Cronulla forward Anthony Tupou insists he bears no ill feelings towards Konrad Hurrell as the pair prepare to clash for the first time on Saturday since the Warriors NRL star shattered the Shark’s jaw.
Tupou couldn’t talk for three weeks and struggled to eat for months following his sickening collision with Hurrell’s knee as he attempted to tackle the rampaging centre in round nine.
The Warriors star accepted a three-week suspension for the incident and Tupou deems that punishment enough.
“I had a lot of time to think about it and I just think we’re playing a game of footy and it’s rough,” Tupou said on Wednesday ahead of their return clash in Auckland.
“That’s honestly how I feel and I don’t have any bad feelings towards him.
“People ask me that question as if they want me to feel that way, but I just don’t.”
Tupou is still numb in parts of the jaw that was fractured in four places and required extensive repair work.
But he’ll have no reservations tackling Hurrell head on again if it comes to that.
“It’s funny how it worked out,” Tupou said.
“That was my last game and this is the comeback game. If anything, it shows I’m back quicker than I thought and I’m ready to go.
“He’s just like everyone else. I want to tackle him hard.”
Cronulla’s former Test forward actually feels he benefited from his time on the sidelines.
“Everyone could do with a rest during the year and that’s probably one of the positive things,” Tupou said.
“I got to spend a lot of time with my family – and that’s a big one for me – and also to freshen up.
“Everyone knows the season is hard but I’m coming back at a perfect time.
“I feel grateful and lucky that I can slip straight back in there – six games to go, looking like we’re going to play semi-finals, it’s just good timing for me.”