Tommy Turbo lays down challenge to Teddy

Tommy Trbojevic, or James Tedesco?

If you had to take your pick for the NRL's best fullback right now it would be a split hair between these two.

In the wake of Tedesco's near perfect performance in the Roosters' win over Souths on Friday night, Trbojevic on Sunday produced his own five-star effort as Manly humiliated Canterbury 32-6 in the final game of the return round.


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Trbojevic played a hand in five of the seven tries, including scoring two and throwing the last pass for three to help hand the Bulldogs their worst start to a season since 1996.

It moves Manly into sixth place and sets up a mouth-watering showdown against unbeaten Parramatta on Saturday.

"Probably them and Canberra are the form sides of the competition," Trobjevic said of the Eels. "It is a real test for us."


Tom Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles reacts after scoring a try.
Tom Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles reacts after scoring a try.



At 23, Trbojevic is still a relative baby as far as his NRL career is concerned, which makes it hard to imagine just how good this bloke could become.

After watching every game on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Trbojevic admitted he was excited to go out and showcase his skills under the new six-to-go rule.

Worryingly for his rivals, he concedes it is probably going to make his job even more enjoyable.

"I think it suits a lot of fullbacks," he said.

"As a fullback you are always in the middle of the field pushing up and supporting.

"If people are more tired it gives you a lot more opportunities."

The giant fullback got his night started in just the fourth minute when he finished off some terrific lead up work from Moses Suli.

Then midway through the half Tom crossed again coming off a beautiful ball from brother Jake.

He then turned his attention to try assists as he threaded a hole for Brad Parker's first try, the next try to Jorge Taufua coming off superb long pass while Trbojevic later put Parker over for his double.

Daly Cherry-Evans and Dylan Walker were also terrific directing the team, while the forwards all did their job superbly with Jake, Curtis Sironen and Joel Thompson all standouts.

Poor Dean Pay could only look on in envy.

"The rule changes suit those players," Pay said, referring to the Trbojevics and the halves in particular.

"They are quality players … all Australian players.

"But the errors that we made were simple mistakes that hurt us. It takes a lot of juice out of you and you find it hard to defend."


Tom Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles is tackled by Will Hopoate.
Tom Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles is tackled by Will Hopoate.


It must be painful for Pay sit back and watch.

The effort cannot be questioned but the Dogs just don't have the experience or playmaking class without Kieran Foran.

Again, Jack Cogger and Lachy Lewis busted their guts but just lacked the spit and polish.

Pay reckons Foran should be back to take on the Dragons on Monday, it can't come soon enough.

The Bulldogs haven't started the season with three straight losses since 1996.

They struggled just to make a line break with Nick Meaney on his own in that department until a late consolation try to Jake Averillo.

Asked if he believes he has the talent to keep pace with their rivals, Pay looked almost despondent: "We have to keep working with them.

"They are the guys we have got. We need to be better again next week."



Originally published as Tommy Turbo lays down challenge to Teddy