Trbojevic now the No.1 in defence at Manly

Scott Bailey
Manly's Tom Trbojevic (l) saves a certain try by knocking the ball from Roosters' Luke Keary

A season spent focusing on tackling threatens to make Tom Trbojevic the most improved defensive player in the NRL.

Already renowned for being one of the best with ball in hand, Trbojevic has pulled off five try-savers for Manly in the first two rounds of the competition.

He was particularly brilliant in Saturday evening's win over the Sydney Roosters, with his effort to knock the ball out of Luke Keary's hand as the ball was about to be put down the highlight.

He also chased down a flying Brett Morris at another point in the second half, and helped Jorge Taufua stop a charging James Tedesco close to the line early in the game.

Each of those were crucial as the Sea Eagles held on for the 9-8 win, with the 23-year-old also scoring Manly's only try.

"Turbo was outstanding at the back, what he was able to produce," Manly coach Des Hasler said.

"It's something he has really worked hard on and concentrated on over the off-season. I'm pleased to see it's really paying off."

Trbojevic's efforts also mark a significant turnaround from last season.

The Sea Eagles fullback missed 12 of the 52 tackles he attempted in 2019, as part of an injury-hit season.

This year he has made the most tackles of any fullback over the opening two rounds, pulling off all 16 of them without a miss.

"That (fight in defence) is just the make up of who Tom is," Hasler said.

"He's such a competitor. He just competes and competes and competes.

"It's something he has really focused on this season."