Jake Trbojevic is certain his brother Tom is ready for a State of Origin debut and their dynamic partnership in tandem against the Broncos has given NSW coach Brad Fittler plenty to consider.
Tom set up Jake for a try in the first half as the Manly Sea Eagles brothers fed off each other to create havoc in the Broncos defensive line in a 38-24 win.
It was a glimpse of a sixth-sense combination that could also threaten the Queensland Maroons in the opening game of the Holden State of Origin Series in Melbourne on June 6.
Jake already has three games for NSW to his credit and said Tom had returned to his best after being below top form in recent weeks.
"Firstly, I'd love to be in Origin and I'd love for Tom to be there too,” Jake said after beating the Broncos.
"He was down on a bit of confidence but tonight he got back to what he does best which is running the footy. He is a strong runner and made a few breaks and set up a couple of tries.
"I am really happy for him and hopefully this is a turning point and he keeps playing consistently and getting better and better each week.
Match highlights: Sea Eagles v Broncos – Round 10, 2018
"I thought he was really good, and I thought even last week [against Parramatta] he wasn’t too bad apart from a couple of bombs."
Manly coach Trent Barrett said his 21-year-old fullback took a giant stride forward against the Broncos and would create havoc with Jake at Origin level.
"You can't manufacture what they've got and the understanding they've got," Barrett said.
"I’m just happy for Tom. He had a couple of errors early and last year he probably wouldn't have come out of it, but he is learning to flush the errors.
"He has things to tidy up in his game still but I thought he made some real ground with his development. That could have gone either way but if he wasn't a strong person he wouldn't have out the game on that he did in the second half."
With Billy Slater nearing the end of his career, Barrett said he expected Trbojevic to challenge for the title of number one custodian in the years ahead.
"There are a lot of good fullbacks in the game at the moment. [James] Tedesco is certainly one of them and Kalyn Ponga is one of the best players in the game now I think.
"You are going to get to see Ponga, Trbojevic and Tedesco go head-to-head for a long time. Tom is going to be a very, very, good player and I thought tonight could be a turning point and a good learning curve because he was great for us after a rough start."
After five losses on the trot Jake Trbojevic said the Broncos victory could well be a turning point in Manly's season.
"A win against Brisbane in Brisbane is a really proud win. I don't think I've ever won up here playing for Manly. You've got to take confidence out of putting 38 points on the Broncos, and I thought we defended well.
"Everyone knew the importance of the game. We started really well and it was really pleasing to put in an 80 minute performance which we haven't done the last few weeks."
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