INJURED Sydney Rooster Boyd Cordner says taking a team-mate’s place is going to be his toughest part of grand final week.
The former NSW Under 20s captain has been sidelined for seven weeks with a broken ankle but tells RLW he was close to being fit for Saturday night’s preliminary final against Newcastle.
But a return against Sunday’s title joust with Manly means taking the place of Luke O’Donnell or Dylan Napa.
“I wanted to play this week, I’ll definitely be right for next week,” said Cordner, 21.
“It’s just a matter of whether I get picked or not.
“I don’t wish (missing out) upon anyone but I suppose that’s down to the coach in the end, and his decision.
“It’s not going to be pretty but I don’t want to miss out on a grand final.”
Cordner argues he’s had more than his fair share of stewing on the sidelines this year. “It’s torture to watch, it’s so hard – especially from round 26 against Souths,” he said.
“The boys have been playing unreal; it takes as much out of you as playing.
“The stress and anxiety, I’d rather be out there.“
Cordner says the mental aspect of the game has been the biggest change under new coach Trent Robinson, who said he’d have no hesitation putting the star back rower straight into the team.
“We didn’t talk about winning the competition at all – I knew we had ability but I never thought we’d be in this position now,” he said.
“I suppose throughout the season, probably halfway through, we started to feel we were the real deal. It’s just been a great year. There’s one more (game) to go – we don’t want to be losing that.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK