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Tom Trbojevic stars again in Manly loss

NZN 11/03/2017 Scott Bailey

Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic showed again on Saturday why he's a superstar in the making.

Despite being on the wrong side of a 38-18 loss to South Sydney, Trbojevic excelled for the Sea Eagles, scoring one try, setting up another and running a colossal 267 metres.

"He's a great young player," Manly coach Trent Barrett said.

"He tries his butt off every week."

That doesn't do his performance justice.

A week after he lacked impact in the Sea Eagles' attack against Parramatta, Trbojevic looked dangerous every time he touched the ball on Saturday evening at Lottoland.

The 20-year-old burned Rabbitohs defenders with his speed in his first-half try, taking the score to 12-0 after three early unconverted tries.

Then he brought Manly back into the match early in the second half after a Cody Walker flurry gave the Bunnies an 18-12 half-time lead.

He beat four Rabbitohs defenders after receiving an offload from his brother Jake as he skirted away down field, before finding Daly Cherry-Evans on the run to tie the scores at 18-all.

But that was as good as it got for the hosts as Souths ran away with the match with Manly were forced to defend their goal line for the majority of the second half - missing 22 tackles in the process.

Manly were without props Martin Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake, who were each suspended following last week's loss to Parramatta.

Forward Lloyd Perrett was also out after fracturing his eye-socket last week, while in further bad news for the club Darcy Lussick's comeback from a wrist injury has now been postponed until round five.

But captain Cherry-Evans refused to blame the fade away on the absence of the key players in the middle.

"We had 17 players that could have won that game today," Cherry-Evans said.

"As understrength as we were, that's not an excuse. We should have won today."

Trbojevic's running haul marked the 17th time he has topped 150 metres in his 33-game NRL career, but Saturday's 267 metres was by far his biggest.

It's why he's been hailed as a future NSW State of Origin star in the making.

But for now he's proved he's more than ready to fill the shoes of the injury-retired Brett Stewart at the back for Manly.

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