Manly Sea Eagles lock Jake Trbojevic has put the disappointment of being overlooked for New South Wales Origin selection behind him, as his side romped to a 44-14 victory over New Zealand Warriors.
The eldest Trbojevic brother rebounded well after being named captain for the game, with Daly Cherry-Evans away on Queensland duty.
“It was obviously disappointing, but I tried to not let it get to me,” Trbojevic said.
Last Sunday night, the Sea Eagles star was a surprise omission from Brad Fittler’s Blues squad, with the likes of Tariq Sims, Liam Martin and Ryan Matterson all chosen ahead of him.
“There’s a lot of great players out there, so I understand [why I wasn’t selected].”
His Manly coach, Des Hasler, was full of praise for the way the forward reacted to the shock, declaring him the ultimate team man.
“Jake’s just Jake,” Hasler said.
“He performs week in and week out. Tonight was no different. He’s a consummate team player.”
The No.13 ran for just under 50m, while making 26 tackles on a night where Manly’s big men made a statement with their power running through the middle.
Haumole Olakau’atu was particularly damaging as he produced a number of strong carries and highlight reel fends on the way to a man-of-the-match display. He was ably supported by Josh Aloiai, Toafofoa Sipley and Martin Taupau who made 135m off the bench.
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“The way the boys played, it was just nice to be out there,” Trbojevic said.
“A silver lining is I got to captain my club here at home, which was really pleasing. Being a local junior and then putting on a performance like that.
“I’m really proud. I don’t get to do it too much, being a captain here… so, that was pretty cool for me.
“As I said, it was a bit of a silver lining that I got to be captain and play here at home.”
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