Turbo charged Sea Eagles towel terrible Dragons
He ran for stunning 333 metres to give the state of NSW renewed hope. Manly superstar Tom Trbojevic is back, baby. And don't we need him. SUBSCRIBE FOR AUSTRALIA'S BEST NRL NEWS
In a stunning performance at Brookvale Oval on Sunday, Tommy Turbo was at his sparkling best, making 11 tackle busts.
It was a performance which must have given Brad Fittler some sunshine on a gloomy Sunday.
Trbojevic is as good as it gets when he breaks into full stride.
And after a disrupted few weeks for NSW, Trbojevic's return to form could not have arrived at a better time.
"It's good to get back on the field - I haven't played much footy this year." Trbojevic said. "I have felt 100 percent for a couple of weeks now.
After an apprehensive return from injury the week before against North Queensland, Trbojevic set Brookie alight in Manly's 34-14 belting of hapless St George Illawarra.
Trbojevic set up two tries with scintillating runs and then grabbed his own - a special solo effort.
Nearing fulltime, Trbojevic ran 75 metres to score a try which erased any on-going concerns that he was gun shy over hamstring injuries.
He also looked confident and assured under the high ball.
"I have run out or words for this kid," former Test star Mark Gasnier told Fox Sports.
And former Queensland forward Darryl Brohman told 2GB: "What a player he is."
This team continue to confuse and to baffle critics.
Surely given the Sea eagles modest roster, Manly's Des Hasler would have to be an early yet strong candidate for Dally M coach of the year?
Hasler is extracting just about everything he can from his squad. They aren't leaving anything in the Brookvale Oval dressing room.
Say what you will about Des, a tad left of centre, mad professor, neurotic, paranoid. Maybe a spoonful of all those but, gee, his troops are playing for him.
Enjoying 71 percent of possession, the Sea Eagles were behind 8-0 after 15 minutes but battled back into the match, with improved possession, to lead 10-8 at halftime.
Manly scored 34 unanswered points to claim an eighth win of the season. Guiding this team to the finals would be right up there with Hasler's finest achievements.
There is something missing at Saints this year. They have now lost six of their past seven matches.
On Sunday, Saints were awful.
The Dragons look wonderfully strong and powerful at times but just can't get the job done. Sure, they are battling a difficult injury period which includes playing without James Graham, Tim Lafai and Gareth Widdop while Jack de Belin remains suspended indefinitely.
But five wins from 13 games will have St George Illawarra facing the prospect of another disappointing season.
Certainly if the stars align and Saints find some consistency and momentum, they are a team you would want to avoid in the finals. Consistency though is their major worry.
Based on what we saw at Brookvale on Sunday, there won't be any reason to worry about the finals.
St George Illawarra hooker and skipper Cameron McInnes was badly concussed in the 22nd minute affecting a tackle of Manly's Jorge Taufua and did not return. Moments later, Manly's Api Koroisau limped off. He did not return either.
This kid has the goods. He looks like he belongs in first grade, despite Sunday being just his fifth NRL game.
He set up Manly's first try with a lovely grubber kick and then scored his own try in the 56th minute.
It was actually his third try in five games.
Cust looks to have sealed a spot alongside his halves hero, Daly Cherry-Evans, for the remainder of the season.
Manly wore black armbands on Sunday in honour of the young cousin of Manly winger Reuben Garrick.
Ten-year-old Kye Yates, from Kiama, was killed in a quad bike accident last week. His funeral was last Thursday.
Garrick scored Manly's first try in the 26th minute through a kick from Daly Cherry-Evans. Garrick also kicked five goals.
MANLY 34 (C Cust M Fainu R Garrick J Gosiewski T Trbojevic D Walker tries R Garrick 5 goals) bt ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 14 (E Aitken B Hunt tries C Norman 3 goals) at Lottoland. Referee: Chris Sutton, Phil Henderson. Crowd:8,468