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Trbojevic factor bigger than Johns and JT

·3-min read

Tom Trbojevic's impact on Manly is statistically greater than what Andrew Johns and Johnathan Thurston had on Newcastle and North Queensland respectively, with the Sea Eagles 16 points better off in recent years when he's playing.

Trbojevic's value was on show again on Saturday, as his try and two assists propelled the previously struggling Sea Eagles to a 36-0 flogging of Gold Coast.

But even that doesn't paint the full picture of how important the fitness of his problematic 24-year-old hamstrings are to Manly.

Since his full-time shift to fullback in 2016, Manly have won 51.35 per cent of games with Trbojevic in the side as opposed to just 30.56 per cent without him.

Under Des Hasler since 2019, the situation is even more critical with Manly's probability of winning almost three-times higher with Trbojevic, going from 28.12 per cent without him to 75 per cent with him.

That goes far beyond Newcastle' jump from 44.16 per cent to 61.79 with Johns as their chief half between 1994 and his retirement in 2007.

It also towers over the Cowboys' drop of 53.74 per cent with Thurston after he arrived in 2005 until his 2018 retirement compared to 36.36 per cent without him.

"You could certainly say that (he's as important as Johns and Thurston) at the moment," teammate Martin Taupau told AAP.

"It's the influence with the relationships and combinations he has with certain players.

"You've got to get insurance on those hamstrings alone ... It's a huge asset.

"I said to him when he came off (against Titans), you're playing fullback, halfback, hooker and front row at the same time.

"There's so many things that he brings along. Confidence as well knowing he can bring a quick play-the-ball a try or a try assist."

Trbojevic's impact is surprisingly bigger in defence and attack, despite the fullback being renowned for his ball-playing skills.

While Manly have scored an extra five points on average with him in the side since 2019, they go from conceding 26.9 points without him to just 15.6 when he's setting the line at the back.

That overall swing of 16.2 points in attack and defence is again beyond Johns' 10.6 at Newcastle and Thurston's 9.9 at the Cowboys.

"Defensively he doesn't get a big enough rap," winger Reuben Garrick said.

"He is so cluey with his numbers and sending players where they need to be.

"Even his defence, his tackling. It's so underrated. He saves a lot of tries and he's in the right position all the time."

MANLY WITH TRBOJEVIC (SINCE 2019):

Win rate - 75 per cent, Points scored - 22 points conceded - 16

MANLY WITHOUT TRBOJEVIC (SINCE 2019)

Win rate - 28 per cent, Points scored - 17, points conceded - 27

NEWCASTLE WITH ANDREW JOHNS (1994-2007)

Win rate - 62 per cent, Points scored - 26, points conceded - 21

NEWCASTLE WITHOUT ANDREW JOHNS (1994-2007)

Win rate - 44 per cent, Points scored - 20, points conceded - 26

NORTH QUEENSLAND WITH JOHNATHAN THURSTON (2005-2018)

Win rate - 54 per cent, Points scored - 23, points conceded - 20

NORTH QUEENSLAND WITHOUT JOHNATHAN THURSTON (2005-2018)

Win rate - 36 per cent, Points scored - 17, points conceded - 24