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Manly props Addin Fonua-Blake and Amrty Taupau

The apprentice is learning fast off the master as Addin Fonua-Blake pumps out statistics to match his front-row partner Martin Taupau.

The pair may be six years apart and Taupau has more than double the NRL games experience but Fonua-Blake is the perfect foil in making Manly's middle a powerful force. 

In the Lottoland Saturday afternoon heat last weekend against the Rabbitohs, Taupau ran 206 metres and Fonua-Blake 175. But it was the hit-ups, the tackle breaks and the off-loads which make this pair not only reliable workers, but dangerous.

Their partner in crime in Manly's middle, Jake Trbojevic, rattled off 45 tackles to top the Sea Eagles count.

"It's outstanding to see those big boys have nearly 20 carries each. And then Jake defensively literally snap some of those Burgess boys in half," said teammate and interchange forward, Jack Gosiewski.

"The boys like me coming off the bench and we're trying to not just bring some energy but try to live up to the level that they've set from the start of the game."

Taupau's try-saving tackle on Souths No.13 Cameron Murray will feature on countless highlight reels in 2019, as he literally held him up over the line for several seconds.

"At the time in the game I didn't realise it was such a good tackle but then I watched the replay," Gosiewski said.

"I was like 'Wow'. He flat-out stopped Murray at top speed. Just held him up and pulled him backwards.

"It was outstanding when you think at the end of the day we won by one point – so that was a massive play."

Fonua-Blake said he lost two kilograms in weight during that match, where the mercury touched 30 degrees. But he never loses motivation when he's playing with Taupau, even if he's feeling the heat and fatigue.

"Me and Marty just really wanted to do a job for the team. We knew how important a win at home was going to be," he said, knowing that Manly had won only one game out of nine at Brookvale prior to Saturday.

"We owed it to the fans and we owed it to ourselves. There had been a lot in the news of how we don't do well at Brookie so we just wanted to correct that.

"Some days when you feel like you're not having the best game I can look at Marty or Jakey and draw some inspiration."

Fonua-Blake also wants to be more lethal than just logging big metres each week.

"I set myself a goal of making every run hard as I can. I don't want to get that ball and be ineffective. I want something good to come off the back of it.

"Second phase is a big part of the game these days so off-loads surprise the defence – and Marty is the best at that.

"You can wrap him up in Glad Wrap but he'd still get the ball away. I love watching him to see how he does it."

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