By now we have all dissected the loss.
For me, sadly, I was not really surprised one bit with what I saw. It’s now up to the coaches and recruitment committee to their job.
But in doing so, there is one thing which they cannot ignore.
There is still a soft underbelly to our team and it needs to be removed. If players can not be relied upon to turn up with the right attitude ready to do their job, then they don’t deserve to wear our jumper.
There is a difference between a poor game by a player making some mistakes and a poor attitude. In our loss on Sunday we had some players who played well, some who made mistakes, but worst of all – some who did not have a real go.
We risk the growth and improvement of this team when we include players who have frequent flexi days on the playing field.
Disregard any thoughts about fatigue. The soft attitude in defence was evident from the opening set. How is that possible for a team holding on to a Top 8 spot, and within reach of the Top 4?
But there were positives to come from Sunday and that will be my main focus as they were displayed by young men who are very much part of our future.
To start with, a young man made his debut. To play even one game in first grade takes talent and hard work. Many sacrifices are made by family members to help any junior player make it and so no matter the result that should be celebrated.
Ethan Parry held his own. Sure he made some mistakes but he also made some hard runs, much harder than some forwards, showed enthusiasm and effort with his try and kept in the game even after an error.
In other words, he didn’t look for a place to hide.
It’s pleasing to see some of our juniors progress to first grade and importantly handle the rise in class. It was a pressure situation last Sunday with a hostile crowd and from my perspective, as a supporter, Ethan Parry handled that pressure.
With continued coaching and being exposed to more first grade game time and training Parry will naturally improve, but the ability for our juniors to step up into grade and give a good account for themselves over the past 18 months has be extremely pleasing and points towards a bright future for our club.
Both halves played well, or as well as they could behind a badly beaten pack.
Dylan Brown started to run the ball and was much more decisive in attack and Mitch Moses stayed composed. I was waiting for Moses to explode and to his absolute credit he didn’t. He is certainly showing more maturity this year and proving people wrong, including myself.
Moses’ kicking game is improving and becoming more reliable. The fact is he was often in terrible field position to kick but he kicked long and I think he kept our score somewhat respectable.
From the stands, I really enjoy watching these two young men play football, because they do just that. They are developing the skills to manage the game but also have wonderful natural instinct and creative ability. It is exciting to think about what this combination could develop into.
So, as predictable and disappointing as last Sunday was, and acknowledging our inherent weaknesses, we have no option but to move forward.
Like always I will be there supporting my team this Saturday. Yes we lost last week and yes our forwards got rolled but we are in sixth spot and we have another game to look forward to.
Every time it seems like the team is ready to move forward, they remind us of where they’ve come from – that wooden spoon year. But we have also unearthed some real talent.
It will take time to rebuild properly from last year and I encourage all supporters to remember that. It will do our young spine and team so well to make the 8 and I predict this Saturday will go a long way towards determining that.
Turn up this week blue and gold fans. Despite Sunday’s effort, Parra have come a long way from last year. The club is on the cusp of better times.
Home ground support helped the Sea Eagles last Sunday and it will help our Eels to overcome the Warriors.
See you there!