But the superstar fullback appeared to fail to ground the ball cleanly as he wrestled with a tenacious Jack Hetherington in the in-goal area.
Trbojevic didn't ground the ball as he made a first attempt and, although the footy eventually found the turf on a second attempt, the Manly flyer appeared to have bobbled it.
Despite that, bunker official Chris Butler awarded Manly the try, leaving the rugby league world staggered.
"The Bulldogs fans right now are saying, 'You're kidding'. They are saying, 'The bottom teams get the dud calls'," said Fox League commentator Andrew Voss.
Former Panthers captain Greg Alexander took aim at the inconsistency of decisions.
"How many times have you heard that when the ball comes free of the hand of a player, if he doesn't regrip that ball before getting it down it's no try?" Alexander said.
Voss added: "The ground doesn't constitute control of the ball. And surely they're not saying Trbojevic got it down at first attempt."
Alexander: "No, well he didn't do that."
The man behind the famous call of "Queenslander" during the 1995 State of Origin series, Billy Moore, said Canterbury supporters had reason to be filthy.
"To me there's a lack of control and ... Bulldogs fans have a right to feel robbed," Moore said.
The polarising try triggered a swing of momentum as Manly ran in four second-half tries to Canterbury's one, racing away to deny the Bulldogs a monumental upset win.
Manly were buoyed by the fourth hat-trick of Trbojevic's scintillating 2021 campaign.