And he’s moved to put an end to the long-running debate of whether the Manly superstar has usurped James Tedesco as the best fullback in the NRL.
Speaking on Wide World of Sports’ Six Tackles with Gus podcast, Gould said Trbojevic had taken the mantle from the retired Billy Slater, and said if the Manly No.1 plays all three State of Originclashes, New South Wales will win.
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Gould was also asked what it was that gave Trbojevic the title over playmakers like Tedesco and Cameron Munster.
“He’s got more to his game than Tedesco [and] he’s a different type of player to Munster,” he said.
“Munster is a great attacking force, obviously, but Tommy has a number of strings to his bow.
“His running game, his passing game, his physicality. He’s a big man – people don’t realise how big he is.
“His speed, his ability to make players miss, his sense of timing, his sense of where to turn up in games.
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“Over a period of time you get to see patterns in his play and things that he looks for.”
Gould said an example of his game sense came in his try against the Eels last week.
“He came from the other side of the field, raced around, could sense a quick play-the-ball close to the line, tearing onto a ball and ran over two forwards to score a try.
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“I’ve been seeing Tommy do that since he was a kid, but it’s become a part of his makeup and he senses it.”
Gould went on to describe Tedesco as a “workhorse” and “like having an extra player on the field”.
“But he’s not the attacking force or the threat that Tommy is,” he said.
Munster, meanwhile, he said “doesn’t have the strings” Trbojevic does.
“Munster has his kicking game, he has his passing game, and he’s got his uncanny step and dummy, but he doesn’t have all the strings to his bow that Tommy has.
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“Tommy doesn’t do a lot of that either – they’re different players, but if I’m coaching against another team, Tom Trbojevic would be the one that strikes most fear into me he would keep me awake.”
The debate over whether Trbojevic has usurped Tedesco as the NRL’s best fullback has been raging for years.
The pair coexist in the NSW Origin team, with Tedesco holding a mortgage on the No.1 jersey and Trbojevic settling for a spot in the centres.
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