Mental demons will add to Tom Trbojevic's woes

Manly's Tom Trbojevic is tackled during last Sunday's match against the Canberra Raiders. Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Manly's Tom Trbojevic is tackled during last Sunday's match against the Canberra Raiders. Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

During my own career, I reckon I tore my hamstring six or seven times.

I did my first one back in 1988 and I don't think I ever fully recovered either physically or mentally.

I could go 18 months and then bang, with no explanation, I could do a hammy.

It would do your head in because you'd do all the hard work to get it right and get back out there, but always in the back of your mind was the nagging thought about it going again.

I don't know whether it was my subconscious playing tricks or what it was but I always felt something wasn't quite right and I'd let the trainers and physio know and they'd get it tested and tell me it was good.

But always in the back of my mind, I was worried about it and thought I could feel it.

Unfortunately, I think that's what Manly star Tom Trbojevic is going to go through now for the rest of his career.

I'm a massive Tommy Turbo fan, I really rate him as a player. He's a favourite of mine, one of the best players in the game and he's only 22.

But I can relate to what he faces now and he's going to need some help to overcome not just the injury itself but its mental impact. He is going to have the same struggle I had.

He's going to have to fight those mental demons and will find it very difficult when he eventually does get back on the field to be completely confident in it holding up when he wants to go bang and put the foot down.

From my experience, it's a mental challenge no matter how much work he does and it will always be there.

It will always be in the back of his mind that when he gets out in some space, there'll be that doubt there about whether it's going to hold up.

Given he's had three now in 12 months and he's put in all the work and effort to get it right, it's a real concern and I really feel for him.

I think they need to handle him with kid gloves this time because it's pretty obviously it is going to be an ongoing concern for the rest of his career.

They are going to have to closely monitor his workload. They have to get the ratios of strength and power exactly right.

They'll be looking at what has potentially been done wrong in the past, but the bottom line is they will have to take their time with him.

He might not be back now until the finals and given his history, you just can't take a risk on a franchise player like him.

He's got to get it right otherwise they'll just keep recurring. I wish him all the best with it.

Broncos disaster

I didn't have the Brisbane Broncos in my top eight at the start of the season but I expected them to be at least in the fight for a spot.

What I didn't expect was to see them in the gaping hole they are in at the moment.

They have some wonderful young forwards in Brisbane but their roster issues with players on massive overs for what they are delivering each week is killing them.

They have shed experience to keep youth and are paying a huge price for some really poor recruitment decisions.

Given their resources and their pick of the best players north of the border, the Broncos should never be a rebuilding club but that's what they are looking like now.

It's become a disaster up there and the way out still looks pretty murky to me.



Souths are getting back to full strength and building into some really good form and I'm wondering if the Panthers can maintain the sort of consistency they have shown in recent weeks. Bunnies for mine in a tight one.


I still can't believe the Warriors showed Stephen Kearney the door last weekend and it wouldn't surprise me that after losing the coach that has been the glue holding them together through the pandemic, things go downhill quickly and badly for our Kiwi friends.


The Roosters look unstoppable at the moment and I just can't see the Dragons extending them in this one on recent form.


I'm loving what the Knights are producing each week with their toughness and ability to hang in when all is not going well. They are everything the Cowboys aren't at the moment. Paul Green will be expecting a response from his side at home but I'm still on the Knights.


All hell will break loose in Brisbane if the Broncos don't win this one so there is enormous pressure there. Anthony Milford must stand up and the same goes for a few other high-paid teammates who should be embarrassed with their output.


I've been super impressed with the Eels while the Raiders haven't really clicked with the new rules but I can see this game finally bringing out the best in them. I'm wondering if Parra may feel a bit of a letdown after the Roosters loss. Canberra in a tight one.


Manly were unbelievable in outlasting the Raiders despite all the adversity last weekend and even without Tommy Turbo, I think they will beat a Sharks side whose attack is only spluttering along.


For mine, the Tigers just have more points in them and will get the job done against the Bulldogs.

This story Laurie Daley fears for Tommy Turbo's career-long mental battle first appeared on The Canberra Times.