Queensland on 18-day mission to stop Turbo

·3-min read

Queensland have 18 days to work out how to stop Tom Trbojevic with the NSW centre's hot streak of form now among the greatest runs in recent history.

Trbojevic has become the first player in State of Origin history to score two hat-tricks, popping up everywhere in the Blues' biggest ever win.

Trbojevic wasn't alone for NSW but his form since returning from a hamstring injury was described as "on another planet" by Andrew Johns on Wednesday night.

In truth, his form now rivals and statistically tops anything produced by any other player in the past 15 years.

In the eight games since his return, the Manly fullback has scored 11 tries across both the NRL and State of Origin, while also setting up 14 others.

He has broke through the line 12 times and put 17 other players through holes, busting through 39 tackles and averaging 180 metres per match.

He has been man of the match six times, completely turning Manly's season around after their worst-ever start to a year in both attack and defence in his absence.

Those numbers even tower over Jarryd Hayne's infamous 2009 run, where according to Fox Sports he bust 103 tackles in 12 games but scored just four tries and set up 14.

They are also greater than James Tedesco's finish to the year in 2019, Ben Barba's hot streak of 13 tries in 10 games in 2012 and Cody Walker's run last year.

"He's such a good player. I'm just happy he's getting rewarded for a tough couple of years," brother Jake said.

"I'm so happy for him, he deserves good luck. So it's good to see it.

"He's always been a good player, it's always just been about staying on the park."

How Queensland combat Trbojevic and the rest of the Blues back five is now crucial.

The last time Trbojevic scored a hat-trick for the Blues at centre, Queensland limited his touches in the next clash and thought they'd found his kryptonite.

But the 24-year-old was even happier to roam in attack on Wednesday night than he was back then, having more touches than any other outside back on Wednesday.

"We talked about (that plan) a bit," Tom said.

"It was just how the game played out. It was very fast and allowed me to do my thing.

"Our middles generated so much momentum and good play-the-balls it allowed us to do that."

The Maroons do at least have some advantage with captain Daly Cherry-Evans able to spend the next two weeks at Manly watching and searching for an answer.

"I see first-hand how he plays for Manly and then I got to see what everyone else has been trying to stop the last six weeks," he said.

"You can limit it, and we didn't even limit it (in Townsville), it was just a free-for-all."

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