Addin Fonua-Blake's mood has been considerably lightened with the sight of Tony 'T-Rex' Williams training with the Manly NRL squad this week.
The Sea Eagles' forward stocks are looking a bit with Curtis Sironen (foot), Joel Thompson (broken arm), Taniela Paseka (knee), Morgan Boyle (shoulder) and Martin Taupau (suspension) missing for the elimination final against the Sharks at Lottoland on Saturday.
Prop Sean Keppie has been called up from Blacktown Workers – Manly's Canterbury Cup side – and Williams might follow him. The Sea Eagles received special dispensation from the NRL to allow Williams to be named in the 21-man squad on Tuesday.
"If he comes back and plays the way he did when he was first here, I might have to kiss him," Fonua-Blake said of the man who played 73 games for Manly from 2009-2012 including winning the 2011 premiership.
"Big T-Rex won a grand final here so his experience would be what we're looking for. We've lost so much with no Siro, Thommo and Marty, even Turbo [Tom Trbojevic].
"So it's good to have him around to learn off him and get some advice off him."
Finals Snapshot: Sea Eagles
Williams was named by coach Des Hasler on the extended bench in jersey No.21.
Second-rower Jack Gosiewski is in the starting 17 but he didn't look at full pace at training on Tuesday with a heavily strapped left knee as he ran drills down the North Narrabeen sidelines.
Williams would move into consideration if Gosiewski isn't able to pass a final fitness test at Friday's Captain's Run. 'T-Rex' was part of a formidable Manly back row alongside Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart in 2011. He then moved onto stints with the Bulldogs, Sharks, and Eels.
But since Williams has played just six NRL games in the past three years, it might be a long-shot to parachute him into an elimination final.
Fonua-Blake says he could use the help though.
"I'll have my hands full this weekend. Obviously losing Marty [Taupau] hurts so I'll have to pick up a bit of slack," he said.
"Blokes like Andrew [Fifita], [Aaron] Woods, Matt Prior and [Braden] Hamlin-Uele are obviously big boys so I'm going to have to bring my A-game.
"I've still got Jakey [Trbojevic] there and whoever comes in to fill Marty's spot [Keppie] I'll support them as best I can."
A lot of Fonua-Blake's attention will be centred on his Tonga teammate Andrew Fifita.
"There'll definitely be a bit of banter between me and the big fella. I love playing against Andrew – the big teddy bear," Fonua-Blake said with a laugh.
"But when he's on the field he's a hard man to handle. I won't be speaking to him this week – I'll probably delete his messages this week. But maybe next week.
"At this moment I'm just looking forward to Manly – Manly is first at this current point in time."
To help Hasler fill a few holes last week against the Eels, Fonua-Blake played on the edge in the second row.
"It was just to fill in as we were short on numbers so I put my hand up for Dessie and said 'If you need someone to fill in there I'll do it for you'.
"It was my first time for a long time I've played on the edge. I've just got to lose a couple kilos if I want to stay out there.
"It was a good challenge. I didn't mind it. The boys around me made it easier.
"But I'll be back in the middle this week with no Marty."