Brett Stewart exchanged some stern words with Manly coach Geoff Toovey when he opted against risking his hamstring in the NRL side's semi-final against Cronulla, but as the fullback gears up for his fourth grand final he's happy he lost the debate.

Stewart was, in his words, "rested" from the sudden-death clash with the Sharks as Toovey banked on the Sea Eagles advancing to the preliminary final.

It worked, much to the relief of Stewart, who was so nervous he had to retreat to the stands as Manly held on for a 24-18 win that kept their season alive.

"The hardest thing for me (while on the sidelines for three weeks) was watching the boys running around, probably in that Cronulla game where I was 50-50 to play," Stewart said.

"I was going to play and then Tooves sort of opted to rest me and we probably said a few words to each other there.

"Not really (I can't repeat much of the conversation)," Stewart added with a laugh.

"But obviously it's paid off and sometimes you have to put your trust in the coaches I guess."

Stewart noted "at this time of year everyone is a little bit battered and bruised" but said his hamstring would be cherry ripe for the premiership decider against the Sydney Roosters.

"I've had a few weeks off all year, I fractured my back early on and had five or six weeks off then. So I'm certainly feeling fresh," he said.

"Usually this time of year you're waiting to have the off-season and a bit of a break, but I feel pretty refreshed.

"My hamstring is good. It was probably 80 per cent against Cronulla and then it got up to 90 or 95 against Souths.

"I'll be fighting fit this week, 100 per cent. It won't be (an issue)."

Stewart said he never felt nervous for older brother Glenn Stewart, who was charged for a high tackle in the side's preliminary final win over the Rabbitohs but escaped a ban.

"I wasn't too worried to be honest, I didn't think there was much in it. So it wasn't surprising to me at all."

 

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