Manly Warringah Sea Eagles fullback Tom Trjobevic has stepped up his game to a whole new level this season, after returning a clean sheet for missed tackles in the opening two rounds of the NRL competition.
The Brydens Lawyers NSW Blue was nothing short of outstanding in the last line of defence in the Sea Eagles gritty 9-8 win over the Sydney Roosters at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday night after coming up with two-try saving tackles to show his defensive game is well and truly on the improve in 2020.
Five minutes after halftime and with the scores locked up at 6-all, Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary threw a cut-out ball to Brett Morris to take advantage of a huge hole in the Manly defence.
Morris streaked down the touchline and flicked a pass back inside to Keary who went over the line before looking to improve his position to make the kicking duties easier for Kyle Flanagan.
Much to Keary’s surprise, Trbojevic came from behind and whacked the ball clean out his hands to deny the Roosters an opportunity to break the deadlock.
Later in the half, a barnstorming Brett Morris looked also certain to score in the corner until Trbojevic came through and took him straight into touch with a comprehensive tackle.
“It's a team effort and it’s (my defence) something I've worked on in the off season,” Trbojevic said after the game.
“We defend as a unit...I guess we let them through a bit too much but I was lucky I could stop a few of them.”
The Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues star also recorded 151 running metres, 10 tackles, four tackle busts and try for his troubles and his efforts certainly didn’t go unnoticed by Manly coach Des Hasler.
"Turbo was outstanding at the back, what he was able to produce," Hasler said of his fullback.
"It's something he has really worked hard on and concentrated on over the off-season. I'm pleased to see it's really paying off.
"That (fight in defence) is just the make-up of who Tom is.
"He's such a competitor. He just competes and competes and competes.”