Joey Manu has labelled his teenage Sydney Roosters teammate Joseph Suaalii a "freak", saying he can be a great of the game.
The 18-year-old was key to their NRL Magic Round victory over a pumped-up Parramatta, who the week previously had handed Penrith their first loss of the season.
The Roosters line up at the SCG on Saturday night against the Panthers, who rebounded with a thumping win over fellow premiership hopes Melbourne.
In his 10th NRL game - playing five last year before a foot injury ended his season - Suaalii scored two tries with one a spectacular effort, climbing over the top of Parramatta winger Hayze Perham.
Playing on the right wing outside two-time premiership centre Manu, the pair have combined for six tries.
"He doesn't surprise me," Manu, who's enjoying having a front row seat to Suaalii's athleticism, said on Tuesday.
"You see some of the things he does at training, he's a freak.
"It was pretty cool to see that try he scored on the weekend being right next to him."
Manu said it wasn't just the flashy tries that impressed him, adding Suaalii was ultra-competitive on and off the field.
"Those little things that people probably don't see; those tough carries that he does ... he's got the skills and he's competitive.
"He can be anything he wants as he has the work ethic - he works hard and listens to all the coaches and the boys.
"He obviously has a lot of years ahead of him and he can do those flash things but he can do the tough things too."
With the Roosters sitting in fourth spot their meeting with the champion Panthers couldn't have come at a better time.
They have found some form after a shock round-eight loss to last-placed Canterbury.
"They've probably the best team in the comp at the moment but for us we want to work on ourselves," 25-year-old Manu said.
"We had a good game last week and we want to build on the back of that.
"We've got a big few weeks against some of top sides ... as a team we're feeling confident that we can get the job done."
Meanwhile, the Roosters are still waiting for confirmation on whether star lock Victor Radley requires surgery on his ankle injury.
Radley was in a boot on Tuesday following scans, with skipper James Tedesco saying his teammate was disappointed to miss a potential State of Origin debut.
"He's waiting to hear back about whether it's confirmed surgery or not but he's in a boot on crutches so I think he will be out for a bit," Tedesco said.
"I know he's disappointed as he had a big chance of playing for NSW but that's footy."