Tom Trbojevic has set up a blockbuster clash with Parramatta counterpart Clint Gutherson with both among the big winners of the NRL’s new rules.
Saturday night’s clash between Parramatta and Manly now shapes as one of the best of the round, with the battle of the two fullbacks to be front and centre.
After Gutherson kicked off the NRL’s restart with a try, nine tackle busts and 217 metres in the Eels’ win over Brisbane, Trbojevic responded in kind.
The Manly fullback had a hand in five tries in the Sea Eagles’ big win over Canterbury, including two of his own in a near flawless effort.
“It suits a lot of fullbacks,” Trbojevic said.
“As a fullback you are always in the middle of the field pushing up and supporting, and if people are more tired it gives you opportunities.
“It suits us all.
“You’ve got to play game by game, if you generate ruck speed it can bring you into the game definitely.”
Both Manly juniors, Gutherson came through the ranks as the up-and-coming star two years ahead of Trbojevic on Sydney’s northern beaches.
“Probably (the Eels) and Canberra are the form sides of the competition,” Trbojevic said.
“It’s a real test for us. They’re a very good side and they’ll be tough to beat.”
James Tedesco and Valentine Holmes were among the other big winners at the back under the NRL’s new edict.
Both had big games in wins for the Sydney Roosters and North Queensland respectively.
“As a genuine fan of footy, you enjoy watching it,” Trbojevic said.
“The ball is in play a lot more now. It’s good for the game.
“The referees did a great job over the weekend. It’s hard to put the big changes on them and they have done a really good job.”