Tom Trbojevic questions raised after damning footage emerges before Origin

The Manly fullback is in a fight to be picked in Brad Fittler's Blues side.

·4-min read
Tom Trbojevic running after Selwyn Cobbo and Trbojevic during a NRL game.
Questions have been raised over Tom Trbojevic's (pictured right) inclusion in the Blues' State of Origin team after footage emerged sparking debate. (Images; Channel Nine/Getty Images)

Tom Trbojevic's inclusion in the Blues' State of Origin team has come under more scrutiny after footage from Manly's drubbing at the hands of the Broncos raised further questions. The Broncos destroyed Manly 32-6 at home in Magic Round to cement their spot at the top of the NRL ladder.

Selwyn Cobbo scored a hat-trick to further enhance his chances of an Origin recall for the Maroons, but Trbojevic continues to cause doubts in the minds of those south of the border. One moment that seemed to show the fullbacks downfall was when he threw an intercept to Cobbo.

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Trbojevic's pass was taken by the Maroons star who bobbled the ball. Trbojevic turned around to chase Cobbo but was unable to even get close as the 20-year-old raced away and left the Manly fullback in his dust.

While it may have been difficult for Trbojevic to catch Cobbo, the effort highlighted his troubles. And the Fox Sports NRL 360 panel pointed to the damning footage when questioning whether Blues coach Brad Fittler would pick Trbojevic for State of Origin.

Fittler has the opportunity to pick Campbell Graham in the centre after starting the season in career best form. Many New South Wales supporters have Graham - who played wing for the Kangaroos - in the centres, which is replicated in the Yahoo Sports Australia poll.

And with Trbojevic's form lacking, NRL reporter Paul Crawley pointed to the footage in what could be a case against picking the Manly fullback. “It is not enough when you watch this vision against the Broncos,” Crawley said on the show.

“He throws the ball and Cobbo latches onto it and Tom gives chase. The old Tom hunts him down. This Tom is losing a yard or two over 10 or 20 metres. He’s nowhere near.

“Kenty, you sat here a month ago and said, it is an honest conversation. Do you still stand by it being an honest conversation? Or has it gone past that?”

Reporter Paul Kent admitted that he doesn't feel the fullback is able to compete at 100 per cent due to fear of further injury. “I actually think the honest conversation will be Tom saying, I am not up for it right now,” Kent said.

“Because I don’t think he trusts his hamstring. I think he is running within himself because he still doesn’t trust the hamstring."

Graham Campbell scores a try.
Graham Campbell (pictured) is putting his hand up for Blues selection in State of Origin. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Josh Addo-Carr back in Blues contention

Trbojevic may have been seen as an easy pick for the centre spot in the Blues team to accomodate Graham on the wing, which is where he played for the Kangaroos during the World Cup final. However, Josh Addo-Carr's recovery appears to have gone well and the star winger could be making a return this weekend.

If Addo-Carr is fit, Fittler will feel the pressure of picking the speedster considering he sensationally left him out of last year's Origin team. This would mean a shootout between Graham and Trbojevic for the centre spot next to Latrell Mitchell.

Josh Addo-Carr watches on during a NRL game.
Josh Addo-Carr (pictured) could be set to return as early as this week, which could offer a wing role for the Blues. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Trbojevic has jut a few games left to put his hand up for selection, but one player that knows he will perform at his best in the State of Origin arena is Blues captain James Tedeso. The Kangaroos and Blues fullback is confident the Manly star would step-up to the occasion if given the opportunity.

"I think everyone's seen how well he plays at Origin level no matter if he's coming off injuries or not playing many games," Tedesco said. "He still comes in and kills it. There'd be no doubts over Tommy in the Origin arena."

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