The Cumberland Throw

Eels Pre-Season Training – January 30, 2019: First Trial Looming

The long weekend is now in the rear view mirror. 

Parents are rejoicing with schools open for the new year.

Supermarkets are stocking up for Easter.

All the road signs are indicating that the footy season is getting closer. Can you feel it?

I guarantee that the players are, and they’re champing at the bit for the trials. 

For anyone who’s forgotten, the first trial is next Thursday at Ringrose Park when the Eels take on the Rabbitohs. Though this is listed as an ISP trial, I’m expecting plenty of Eels contracted players to take the field. As such, it offers a brilliant opportunity for supporters to check out some of the younger Eels that I’ve reported on this pre-season.

Hopefully people are including a trip to Wentworthville in their calendar for next week.

Congratulations were extended to Dylan Brown.

For Eels players, the footy focus has definitely kicked up a notch at Saleyards. That’s not to say that they aren’t still pushing their conditioning. The players continue to have their stamina tested via “Malcolms” during breaks in the opposed work.

However, the balance is definitely shifting towards combinations and execution in the training.

This was the scenario today as the squad came off a long weekend break and kicked into the fourth week of training for the new year.

After commencing the session in the hands of Lachlan Wilmot for warm ups and running mechanics, the squad worked on their ball skills via some grid drills. This would be the prelude to an extended opposed session.

There were no NRL referees in attendance so Mick Potter donned the pink shirt. Given that he was offering coaching advice whilst officiating, he looked and sounded the part.

A sweet strike.

Though the play was stopped and started for instructions and conditioning, and a quick game of two hand touch, there was a bit of match day element as Moses took conversions and penalty kicks. All were successful.

The Blues team were dominant and as they were running towards our vantage point, the talk and calls were clearly audible. It was encouraging to hear both the senior players and younger blokes calling out their reminders and encouragement.

My Highlights

* George Jennings running a tremendous line to cross for the first four pointer

* The composed decision making and selective passing of Dylan Brown.

* Manu Ma’u hitting space close to the line for a try.

* A Mitch Moses 40/20

Marata challenging the defence.

* A solid performance from Marata Niukore in both attack and defence, with a couple of big moments celebrated by his team mates.

* Mannah and Polar gaining great metres in their carries 

* A number of players having opportunities with the Blue team, including Hoffman, French, Terepo, Evans and Takairangi. I’m prepared to call Terepo a likely bench inclusion.

* A terrific offload from Fainga’a in traffic to put Rhys Davies into space

* Nathan Brown calling out instructions to the younger players during his rest periods in rehab

* Mannah mentoring Utoikamanu during extras in techniques to get a quick play the ball

I’m very grateful for the tremendous images captured by Ben from Eels media, as there were a couple of images that I wanted to include to emphasise the defensive commitment and intent on display today.

Brace for impact.

Such is the focus of the players, those in orange sometimes forget their restrictions, and the tacklers rely on calls of “orange” from their team. Obviously all the impacts aren’t up to NRL match days, but the odd collision sometimes challenges that notion. For a reference point, look at the expression on the face of a player like Peni Terepo as he prepares to make a tackle.

 

Fergo driving into post contact metres.

Conversely, those carrying the footy look to win the contest just as much.

In this included action shot of Ferguson, you can see him straining to break free of the tackle of Stefano Utoikamanu. The senior players, like Fergo, are raising the bar now. This augers well for learning curve of the younger blokes.

For any supporter, this is what you’d want to see.

At the end of the opposed work, the players split into two groups. One group stayed with trainers Alex and Adrian, with additional conditioning on the menu. The others worked on extras such as kicking, catching and passing.

This will be my only training report for the week.

Normal transmission will resume next Monday.

Eels forever!

Sixties

Credit to Eels media for the images used.

 

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

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Andy
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Andy

Can I ask – what time does the trial start next Thursday?

parrathruandthru
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parrathruandthru

I would budget for Flegg around 5.30 & ISP around 7PM
I’m sure the club will list the times and squads early next week

Andy
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Andy

Thanks so much for the advice! Like everyone I’m hoping for a good year this year…

parrathruandthru
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parrathruandthru

Thursday 7th February
Ringrose Park

5.00pm Jersey Flegg U/20’s
Parramatta Eels V South Sydney

7.00pm Intrust Super Premiership
Wenty Magpies vs South Sydney

parrathruandthru
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parrathruandthru

I think fans will be more than impressed with Dylan Brown. Was outstanding again today. Should I go with the TCT nickname calling fad and call him decibels (dB), probably not but it’s much more media friendly nickname than what I heard his team mates using today

Michael Formosa
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Michael Formosa

Great report Sixties! Parra seems like they will play it hard and tough this year but how are we going skill wise? I read other teams having halves coaches, kicking coaches, some are sending players to train a day or two with AFL teams for kicking and leaping catches for the high balls. Are we doing anything out of the box like this? It seems they are doing a lot of conditioning, defense and opposed sessions. (Which is great). Just on Peni Terepo, I think he is an outstanding bench player! He offers so much drive and energy when he… Read more »

colin hussey
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A fast and entertaining report sixties. I had a look through the eels gallery tonight prior to this post being put up, one thing for sure is that the players are going full on and when a break takes place they are appreciating it.

I would love to be at the trials but not possible sadly.

The more photo’s that I see of Dylan Brown, his general tall and lean frame very much reminds me of a solid spilt pin, they also hold items together very strongly and something I think that he will also do.

Greg Okladnikov
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Greg Okladnikov

great report as always. I will be aiming to get out to Ringrose next Thursday

Steeleel
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Steeleel

Thanks again mate! I’m getting excited now re Dylan etc. It’s been a long time since we’ve had this number of talented juniors come through. Augers well!!

Anthony
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Anthony

Sixties are we getting close to you being able to predict a starting 13 yet? Guessing M Jennings and Salmon still favourites to be the 2 centres? And just windering on the likelihood of Niukore starting, if he does, would he relegate Lane or Ma’u to the bench?

Glenn
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Glenn

I was about to ask the same. Maybe the whole crew can give their expected 17 for round 1 and then a general consensus of who you’ll all think BA will pick.

If Stefeno promoted to top 30 (expect him and Mahoney to be promoted if we don’t buy someone before 1 March) do you think he’ll make top 17 during the year?

Milo
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Milo

Another good read 60’s. Keen to see the trials but will see how i end up when back home. I just hope the top squad is keenly sort after in terms of picking players on form as we seem to have a good range of forwards on offer.
I also anticipate with so many off contact that the club needs to make some calls on some players by a third of the way in the season to halfway for next yr and beyond as well as have others in mind to come in.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

One player I haven’t heard me tioned is B.Taka.
What do you see his role being in the team? Is he strictly a 2nd rower these days? Does he make the top 17?

Hearndo
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Hearndo

I’d personally start him in Wenty for the start of the season. He could be a really valuable bench utility, providing an option at centre or back row. He has great ball skills and could be very dangerous towards the back end of each half off the bench. I think he’s days as a starting centre are probably behind him IMO.

Grunta
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Grunta

Hi Sixties.
I’m not up to speed at all with the talents of Dylan Brown, living on the north coast I rarely get to see live NRL let alone junior footy.
You mentioned that Moses kicked a 40/20 which made me think, how good is Brown’s kicking game? I’m guessing he can kick being a half, but is his kicking game up to first grade level?
Also, Potter being part of the coaching staff has to be a good thing. I’m not sure who decided to get him on board, but it was a smart decision.

The rev aka Snedden
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The rev aka Snedden

Good read sixties. I like many can’t wait to get the season started. Good to see the vet’s helping the jrs out Good to hear. Sixties what are you hearing about Robert Jennings are the club looking at him still or what. What about a 1st class prop. I saw during the week that George Burgess nocked back the eels offer. What do you make of this ? To me this tells me that we are looking for a big prop. I don’t see a problem with stone or kafusi. I just don’t see us landing anyone else at this… Read more »