The Cumberland Throw

Eels Pre-Season Training – February 11, 2019: Maika-ing It Interesting

What is it that all NRL clubs hope to have with their roster?

Obviously you want your players in form, but first and foremost you’d like to have everyone available. Today, the Eels took another step towards that goal with Maika Sivo commencing contact work, removing the orange singlet for the first time since arriving at the Eels.

There’s been no shortage of supporters asking me about the big Fijian, but it’s next to impossible to assess a player without them participating in full contact. From this point, the flying winger can push his case for NRL inclusion.

Will he be another Semi? Let’s remove that from the table. Let’s take away that pressure. There will only be one Semi. We want Maika to simply be Maika. He still has plenty to learn, so it’s essential to keep that in mind.

Sivo whilst still wearing the dreaded orange.

On the positive side of the ledger, he’s worked his way through bush football, Ron Massey Cup and ISP. He may not have a star junior rugby league background, but when he eventually plays first grade, he will be older than Semi when he debuted and boast more rugby league games on his resume.

The early signs today were good. There were enough glimpses of his pace, evasiveness and power to suggest that he will feature in first grade this year. Whether he will be ready to play in round 1, time will tell.

Nathan Brown has commenced non contact opposed.

Aside from Sivo, both Will Smith and Nathan Brown continued their rehab journey. They participated in the field session, though wearing the orange singlets – meaning no contact.

This will be a busy week for the football department. Half of the squad will be preparing for Friday’s trial against the Raiders with the other half travelling to the Northern Territory for four days of clinics, open training sessions and important community relations work.

With the players departing to the Top End, today became the big opposed session for the week. Brad Takairangi, Bevan French and Blake Ferguson were on All Stars duty, and won’t be involved this week. Of course this opens up opportunities for some of the younger players to mix it with the NRL team in Friday’s trial.

The execution this morning was very sharp, with errors at a minimum. Overall, this was possibly one of the best sessions of the pre-season.

The Highlights

* Mitch Moses was totally in the zone. His vision was arguably the best of this pre-season, making good call on good call and converting half chances into clean line breaks. His decisiveness was reminiscent of his 2017 form when he first joined the club. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

Dylan Brown

* A fine individual try by Dylan Brown. Rather than describing it, I’ll leave it as a surprise should he produce something similar in a match.

* Ethan Parry and Haze Dunster both having the opportunity to play in Blake Ferguson’s vacant wing spot. Ethan was one of the best on field in last Thursday’s ISP trial.

* Jaeman Salmon returning to the centre role and making a long break which ultimately saw Gutho crossing for a try.

* Reed Mahoney performing strongly in both attack and defence, ably supported in both endeavours by the middle forwards.

* Junior looking to be the fittest he’s ever been and showing the benefits of it.

Final Word

Friday night at St Marys Stadium will provide Eels supporters with the opportunity to watch many of the NRL players in action. This isn’t an ISP trial. It will be treated as a genuine first grade trial.

I hope to see about seven thousand of you there.

Eels forever!

Sixties

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

 

42
Click Here to Reply ...

avatar
13 Comment threads
29 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
22 Comment authors
MiloMilo!0 Year MemberMilo!0 Year Member Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
!0 Year Member
Guest
!0 Year Member

Thanks for the summary Sixties. DB looks pretty solid in that photo, well developed for an 18 year old.
Looking forward to watching the trial on Live Stream.

Offside
Guest
Offside

Still have low expectations for the season but bloody hell i can’t wait to watch some footy

rowdy roddy
Guest
rowdy roddy

Very interesting report Sixties. I am also excited about this weeks trial against Canberra, it will be a real eye opener from the perspective of who is playing at NRL level in this pre-season, and who is not.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thank you again. I’m hoping to see the team in action on Friday following all your reports.

Anon
Guest
Anon

Is Maika a genuine shot of unseating/claiming a FG spot if he isn’t fit in Round 1? I.e. Is he good enough to be put into FG even if others such as Gennings are fit and available? He’d surely be no lower than 3rd in the winger rankings behind Fergo & Gennings if not higher I believe

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Great report as always. Can’t wait for the trial this Friday, and more importantly who stands up and puts all this great training into action.

Is there any development in young George as a centre? Perhaps I’m being too speculative and dewy-eyed, but to fit both George and Sivo together seems like a good long term pairing

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thanks sixties for your report every week.. Let me share a few things about Maika,he played rugby union in Fiji until he was 22yrs old even represent Fiji in the U20world cup in rugby union.In his first year in rugby league he played for the Gundagai tigers and they won the group 9 comp after more than 10 yrs.He played for Mounties and they reach the final in the shields and won the Ron massey cup then he played 9 games for st Mary before Penrith called him up and played in the 2017isp and state final and last year… Read more »

Big Fish
Guest
Big Fish

Hey mate – any insight on how Shaun Lane has been training and what position he’ll be securing in the 17? Cheers

Milo
Guest
Milo

Great read again Sixties, and I think Sivo will be a v good buy for us as long as he stays fit.
Can we expect to see a list named before this wks trial?
I also would imagine that by having the Taka and co absent this also makes it a difficult week in terms of having a trial and then half the squad away in the NT.

rowdy roddy
Guest
rowdy roddy

As sixties alluded to earlier, trials are just that. Coaches and training staff are looking at individual performances to see if their preseason efforts are being translated into improved performance in a game time atmosphere. Are they putting in that extra effort to stop a try. Is there evidence of consistent support play up the middle by halves, fullback or hooker, are the outside backs fit enough and quick enough to back up a break from a team-mate inside or outside? IMO These things and other effort on effort plays by individuals will all define ‘how” we might be able… Read more »

!0 Year Member
Guest
!0 Year Member

Touche Rowdy. We all remember how well we played in the trial last year. It meant nothing.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

After a big lightening strike over our house on Friday night, with it aking out the NBN box in the garage, microwave in kitchen, modem port on main computer motherboard, meaning I now have to rely on a wifi laptop which I cannot stand, but at least I can now read emails and send them. I escaped ligntly and barely over the insurance excess compared to neighbours who have hole in wall, blown large ducted air con unit, blown TV and cabling over $29k damage, I’m not complaing. Having spent 4 hours now on inter internet catch ups, its good… Read more »

The rev aka Snedden
Guest
The rev aka Snedden

Sixties. I need you to tell me the difference between Gallen boxing n junior Paulo playing third grade rugby yrs ago. Why do the NRL not say anything to the Sharks n yet hammer eels over JP playing 3rd grade rugby

parrathruandthru
Guest
parrathruandthru

It was more the Eels hammering Jr. Imagine if he did his ACL. The rugby club got in trouble for using an unregistered player. Gallen has it written into his contract I believe

Michael Formosa
Guest
Michael Formosa

I can’t wait for Friday!
I hope Sivo gets the other wing spot. It’ll be great to have two wingers that are great under the high ball! It’ll take away one of our weakness and turns it into one of strengths.

parrathruandthru
Guest
parrathruandthru

Sivo is in Darwin

!0 Year Member
Guest
!0 Year Member

I look forward to watching Sivo whilst I am sipping my sljivo