True Blue Steve Roach believes Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues star Tom Trbojevic will replace Billy Slater as the best fullback the game has seen if he strings another couple of seasons together like he has in 2021.
Trbojevic is playing in his only his second NRL finals series this season and will be hoping Manly Warringah Sea Eagles can keep their premiership hopes alive when they face the Sydney Roosters in a Semi-final at Mackay on Friday night.
The Sea Eagles cruised into the finals on the back of some sublime performances from Trbojevic but the Manly fullback was well contained alongside the rest of his teammates after losing to Melbourne 40-12 in a Qualifying final.
Trbojevic played in a finals series with Manly in 2017 but missed the 2019 campaign through injury.
“It’s amazing he’s only played 15 games (in the regular) season – he missed the first four rounds (through injury),” Roach told Behind Blue Eyes for nswrl.com.au.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a performance from an individual player ever like he’s done this year.
“When Billy Slater retired (2018) I thought he was the best fullback I’d ever seen. But you look at this guy and if he puts a couple of seasons like this back-to-back, I think he will overtake him.”
‘Blocker’ Roach also said the dashing fullback, who has 25 tries and 27 try assists from just 16 games this year, “deserves” the Dally M Medal in 2021 because of the quality of his work.
“It’s not only the amount of tries he scores, he sets up as many,” Roach said.
“The way Tommy turns up around the ball – in the middle, on the edges - he’s a great supporter of the ball.
“I think he deserves the Dally M.”