.
"Sure we were brave against Souths and we had a win against the Tigers last week but tonight was unacceptable and the players know that.
"Hopefully we'll make amends for that next week against Parra."
Australian Associated Press
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