The spectacular plays by Dally M Medal winner Tom Trbojevic hardly come as a surprise these days to his Manly team-mates.
Trbojevic took the NRL premiership by storm last season, scoring 28 tries in 18 games after missing the first five rounds with a hamstring injury.
He also finished with 28 try assists, 124 tackle breaks, and 33 line breaks in arguably the best season ever by an individual.
Whilst supporters and media alike admire Trbojevic’s feats from afar, it comes down to just sheer hard work according to team-mates Lachlan Croker and Reuben Garrick.
“The hardest thing for people to see is how much ‘Turbo’ does away from the game. It’s not something he just turns up and does on the weekend,’’ Croker said.
“It’s just the way he talks about footy and the video work he does with Des Hasler and the coaching staff.
“That’s probably the bit that not everyone sees that we see, which is why it doesn’t surprise us.
It’s why he is going to be a successful athlete for the rest of his career because of that work ethicLachlan Croker on Tom Trbojevic
“He works so hard away from the game and when it comes to match time, it’s all in the back of his head, it’s just second nature.”
Trbojevic, Garrick and winger Jason Saab scored a combined 77 of Manly’s 142 tries between them last year.
“Tommy’s work ethic is outstanding,’’ Garrick said.
“He does plenty of work at training. It all comes down to the one thing...Tommy really wants to bring a premiership to Manly.
“It’s a credit to Tom and his family as well. His brothers, Jake and Ben, have the same work ethic as him.”
Croker and Garrick were just two team-mates in total awe when Trbojevic beat nine Nth Qld Cowboys players to score an unbelievable try in Townsville in the final regular game of last season.
“I remember watching that unfold. Tommy skipped away from us and then skipped back,’’ Croker said.
“I saw him beat the last two guys and he still had five metres to go. I put my hands on my head as I couldn’t believe what I was watching.
“In 10 to 15 years from now, I will be able to look back on things like that and say I was involved in that.”
Garrick said he and his centre partner Brad Parker were in sheer disbelief.
“I was on the other side with ‘Parks’. He looked back at me to sort of say ‘what did we just witness’,’’ Garrick added.
“It was freakish but we see it all the time.
“Tom will just run through a full defensive line and you say to yourself ‘what’s going on here’. Brad and I just look at each other and shake our heads.”