Workhorse Manly lock Jake Trbojevic has spoken of the enjoyment he had as a Sea Eagles fan growing up watching the great battles against the Melbourne Storm.
The proud Manly junior said he was in awe of watching the rivalry between the two clubs who have contested 29 matches between them since Melbourne first entered the competition in 1998.
Ahead of this Saturday's clash at Brookvale Oval, Manly have won 13 of the 29 matches. Melbourne beat Manly in the 2007 Grand Final with the Sea Eagles getting their revenge a year later with a famous 40-0 victory in the premiership decider.
Manly have won 9 of the 15 matches played at Brookie.
“I just remember watching some great games. There were quality players on both teams. I always got excited for those games because of the rivalry. They were just great games to watch,’’ Trbojevic said.
“’To be able to watch blokes like Jamie Lyon, Brett Stewart, and Steve Matai, as a kid growing up was pretty exciting. And then to get to play with them is pretty cool.
“I now get to play with great players, and against great players too. I just try to lap it up each week and learn from their experience.”
Trbojevic has played the Storm just twice for two wins and knows how much Melbourne will be hurting after their away loss to Canberra on Monday night.
“Canberra are quality team and they are going to be a real premiership threat,’’ Trbojevic said.
“Melbourne have been killing it all year. You can never write them off. They are always there every year at the business end. They will go deep into the finals.
“They will come out on Saturday night and will want to redeem themselves from Monday night so we will need to be at the top of our game.”
Trbojevic said there were plenty of positives to take out of the past few weeks despite the ‘shattering’ feeling of not qualifying for the finals.
“We will take a lot of confidence out of the last six weeks. Even the last couple of losses, we have been in the games, whereas at the start of the year, we weren’t. We are looking to finish strongly and build for next year,’’ he added.
“It is our captain’s last three weeks in the NRL, and him being such a great player, there is a lot to play for.”