Whether it be at full-back or on the wing, the importance of Reuben Garrick to the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles team is never lost on those around him.
At 4 Pines Park on Saturday night, Garrick ran for an astonishing 233 metres from just 19 runs in the 42-12 win demolition of the Newcastle Knights.
Garrick also recorded 84 kick return metres, 53 post contact metres, two line breaks, two line break assists, two try assists, and made five tackle breaks.
A hip pointer injury suffered in the previous round win over the Melbourne Storm saw Garrick kick just one goal at the end of the match, handing the goal-kicking responsibilities to captain Daly Cherry-Evans, who landed an impressive six goals from seven attempts.
Garrick has scored 138 points in 17 matches this season to sit third on the NRL points scoring ladder, 11 behind front-runner Valentine Holmes from the Cowboys.
Furthermore, Garrick has 13 line breaks, 930 post contact metres, 56 tackle breaks, and nine try assists for the season.
It follows on from his phenomenal record breaking season in 2021 that saw Garrick finish as the NRL’s Top Point Scorer and Dally M Winger of the Year.
Garrick also set a Club record for 'Most Points in a Season' with 334 points from 23 tries and 121 goals in just his third year at the club.
The 25-year-old has now played 87 first grade games for Manly since making his NRL debut for the Sea Eagles in 2019.
Speaking to Fox League following the win over the Knights, Cherry-Evans said Garrick had really grown in the full-back role after shifting permanently from the wing following the season-ending injury in May to Dally M Medal winner Tom Trbojevic.
“We spoke about it as soon as he (Reuben) got his opportunity, he doesn’t have to be Tom for us,’’ Cherry-Evans said.
“He just needs to play his style of footy and ‘Reubs’ has worked out what his style of footy is. He is playing some great footy.
“I’m very proud of him and I am enjoying having him out there.”
Sea Eagles vice-captain Jake Trbojevic also praised Garrick for his high work ethic.
“Reuben has been outstanding the last few weeks with the way he just wants the footy and just competes on every play,’’ Trbojevic added.
Manly Coach Des Hasler echoed the sentiment towards Garrick.
“Reuben has really grown in that position, but it’s more the confidence he has developed with it,’’ Hasler added.
“Tom Trbojevic does a lot of work with Reuben, as does (Assistant Coach) Michael Monaghan, so he is performing really well.
“He has been pretty important (to us) and he has certainly benefitted from it. It’s good for him also that he can fill that role.”