Tom Trbojevic took Manly to a 32-16 win over Canberra in the NRL before limping from the field.Tom Trbojevic’s brilliant night for Manly has ended early and in concern after limping from the field with an ankle injury after guiding the Sea Eagles to a 32-16 victory over winless Canberra.
Trbojevic was at his elusive best, setting up three tries and scoring one in a scintillating first half and adding a fourth assist in the second stanza. However he was injured in a tackle while passing with just eight minutes to play.
He walked from the field largely unassisted but hobbling on a right ankle that required surgery at the end of 2016.
Manly also have injury concerns with forwards Curtis Sironen and Kelepi Tanginoa, who came off with serious looking knee injuries.
But it was still the Raiders who left Lottoland with a bigger headache after going 0-4 to start the season.
After they opened the scoring early through Sia Soliola, they had just three play-the-balls in 15 minutes as Trbojevic torched the visitors to help Manly put on four unanswered tries during the stint.
The first came with the help of his brother down the right edge, with Jake taking the ball to the line and putting Tom through before backing up on the inside and accepting his return pass to score.
Tom crossed himself moments later when Lachlan Croker, Sironen and Api Koroisau combined in a wonderful exchange through the middle.
The younger Trbojevic laid on Manly’s third in the space of five minutes when he again broke through the middle of the field before putting Daly Cherry-Evans in under the posts.
He then completed the run when he found Matthew Wright with a cutout pass on the left wing to set up the 26-6 half-time lead.
The 21-year-old is considered a serious contender to make his NSW State of Origin debut this year, after only another ankle injury denied him his first Blue jersey in 2017.
The win marked Manly’s 900th in their history and came just five days after the NRL handed down penalties for salary cap breaches which management have confirmed they are appealing.
Meanwhile the Raiders will have plenty of concerns after their attack flatlined and numerous balls hit the ground in the loss.
They threatened to mount a late comeback from 28-6 down when Jarrod Croker and Jack Wighton scored in quick succession midway through the second half.
But when Joseph Tapine attempted to force a pass in the set from the ensuring kick off, the Raiders’ momentum was gone and Trbojevic restored normal service with one last assist for Wright.