Manly feeling awesome: Trbojevic
Manly's unlikely two-try hero Jake Trbojevic has described the "awesome" feeling in the Sea Eagles team as they make a shock charge at the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership finals.
Widely written-off mid-year, the Sea Eagles have stunned everyone to win six out of their last eight games and this weekend sit outside the top eight only on points differential after a 28-8 win over South Sydney.
"It's awesome at the moment," Trbojevic told NRL.com about the feeling around the club.
"Everyone's really upbeat, we're playing really good footy.
"Hopefully we can keep it going in the back end of the year and hopefully we sneak into the finals and see what we can do from there."
For the second straight week, the hard-hitting 21-year-old was the first try-scorer in a match, his two tries against the Rabbitohs doubling his career tally following his first NRL four-pointer against the Broncos last week.
Asked what effect scoring an early try has on his confidence, Trbojevic was quick to put his team first.
"It's just good for the team to get an early try and then hopefully build on it in a big performance," Trbojevic said.
The Mona Vale Raiders junior was also keen to laud the performances of others in the team, refusing to comment on his own good form that has seen him nail down a starting maroon and white front-rower's jersey.
"I'm playing with some good players which always helps," he said.
"I've got some very experienced players around me who continually talk to me and it's been a good learning curve this season, I've really enjoyed it."
Manly's backline in particular has been firing on all cylinders, so much so that Jake's brilliant brother Tom fails to get a start, despite his unbelievable form in recent weeks.
"Our backline is pretty exceptional, it's pretty surreal playing alongside a few of those great players there," Trbojevic said.
He also praised the effect the parochial Brookvale Oval crowd had on his side's performance on Friday night.
"It was good to get a good win at Brookie in front a great crowd," he said.
"We had 15,000 or so which really helps us. You really do hear them out there and it's awesome."
Manly coach Geoff Toovey made special mention of Trbojevic after the match, saying "he's only getting better and better each week."
"There's not too many times you see a front rower get a first and last try - I think he's pretty happy with himself," Toovey said.
"He's a great player he's shown that. We've nurtured him along too.
"We had some big wraps on him at junior level but it took him a couple of years to adjust to playing at the top level. This is his first full fist of first grade from start to finish."
Manly now look to next week where, as usual, they face a must-win clash down in Canberra against foe that are also battling it out for a top eight finish.
"It's going to be a tough one, they're playing some good footy," Trbojevic said.
"Hopefully we can just build on what we've done in the last few weeks and just see what we can do."