The Cumberland Throw

Eels Pre-Season Training – November 21, 2018: “A Solid Sesh”

Have you ever been pushed to your physical limits?

Some readers might know exactly what that feels like. Many might not. Today there must have been a number of Eels players who could answer that question.

This was two hours of challenge upon challenge.

Big Oregon

And if there were players who reached that point of feeling like they had given it all, they weren’t allowed to show it.

“Stand up! Get your hands off your hips! Body language!”

The calls from staff and players reminded everyone that they couldn’t show fatigue to the opposition.

Once again the training was split between two fields – conditioning on Field 1 and skills on Field 2. The players alternated between the fields, completing four 15 minute periods on each field. That’s eight periods for a total of two hours.

Here’s the breakdown:

Conditioning

The first conditioning period featured short runs with the players getting down onto the ground and up again. Working in pairs, the running back and forth would see the pair come together for a standing wrestle.

This period was wrapped up with a quick try line drill which saw the ball moved from one side of the field to the other without the players running. As the ball moved, the defence looked to number up.

Gutho sets the pace – again!

The second period of conditioning had more running and more hitting the ground, and more pairing up for a wrestle. The team also completed a 400 metre run. No prizes for guessing who led them in!

By the time the team hit their third period of conditioning, the players were fighting against fatigue. Reminders about body language started to echo around the facility. The players were challenged to complete running sets inside specified times. Failure to complete meant a penalty of a repeated set.

The final period with Adrian Jimenez became all about not breaking under the challenge. A target of 11 seconds was now set for a run set as the players pushed themselves to the limit. Remarkably all achieved their goal – but not before they repeated the set multiple times.

Skills

Between each conditioning period, the players moved to field 2 for skills work. In an opposed drill, what looked like a defensive goal was just as much about ball retention in attack.

Stefano hits a hole.

Part of the woes of 2018 was the defensive workload. The Eels turned over a mountain of possession and games became tackling practice – and we didn’t fare too well at that!

After completing a period of conditioning, the players were split into Blue and Red teams for these opposed drills. One team was designated as the attacking team for an entire period. Their job was to throw a challenge out to the defence, all whilst aiming for high ball retention.

With some players missing today, some players filled in out of position (backrowers in the centres – Fergo and Jenko yet to return from their breaks).

This meant a halves pairing of Norman and Brown lined up against Moses and Salmon.

 

With four periods of opposed work, each team had two turns in attack. To be fair, each team did well when handed possession. All the halves looked strong as the players ran good lines around them.

Dunster had a field day running off Gutho.

The standout moments were a cut out pass from Norman to Parry for a try; Gutho putting George Jennings across in the corner; Gutho putting Dunster away; Moses putting Marata in with a superb ball at the line; Norman putting GL in for a big diving try in the corner; a Norman kick for Salesi to gather and score; a powerful try for GL cutting back in from the wing; and Gutho again putting Dunster across.

The impressive aspect was that the ball retention under fatigue was good, with the team in possession given encouragement to chance their hand.

I was impressed by the spine today and the lines run by our edge players, especially Marata, Tepai and Salesi.

Though the opportunities were there for the attack to shine, there was also a step up in the defensive collision. As the players noted, it wasn’t as tough as in a match, but you felt it.

Final Comment

I want to again emphasise that these reports are written for Eels supporters and the aim is to detail the Eels pre-season. I’m not being ignorant of the work being done by other clubs, that’s for their supporters to report on. Every club will be working hard, so I’m making no comparisons in that regard.

The players are feeling it, but they’re incredibly supportive of each other. More impressively, the younger players are excelling.

More to come on Friday.

Eels forever!

Sixties

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Trevor
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Trevor

Let’s hope the new trainer knows what he’s doing because we’re around 40% successful in the opening 6 rounds since 2014. It’s not like we’re coming out of the blocks fitter than other clubs.

Milo
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Milo

Trevor i assume all trainers in NRL would know what they are doing and have plenty of staff to analyse etc. Jiminez has very good experience if you have seen his history.

Steeleel
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Steeleel

Fantastic report again mate! I started following the Eels as a ten year old, in 67. Me & my mate were in Parra Park, cooking some chips in a garbage bin, (as we did back in the day). We heard this roar & followed it to Cumberland Oval. It was half time of the Parra vs Sharks. There first season. & the Sharks won. Since then I’ve been the maddest Eel I know. I remember as a 12yo, travelling by train to Central & walking up to SCG to watch the match of the day. I’d have my big league… Read more »

Poppa
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Poppa

Just a bit of positive feedback sixties, I think your descriptions of the training and what they are undertaking is outstanding. I don’t think we could read a match report that would be more interesting than what you are delivering.
I think it say’s enormous things about how your journalistic improvement has taken you to a pinnacle since you have launched TCT with the “guys”.
Keep up the good work and again congratulations!

Sam
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Sam

Hi guys, Thanks for all of the hard work you do keeping us updated and abreast of the post-season – pre-season stuff. Have a couple of thoughts: having observed training now for a few years would u be able to maybe (without divulging anything too secret) post about how methods have changed – we hear the players are fitter each year but how? What’s different this year to last especially considering everyone said they trained well in 2018 and ran poorly. Would it be alright, without being critical to point out maybe an area the eels could improve on? Something… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

👍🏼

colin hussey
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As per usual a very nice and precision report sixties well done and thanks I now am able to cross off a couple more of the unknown players coming through. Also for Milo, I agree with your comment re Adrian, we saw the difference he made when he arrived in the 2nd half this last season, a big improvement in the first half. Here is a trainer who knows RL and how to get players to their level of fitness required to not just compete but, to put a winning pattern into the players bodies but moreso their minds. He… Read more »

Billy
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Billy

Another great read mate. Keep up the great work, It doesn’t go unnoticed.!
Two things –

1. How is Norman and Mosses going compared to previous years.? For mine they are the key which will determine how successful we are in 2019.

2. The younger players, How are the likes of Brown and Schneider going. The reason i ask about those 2 in particular is because they are spine players and would like to know how they are both handling the rigors of training day in day out.

Cherra
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Cherra

Would love to also hear about some areas needing improvement that you can see . Cheers for the report

The rev aka Snedden
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The rev aka Snedden

Another great write up bro sixties.
Just having a look at the picture of Stefano making a break on his left shoulder or on the right side is that siosia vave ?
If not then who ?
Where is vave if his not at the club ?
I liked him he was also a big body player like jr Paulo.i can’t see why Brad Arthur would punt him.
Keep up the good work. I enjoy reading the articles n the replies.

#Eels4life#

parrathruandthru
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parrathruandthru

Salesi

The rev aka Snedden
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The rev aka Snedden

Thanks Parra thru n thru

Offside
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Offside

I love reading these reports even though im a realist and expect us to finish in the bottom 4 but reading this it gives a sense of hope and excitement for the season to start

colin hussey
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Offside, I think we’re both on the same page in most respects, the difference for me is that being both a realist and an optimist, I see us finishing higher than the bottom 4 though. How much higher? My belief is more towards the higher end of the middle, around 10th if not better. It will however depend on the overall attitude of the players and their commitment to each other, coach and club. One thing for sure is a large number are playing for their future as to the off contract players, those who can negotiate even now and… Read more »

Burty
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Burty

Hi Sixties since you have seen a lot of pre seasons , does this 2018/19 season seem tougher or different in any way?
Keep up the good work.