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How good is: Jorge Taufua

And just like that, with one fell swoop, Manly wingman Jorge Taufua grabbed the mythological second year syndrome by the scruff of its neck and sent it careering back to wherever the hell it came from. 

Don't get us wrong, both our medical expertise and decades-worth of one-year wonders tell us the dreaded sickness truly exists. Just like Tim Smith. 

But unlike that former Eels rookie, Taufua – who was a revelation in his debut season of 2012 – is yet another Parramatta junior they might've wanted to hold onto. 

Together with fellow Eels product David Williams, the Sea Eagles wing pairing went one-two in line breaks in 2013, Taufua topping the competition with 34 and Williams bursting through 25 times.

The result – look away Parra fans – was the fearsome duo going for another league-leading 20 tries apiece alongside Sydney Rooster Michael Jennings (Penrith's David Simmons and Newcastle's James McManus were the official top tryscorers after the regular season). 

But if breaking defences and bagging four-pointers (he was just one of three players to score two hat-tricks) aren't your go, then perhaps this will whet your appetite: Taufua notched the most line breaks in a single game last season, plus the second-most metres, fourth-most tackle breaks, and seventh-most kick return metres. 

The feats were more impressive considering the giant cloud of jail-time hanging over his head throughout the season. 

Taufua himself admitted he feared the worst when he was charged with assault after he spat on a police officer on the Gold Coast in October 2012. 

It wasn't until late August that he was reprimanded with a four-month suspended jail term and then suspended by his own club for the final two games of the regular season. 

"It was pretty tough for me. They were the first games I missed since I made my debut here (March 2012)," he told The Australian. "We still finished top four so I can't complain. But footy is a big part of my life. I learnt my lesson. I suffered the consequences."

Flirting with the law is nothing to be sneezed at, but neither is defying one of rugby league's grandest illnesses. Second year syndrome? Pfft. What's that? 

His trademark move: The no-smile try celebration. Maybe it's because he's scored too many of them, maybe it's because he's not scoring enough, or maybe it's because he wants to play in the front row, but have a look yourself next time he scores – rarely will you see the pearly-whites from the 22-year-old whenever he rises from the in-goal. It's not quite Mark Riddell's self-applause, but we kind of like it. It's mean. 

His key play of 2013: Take your pick: there's the 100m try he scored on his old home ground of Parramatta in Round 19, the two times he out-muscled Newcastle's brick wall in Akuila Uate in Round 2, or even his miracle put-down before the dead-ball line against the Bulldogs in Round 5. But perhaps the biggest play from the prolific try-scorer in 2013 is the one that he made without the ball. His hit on the unhurtable Issac Luke in Gosford in Round 19 is still ringing in our ears. Oh, and it was a good defensive read too. 

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