The Cumberland Throw

Eels Pre-Season Training – January 8, 2020: Collision Course

Fellow Eels supporters,

Are you ready to move past the cricket season?

Does the lack of collision sport over summer leave you hanging for the NRL Premiership to kick off?

If, like me, you’ve answered yes to both questions, then today’s training session would have left your footy cravings temporarily satiated.

For the first time this preseason, spectators at Kellyville were treated to full contact opposed work – and the sound of the impacts left our crew grimacing and confident that there was no shortage of players looking to make a statement.

Make no mistake, there was no respite from conditioning. The running and the Malcolms were tough enough on their own, and today their purpose was probably to add an almighty dose of fatigue into the footy mix  – not that it took any edge off the tackles.

In a session that lasted just on two hours, it was probably an even split between footy and conditioning.

Reed Mahoney

The major part of the opposed session ebbed and flowed with possession shared between the Blue (NRL) and the Gold (CC) teams. Though it wasn’t a complete replication of match conditions, referees were in control and sets were played out as they would in a match – ie working for field position when deep in their own territory, looking to score or earn a repeat set when in attack. There were enough players available for each team to have interchange players. Conditioning runs interspersed with the footy simulated match fatigue.

Strong defence was the major feature and unlike some other opposed work, the carries into the defence were at pace, and there was little held back in the tackles. Accordingly, tries were difficult to come by.

Ray Stone

To be honest, I was amazed by the tenacity of the Gold forwards. Apart from a ferocious charge from Junior Paulo between the two 40 metre lines which left some defenders in his wake, the young players like Hollis, Hughes, Duggan and Utoikamanu really stood up in the contest. Dummy half duties were shared between Davies and Schneider, with Stone playing on the edge.

In attack, the Blue spine looked particularly sharp, with Gutho heavily involved in everything from shifts to kick chases. Unfortunately, a belter of a pass from Gutho to Sivo which resulted in a try was ruled forward by the referee. In another instance, an overlap was created down the left wing, and Sivo high stepped into the clear, only to be brought down in an extraordinary tackle, initially by Will Smith and then with a couple of assistants. The big winger would have felt that one!

Mitch Moses – taking advantage of Joey’s coaching.

The opposed sessions are increasingly showcasing some of the attacking skills instilled during Joey John’s specialist coaching. It’s interesting to watch him work with the players and then witness them execute as they did today.

Towards the conclusion of this session, the Blue team were given several sets inside the 20 metre zone to hone their plays. It led to an impressive try by Mitch Moses. As was evidenced in 2019, when Moses takes on the defence line at pace, he also does so without fear. He must rate as the best running half in the NRL.

As the session wrapped up, those of us in attendance reflected on the level of intensity shown. The players made a statement – some pushing for a first grade berth, others looking to validate the decision by the Eels to offer them an NRL, training, or development deal.

Me? I just thoroughly enjoyed getting a footy fix like this in early January.

Eels forever!


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Bloody awesome again mate. Yes, I’ve been missing contact sport and would have loved being there today to witness those hits. A couple of highlights for me. The first, the competition for spots, or depth. Surely this must be the best depth we’ve seen at the club for some time. Secondly, the report that Joey’s coaching is already being practiced and utilised. There is still a couple of months to go before the season commences, so we should see some improved / new skills and attacking ideas early in the season, particularly from Moses. Sixties, is Joey still there a… Read more »


Does Sivo look fit to you sixties? Has he gained speed? Size? Just worried last season he sometimes looked lazy when defending or chasing.


Great Question Terry! At training today I made an observation out loud to Sixties and the the other fellas in attendance about Sivo in the conditioning work. Both Sixties and Parrathruandthru were quick to recall the fact that Maika was in recovery for most of last preseason and how everyone was keen to see what he could do with a full preseason this year.

Colin Hussey

YES & YES to the questions sixties but reading the report there is just too much time between now and when the comp starts. Why can’t they have a pre-season comp to start mid January? Just Joking unless we lived in a country where there is not the heat conditions we have this time of the year, don’t want them burnt out before March. Looking at that pic of Stone, he seems to have filled out a bit and a bit more muscles to what he was last year, you mention he played on the edge today, is that a… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Thanks mate. My trip down is a bit up in the air now as they could only do one injection, have to head down again on 20th for the second one, and doubt I would be ok to attend. I then have to see the surgeon at Kingswood on 13th next month, not sure of the time but is morning but it may depend on what sort of time frame is there for training for me to attend, I would drive down for this day as coming back via Sunnyholt road will get me to the field but it could… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Thanks mate, I want to come thing is I had to have two injections but only one could be done at a time, different spots, so the surgeon’s visit is now put back until Feb I think Julie said it was at 1000 or 1100, so will be recovered enough from the injection and will drive down, I think if its the earlier time should not be any worries but if the later time and any delays, wondering if the training will be finished by the time I get there. Had some nice short spurts of rain here this evening… Read more »


Not all together at the same time I hope Colin?

Colin Hussey

Originally believed that the two areas were to be done at same time, Monday just gone, but the Radiologist said they cannot be done that way as they are different injections and in different locations, sort of. A lot more caution with them these days. Twood appear the day I see the surgeon next is Monday 3rd Feb, so will drive down for that and see how it goes, likely be after the visit around 12 before I will be able to get to the ground, unless leave early and go there first. Looking very much forward to heading to… Read more »


Hope things get better soon Col, and that you can head to see the boys train. Take care


Good luck with the injections. I also just finished a session of three injeactions. Unfortunately mine have not been effective.

Colin Hussey

I have had several of them over the years, had to have them on a monthly basis for 2 years back in the 90’s helped get through but, they have been irregular since, primarily owing to the pills doing the job of pain relief also 4 bouts of surgery, and one with laser burning of nerve root which was totally useless. The current round of injections are being carried out more to see if they are effective and for how long, the first one early this week has been marginal and still get pins & needles all down the leg,… Read more »


Definitely alters your life style.

Ashutosh Gaji

Hi Colin, My son suffered back pain on L4 L5 for 9 years. He was teaching Hip-hop Dancing when he got it. I took him to Florida to Deuk Laser Spine institute and they fixed him. He has been painless for over a year. Try this place as all doctors here said they could not fix him also he has a 96% success rate. Hope you get some relief as i know How painful back pain can be.


Another great report Sixties. I was told that the opposed session was just off full contact. I wonder how you regulate between full contact and say 80%.
I would like Junior Paulo running full steam at me. Must have been frightening.


Your reports give a good insight into the work and effort that goes into a preseason. If the intensity is high and the competition for places is fierce then we will be very well placed for this campaign.
Does BA get heavily involved during the session. Does he look happy.

John Eel

Sixties sounds like they are really ramping up now. The hard part now is tempering my enthusiasm for the first game against the Dogs.

A point of interest now will be taking a shot at what the 17 will look like. It is adding a lot of interest to the off season. I can feel that there maybe some surprises come round 1

Keep up the good work. We all appreciate your efforts,

John Eel

Those last two spots will be the interesting ones. Oregon Kaufusi will be an interesting one. I was hoping to see a lot more of him in 2019. He made his debut in 2018 and at the time I thought that he showed more in his NRL games than NYC However BA put him back to CC and he would have had his reasons. From what I can see he has knuckled down and got on with his work. The proof of his efforts will be there once the season gets under way The other question mark is around a… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Good point sixties, I was very much of the same mind set as John with him not getting a run late in the season, still believed he would have been a better bench player than a couple of those who were on it though with one in particular in poor form. I would think another year older and still only 20 with the new longer deal will have Oregon in a much better mind set and be able to hopefully seal a spot in the top 17. What 2020 means for more than one player is a chance for the… Read more »


Great stuff 60’s. Thanks and cheers. Like everyone else my first 15 differs not. I have however been an advocate of the 16 and 17 going to Kaufusi and Salmon ilo Evans and Taka. Im a big fan of Salmon. I think he is capable of providing the “X” Factor our bench generally lacks. I also note that his contract is yet to be extended beyond this season. Id be confident he could cover any position in the backs plus 9,11 or 12. Could you please provide any insight you may have on his development and where he may be… Read more »


Answers to your questions; Not yet (cricket) but yes for footy. I enjoy the BBL for its entertainment and watching guys we never see on tv. It made me v happy to see the gold team give as good as they get to the blues.There could a line there of clip used from that Jack Nicholson movie…? I am just glad we seem to have some good depth in the forwards. I particularly enjoy reading about the younger players and how they are going. I really think we have some good forwards coming through. My knowledge about the backs is… Read more »


What times do the boys train. I went to Kellyville today to have a look at the place for the first time. I was quite impressed. The membership team were very helpful and pleasant.
I’d like to watch some training sessions


Hi Sixties.
Thank you for your reply. However I haven’t received your email. I checked the junk folder just in case but it’s not there either. Thank you for your great information and efforts

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