The Cumberland Throw

Eels Pre-Season Training – January 21, 2019: Digging Deep

Expectations. 

We all have expectations about how the Eels will fare every season, and this year will be no different.

Last year our expectations of success were dashed faster than an NRL player’s “home movie” goes viral. We can look back and think that we were being unrealistic. Or maybe, the players got ahead of themselves with their own expectations. That’s now the past.

Looking ahead, my expectation is simple. The Eels will dig deep. I base that entirely on this pre-season.

Today, the physicality was typical of the journey over the past two and a half months.

Here’s how it went down.

The Prelude

In an opposed drill, the team worked on their combinations on one side of the ruck. Conversely, this meant that the opposed group were also working on their defensive decisions. The work was sharp, with praise coming for both attack and defence.

Kyle Schneider

The squad was then split into their Red and Blue teams for prolonged attack/defence within the quarter. Both Taka and Evans were able to participate in full contact and each received time in both teams. Pritchard and Schneider alternated between half and dummy half for the Reds, giving each player time at hooker.

With the glut of possession, there was no shortage of questions asked by the team in attack. Whether it be from a penalty, a drop out or a scrum, repeated sets were thrown against the defence in a gruelling test of the players resolve. 

The Main Event

There were no NRL referees in attendance, but there was s significant portion of the session dedicated to footy. 

Were certain team selections clearer from today?

The answer to that is a definitive no.

Arthur and his coaching team were providing ample opportunities for players to push their claims for an NRL spot. Gutho and French swapped positions. Evans and Taka were both afforded time with the Blue team. Kaysa and Mahoney alternated in the top dummy half role.

Cash Mahoney

During his time in the Blue team, Evans crashed over for a try between the posts. In reply, Salesi Fainga’a chased and reeled in an awkwardly bouncing high kick and then avoided the scrambling defence to score out wide for the Reds.

The defence was definitely the feature of this session, with only those in orange spared from the collisions. A special mention must be given to Reed Mahoney who continues to impress with his tackling. In one memorable shot, he delivered an into the ribs special on Ethan Parry. In doing so, he actually robbed Junior of the opportunity to register his daily hit on the young winger.

The Finale

With a strong session apparently completed, the team were surprisingly (not really) handed over to Adrian Jimenez for additional conditioning.

The attitude and delivery from the players in moments like these has been the facilitator of my aforementioned expectations for this year.

Firstly the players completed an extended period of interval runs up and down the field. They were then split into forwards and backs to finish off the morning with four laps of the field, timed for good measure.

And the gold medalists?

Tim Mannah

There’s a reason that people hold captaincy roles. Clint Gutherson and Tim Mannah led their respective groups from start to finish. Their example is nothing short of outstanding.

And behind them?

In the backs, the top 5 placings were filled by Parry, Dunster, Mahoney and Brown. In the forwards, big Stefano Utoikamanu headed the chasers, followed by Fainga’a, Moeroa and Niukore. Not far behind those players was Manu Ma’u.

Then in their fatigued condition, they were split into the two teams to work unopposed through their shapes. To borrow from Parrathruandthru’s observation, the closest parallel is to say it was like watching two Captains runs.

Every day is filled with physical challenges. It tests the body and the mind.

The players continue to dig deep.

Bring on Wednesday.

Eels forever!

Sixties

http://www.starrpartners.com.au/office/starr-partners-narellan

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Hamsammich
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Hamsammich

Junior wouldn’t be happy that he didn’t get to smash Parry today. If I was Ethan I’d be looking out next session as Junior will be looking to make up for today

rowdy roddy
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rowdy roddy

Great insight into the boys preseason prep Sixties. I’m really getting excited about what these youngsters are producing at the end of a session. It clearly shows they are putting considerable pressure on the established NRL players to be producing these consistent top 3 or 4 finishes in timed runs after a full contact session. Thanks for the report mate.

10 Year Member
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10 Year Member

Sixties, I am hearing something again this year in your reviews which I heard last year, and it concerns me again, I think we are making the same mistake, quote “Were certain team selections clearer from today? The answer to that is a definitive no.” Cmon Brad, tell the players whom are 1 – 17 and everyone else has to gun for them. Providing false hope to players whom will not make it and not instilling confidence in the best will lead us no where again. Everyone should know where they sit in the pyramid at this time of the… Read more »

colin hussey
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Confidence can build, over confidence will wreck. Last season the later occurred as a result of the previous year where they probably thought they only had to show up and a top 8 spot or higher was fate accompli. What I am reading in these excellent training reports is that everyone who is able to play NRL has a chance to be in the top 17 come game days, many will miss out, not because of what they lacked but because those chosen were a bit better. The other aspect missing from last year and not counting some very key… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

I agree with 10 year here.
The fact we are within weeks of kick off, trials beforehand, I find it amazing that coaching staff and ultimately fans don’t even know what players will make up our spine and we will suffer because of it imo. Maybe coaches know, but I’m not so sure. I’ve mentioned this a couple of times on here, but until we have a solid spine made up of specialists in their positions, we are playing with ourselves.

Offside
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Offside

The squad will know whos where in the pecking order why setyle on a team today and not be prepared should a player go down in the trials and suddenly you have to change your combos with players thst haven’t played together before. Th asts why you have to mix it up abit

colin hussey
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Way I see it, all the players have very much an idea where they stand regarding selections for this coming season, more importantly for those off contract and those starting out would know what is expected of them, in both training, attitude and commitment to club, coach, teammates, supporters as well as themselves for the season ahead. As for the fans or those outside those in charge and players etc, are concerned I do not see why the have any real rights to know who will take what position in the team, especially at this early stage of the new… Read more »

rowdy roddy
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rowdy roddy

Well put Col.

Bob jay
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Bob jay

Spot on

Bob jay
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Bob jay

A team picks itself by the players committment at training and his ability in a role ,its that simple , not a lot of choices 2018 .

Rob
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Rob

No mention of Alvaro?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

R they training at the sales yard if so what would love 2 watch a session cheers

Jonboy
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Jonboy

Not sure I agree with the talk of providing certainty to individuals yet. There’s still a month or so before game 1. However players and coaches and anyone able to witness a training session become very aware of their position in the pecking order simply through the manner in which the players are “selected” during a training session.

Finally, I would think that a large percentage of the team already knows where they stand and making public announcements now doesn’t serve any benefit to anyone except the opposition for round 1!

colin hussey
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Jonboy,…you last paragraph says it all, especially the last part.

BDon
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BDon

Like 10 Yr Member, I think a lot about our spine( and I know it’s on your list sixties). From what I read, it looks to be taking shape without a knighthood ceremony… Mahoney, Moses, Brown, Gutherson. A thing I like about that, is 3 of them are always top/near top in effort and commitment to performance and the other has obvious skills which just need to be harnessed. Game day pressure has its knack of finding weaknesses but there’s a foundation of a strong mentality in that group.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Who is this guy that puts the boys thru a physical challenge?
Where is he from?
Has he have an AFL background?
He sounds tough and ruthless!

My kool
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My kool

How Stefanos brother Filia going? Not noticed in any training photos of late. Heard big wraps on the kid.
Also any updates on GL. Is he a first grade chance. It sounded like Dunster and Parry had jumped him in pecking order but outside top 30 so GL would be in first prior.

10 Year Member
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10 Year Member

Sixties, your website does not provide an avenue to submit items offline as discussion points, so I will post this question here which perhaps you could provide your insightful analysis on. I recall the Sharks talking about having Origin/Rep players to achieve premiership success, prior to them achieving it, and their team was loaded with stars and fringe stars. Whom is Parra going to have in rep teams this year to allow us to believe we are in with a chance? Was 2017 just a lucky run, ala, 2009? whom in 2017 did we have in rep teams. Whom are… Read more »

10 Year Member
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10 Year Member

I would like to add:
– GuthoNSW fullback
– Bevan on the other NSW wing to Fergo. This is hoping Bevo does what is best for the team which in turn will be the best for him. He needs to be somewhere. Cmon Bevo, do it for the team, put your body on the line out there on the wing.

Trouser Eel
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Trouser Eel

Whom should be used to refer to the object of a verb or preposition. When in doubt, try this simple trick: If you can replace the word with “he”’ or “’she,” use who. If you can replace it with “him” or “her,” use whom. Who should be used to refer to the subject of a sentence.

Milo
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Milo

Sixties
Great information again and good to see the competition for spots being strong.
I for one like others am not worried abtt who’s where in team lists; coaches will know and players a have a fair idea imo.
Do we assume first trial is for fringe players and second trial main squad preparation?