Star Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic has been credited for making everyone around him better following the Sea Eagles' 46-12 defeat of the Warriors in Christchurch on Saturday.
After falling to back-to-back losses through the opening fortnight of the NRL Telstra Premiership, Manly's attack was transformed by the return of Trbojevic – who missed the first two rounds with a hamstring injury – with a victory in front of an 11,774-strong crowd at Christchurch Stadium.
Trbojevic had a direct hand in half of Manly's eight tries, scoring a pair and setting Daly Cherry-Evans up for a further two, while the NSW Origin representative also broke the line three times and ran for 175 metres.
Cherry-Evans said Trbojevic's individual skills are only part of what makes him such an important part of the Sea Eagles.
"He obviously brings a lot of confidence to the players around him," Cherry-Evans said.
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"He's a great player to play alongside... he encourages you to play your best football and put your best foot forward.
"There [are] obviously a few tactical and technical things he brings to our side as well, but his general enthusiasm… he brings a lot to the side."
In Christchurch, Manly made as many line breaks in 80 minutes as they had managed in the first two games of the year combined, while their 46-point haul was the most they have registered since round two of 2018.
Coach Des Hasler was also forthcoming in his praise for Trbojevic and the role he played in his side picking up their first win in six games. It was also Hasler's first win back in the Sea Eagles saddle after six years with the Bulldogs.
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"He played really well, played really strong, and I think it's also not just the player he is, I think it's the confidence he brings to players around him," Hasler said.
"He's a vital piece – fullbacks are a vital piece – in any side's make up, and we are fortunate enough Tom Trbojevic is playing at Manly."
Having arrived in Christchurch on the verge of suffering a 0-3 start to a season for the first time since 2009, Cherry-Evans admitted a weight had been lifted off Manly's shoulders ahead of hosting the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Lottoland in round four.
"I'm glad we have moved off that section of the table… we take a lot of confidence out of today," Cherry-Evans said.
"Everyone's itching to get their first win of the season and it is quite amplified.
"You don't want to sit at the bottom of the ladder for too long, because that microscope just really zeroes in on you."