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Stat Attack: Teddy vs Turbo - How numbers shape up in No.1 rivalry

How high can James Tedesco and Tom Trbojevic soar?

It's a question we keep asking as the game's pre-eminent fullbacks somehow manage to raise the bar for year upon year.

Tedesco, the reigning Dally M Medallist, rated his three-try effort in the Roosters' win over Canterbury on Monday among his best ever.

Manly's Trbojevic, meanwhile, currently sits atop the Dally M standings after his hot start to the season.

Tedesco owns the NSW and Australian No.1 jerseys, but Trbojevic's adaptability means he's still a threat on the big stage.

So how do these superstars compare statistically at club level?

NRL.com and Stats Perform have dug up the data to find out.

Head-to-head snapshot

Looking at the data since 2013 - Tedesco's first full season - it's the Roosters custodian who has the edge in the try-scoring department.

Tedesco has scored 81 tries from 142 games at 0.6 per match; Trbojevic has 47 tries in 94 games at 0.5 per match since his 2015 debut.

Trbojevic pips his Blues teammate for try assists, however, and he's also narrowly ahead in the line-break department.

Both men average more than 160 metres per match, with Trbojevic holding a slight advantage, but Tedesco has more of an impact on kick returns.

And Tommy Turbo is a touch more error-prone, with his rate of 1.4 per match eclipsing Tedesco's tidy 0.8.

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Try involvements

They're each averaging career-best try involvements in 2020 - Tedesco with 1.5 and Trbojevic with 1.8

Tedesco has maintained the 1.5 peak twice before - in 2014 and '16 while at the Wests Tigers - but Trbojevic has shown marked improvement.

The Sea Eagles gun has finished the season averaging one try involvement or more per match in the past three years (2017, 2018, 2019).

His explosion to begin 2020 - in which he shares an equal lead of the competition's try assist tally with six - could be down to an added focus on ball-playing.

"I think it's quite underrated, Tommy's passing game. He's worked on it very hard over the last couple of years," Manly winger Jorge Taufua said in early June.

"Last year he built some combinations, especially with our centres ... He's that kind of fullback, similar to Tedesco, he's a threat with the ball in hand and now passing.

"It's definitely a plus for us that he's pretty awesome all-round."

In five appearances this year, Trbojevic's nine try involvements are just four shy of what he managed in 12 starts last season.

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Constant improvement

Tedesco's ability to continually reach new heights is what sets him apart from the pack.

The two-time premiership winner has improved upon his previous year's average metres in all but one of his past seven seasons.

In his final season at the Wests Tigers in 2017, Tedesco averaged 175 metres. He boosted that to 191.6 in 2018 at the Roosters, then 205 in 2019, and he is currently making 256m per match.

Tedesco is on pace to break his own records in other areas too, as he currently averages a career-high nine tackle breaks and 85.8 kick return metres per game.

Roosters winger Brett Morris said on Tuesday that Tedesco leaves no stone unturned to better himself.

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"He does everything right off the field and then when it comes to the training paddock he is one of the first blokes out there and one of the last to leave," Morris said.

"He is a dedicated footballer, he does all the work and the performances he is putting in are rewards for the work he does."

Trbojevic has also been a model of consistency and improvement, rising to elite levels in 2017 and remaining there since. 

The 23-year-old is actually averaging fewer run metres and fewer tackle breaks per game than in any of his past three campaigns - but it clearly hasn't diminished his impact.

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Win percentages

Tedesco might have the premierships, but Trbojevic boasts a slightly higher win rate overall (47.8% versus 46.7%).

In the two-and-a-quarter years since his move to the Roosters, Tedesco has enjoyed a whopping 70% win rate. 

While they're both integral players for their sides, the stats suggest Manly rely on Trbojevic more than the Roosters do Tedesco.

The Sea Eagles have lost 18 of the 30 matches in which their electric custodian has been unavailable for a 40% win record.

It was a similar story for Tedesco at the Tigers - they lost 31 of the 54 games in which he was unavailable (43%).

But the Roosters have won five of six games without Tedesco for an 83% success rate.

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