Sea Eagles second-rower Curtis Sironen says Tom Trbojevic has well and truly found his voice now at full-back.
The hard-working back-rower was very impressed with Trbojevic’s direction and talk at full-back in the 46-12 win over the Warriors in Christchurch last Saturday.
The match was Trbojevic’s first premiership game in the Telstra Premiership this season and the NSW and Australian representative wasted little time, scoring two tries in a huge performance.
“Tom is one of our leaders now. Playing all the rep footy he has played, he has gained a lot of confidence learning from the players he has played with,’’ Sironen said.
“His voice is really loud now. Every time you come out of a tackle, you look back at him and he tells you where to go in getting our line set. That is what the best full-backs do.
“You don’t realise how much control they have over your defensive line. They are not doing all the tackles but they are setting everything up and making sure our numbers are right and we can handle what is coming.
“I definitely noticed on the weekend his voice, how loud he is, and how dominant he has become.
Sironen said Trbojevic’s return at full-back had an immediate effect on his team-mates with half-back Daly Cherry-Evans running in two tries off him.
“Tom started our sets off well and if he makes a half break, we get on a roll with him,’’ Sironen said.
“He took some of the pressure off our spine and they all had their best games this year. It is great having him back.”
Sironen said the countless hours of hard work on their defence over the pre-season is now starting to pay off under Coach Des Hasler.
“You need to work for your inside man. If the ball goes past you, you need to keep working and to never die on the play,’’ Sironen added.
“We are trying to keep the attacker on the ground as long as we can to get our line set.
“It’s just about attitude. We have turned up and even though we had (two) losses, we have shown we have made improvements. We did it again on the weekend.”
Sironen said his team-mates were excited about the challenge of taking on the big South Sydney pack in a home game at Lottoland this Saturday.
“Their forward pack gets their momentum going and a lot of their guys are instinctive players who play off the back of that,’’ he added.
“It is a big job for us in the middle, especially with the big Burgess boys. It’s always a tough test against them.
“Sam (Burgess) is their leader and for me as a back-rower, you look up to him as the benchmark and someone you want to play like.
“It will be good to go up against them. We have a lot to prove too. If we want to be a semi-final team, they are the teams we need to play well against.”