The Cumberland Throw

Eels Pre-Season Training – January 29, 2020: A (B)Reed Apart

For the most part, the current pre-season reports have not shone too much of the spotlight on a vital member of the Eels spine – Reed Mahoney. Perhaps you’re wondering whether I’ve deliberately had him flying under the radar, or maybe you’ve had the impression that he simply hasn’t done enough to feature in my reports?

It’s time to put such thoughts to rest.

I have little doubt that Reed Mahoney is on track to consolidate and build upon his reputation as a Maroons Origin contender.

And there’s a reason for that – just as there’s a reason for his ascension to the Eels top grade at such a young age in one of rugby league’s most demanding positions.

Coming into the 2018 pre-season, Reed Mahoney was on a train and trial agreement. He’d been a last minute addition to the preseason squad, but he was ready.

In 2017, he’d impressed in the Eels NYC side which reached the grand final, and he was expected to go around in the 20s team again the following year. This elevation to an NRL pre-season was his big chance which he took with both hands.

When other players finished their “extras”, Reed would still be on the field, working with a team mate, a coach or just on his own. He wanted to take his game to an NRL level and it would only come from hard work.

History now records that Reed made every post a winner over that summer, earning himself a development contract, which lead to a 2018 first grade debut, and then a deserved upgrade to a top 30 spot.

Fast forward to the 2020 preseason and for the now established Eels rake, nothing has changed.

Reed Mahoney

Just as it was back in 2018, “Cash” is still the last to leave the training field after an Eels session. The precision passes or deft kicks into the corner aren’t by fluke. They happen because of his dedication to be the best he can be.

And so it was today. Long after the main group had left the field. Long after other dedicated professionals such as Moses and Gutherson had left the paddock. There was Mahoney, executing kick after kick, admonishing himself for anything that was a few metres off target.

Take note any aspiring young players. When the talented Eels number 9 finally takes that step into the Origin arena, his success will be the result of doing the hard yards. And moments like this – alone on a football field – is what can separate the good players from the stars.

Of course, before Reed hit those extras today, there was a full Eels training session. It was a mix of conditioning, four tackle touch, defence and opposed contact work.

The main highlights from today’s opposed footy included:

Looking for the tap back

* An early line break by Will Smith that should have resulted in a try to the Gold team. But the Blues scrambled well and Smith could not link with his supports. 

* An attacking kick from the Blues which saw Fergo execute a tap back for Taka to cross the stripe

* The right side combination clicking into gear for Matto to cross just wide of the posts.

* A particularly powerful charge from Stefano that left a couple of defenders sprawled in his wake

* There was interchanging of the middle forwards between the Gold and the Blue teams. This included young guns Oregon and Stefano and continued the opportunity given for a number of forwards to press their claims for a first grade berth, and to build combinations.

The standout moment from today’s session was undoubtedly the try to Dylan Brown.

Dylan Brown

From a scrum on the right, on their own 40 metre line, the Blues shifted the ball quickly to the left. A superb pass from Brown opened up space for George Jennings on the wing to sprint down the sideline. When confronted by Will Smith in cover, George was able to link with Dylan Brown who’d trailed through in support on the inside. Brown then scampered 20 metres untouched to score.

Based on 2019’s exposed form, and the preseason thus far, the Eels are impressing with the attacking threat posed on both the left and right sides of the field. Moses and Brown are equally confident in creating plays on their own or linking up to play more expansive footy. We saw examples of each today.

By the time that the extras were completed, this morning’s session had lasted for the best part of two hours. It followed on from a briefer session on Tuesday that was equal parts conditioning and light contact opposed.


The Countdown

Here we go people!

The first of the Canterbury Cup trials will be held on Thursday, 6th February at Ringrose Park, kicking off at 7pm. It will be the Eels taking on Blacktown – the Sea Eagles feeder team.

* Edit Feb 3 – The trial has been moved forward to 6pm as the RM Cup trial has been cancelled.

I’m expecting to see a swag of former Eels running around for Blacktown, so it could be an interesting first hit out for 2020.

I have it on good authority that the Eels boys are champing at the bit to get stuck into some footy action.

For those who arrive early, there’ll be an RM Cup trial between Wenty and Blacktown kicking off at 5:30pm.

Eels forever!


Images courtesy of Eels media

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Great report, great read, Sixties!!! You’re good at it!

Colin Hussey

Good to read about Mahoney and thanks sixties.

I know you will cop this question as something that many others are wondering about but!!.

Is there any news on the signing of Reed and Lane?

Colin Hussey

Thanks mate, I’m hopeful as well, there are a few off contract end of year and some in my honest/hopeful opinion who need to be locked up especially before the new season starts. Don’t really want to go through a repeat of last seasons contract drama’s again.


Good stuff sixties. TCT has also highlighted Reed’s off field involvements, and it’s a fair bet that no negative headlines will spin from this bloke.
He ll still attact runners in our defensive red zone, the trick will be to manage the line, and the alertness, to minimise him being isolated. Our middle/edge defence is one for the whole roster to resolve. Reed’s 40/50 tackles is a big donation.

Colin Hussey

I for one hope that his workload amount will mean he does not end up being another Kaiser who also had a similar work ethic which ended his career a bit to early. Reed, needs to slow down in the tackle count with others taking more of the responsibility in defence, in that way he can have a long and successful career.


I agree wholeheartedly Col.


I dont , he is what he is thats what makes him so valuable ,


Or Matt Keating who was often the best defender in the team and topping the tackle count, but never had much energy left in attack.


Joey Johns was often heard saying about Kaysa…’He doesn’t own a mirror’.


Glad your Not the coach , silly statement , closest to the action and closest to shutting something down And you want to nullify him Wow , might add totally different frame and build to kaysa ,so you want to prolong his career by doing less of what he brings to the team , sorry no way colin mate ,Wouldnt say that in front of any decent coaches mate. .

Colin Hussey

What are you one about Anon? Read what I said and that indicates concern over the amount of defence/tackling and the like that Reed does in a match. The comparison to Kaysa is that he was a similar player in the aspect of his tackling, he generally was at the top of the list in tackles, with a light frame, Reed is basically the same but with a better technique, however going with the concern is still the amount of tackles that he does in a match, in some ways it shows his determination and zeal in and for the… Read more »


Reed owns a mirror…being a Qldr, definitely not one of those full length, clothes horse style things.

Colin Hussey

Sixties, no argument there, as I replied to Anon, and in my earlier post is the concern for Reed is his tackling, no problems with the style of other, but I was of the view even with Kaysa, who had a slighter frame than Reed was that he was non stop, and tried to tackle as much as he could, no 9 should have to do that amount of work that Kaysa did but that applies in Reeds place as well, but in spades. Reed certainly seems to have a better tackling technigue and for me I would like to… Read more »


Col if I was a forward playing against the Parra pack I’m gonna run at Reed every time. He doesn’t have a choice in the tackles he has to make

Colin Hussey

I agree that is the case with the opposition but I have also said he needs support tacklers, and should have to see that he needs to be in every tackle. His workload for a player whose size and definitely a key player for the eels needs to somehow be a bit more controlled. No hooker of his size should have to do the work he does especially as he’s still so young, as his body hardens up and he grows in experience then things should change for him.


Your words were , he needs to slow down in the tackle count ,your words col . Thats his style and thats what makes him valueable ,change that and hes canterbury cup , leave the coaching to those who know col .

Colin Hussey

sixties, I believe that Reed has the abilities to be an 80 minute player, and has shown that in no end during last season, his workrate and skills are there every week to see. For a first season first grade player he has nothing to prove as he has already proved himself. He could well be the best 9 since Steven Edge for the eels and that’s where I want to see him, but certainly as a first season he’s shown all of his abilities and at such a young age, and is a vital to keep. If having a… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Slow down in the tackle count is what I said yes! but do so in the overall context of what I have said. Yes, he is a valuable player and one that is a key to the team overall, and that is the context of what I had said, so stop trying to score points in taking the text out of the context and creating a con in your posts.


The only points that interest me colin are the ones reedy stops


Jake Friend would probably find this thread interesting, he’s got copious body parts broken, battered and bruised but my guess is that in hindsight he would think he couldn’t have captained the Roosters, won premierships by doing things differently. One thing these days, less headshots, but the body does take a pummeling.


Thanks for the update and focus on Mahoney. He seems to be very level headed and hungry to improve from your comments about the extras he’s doing. It will be interesting to see if Joeys mentoring gives him the confidence to inject himself into the attack more this years. His service out of dummy half was very sharp last year, the offseason might give him the opportunity to work on his long pass and give 1st receiver more width. He’s certainly tough, did a lot of defensive work last year and I don’t think he missed a game.

!0 Year Member

Ahhhhhhhhhh…. the kiss of death….. lol


Thanks sixties, not that I’ve been waiting;) It’s great to read that Reed is doing extras, particularly kicking. If there is one element to his game that may have needed improving its his kicking game. The top echelon of rakes today all have very good kicking games and Cam Smith is THE example. It’s such a valuable bonus and with Brown still young and inexperienced in the top grade, having Mahoney able to kick is huge. When Brown was injured last season, opposing teams knew to attack Moses as largely, he was the only kicker, which makes it all the… Read more »


Sounds like Stefano is going well. Shame he won’t be hanging around.
How’s young Schneider looking?


To be honest its a sign of a good roster to have your fringe first graders being plucked by other clubs, look at the Roosters? every club is trying to steal whatever bit of chicken they can get. And Stefano if he has a break out year can quite easily turn his back on the Tigers its the modern game afterall and if Parra looks the better fit he could just change his mind.


That’s a big, strong middle for the 20s. Whoever the halves are will have a lot of time and space before reaching the defence.


That left to right bullet pass in the finals last year was all class, so was his niggling Cam Smith which got Smith sent.In a tighter contest that could have been genius. Getting close now to kick off hopefully everyone is primed, still no Sivo I take it from the G Jennings reference?


Great work Sixties. Reed is definitely a keeper he’s improvement has been impressive. I was surprised BA didn’t put him in against Smith in the magic round debacle. But I guess BA must have not wanted to throw him to the wolves. We saw how Reed got under Smith’s skin in the semi… Really looking forward to seeing him and the boys flourish this year.
Thanks heaps for the coverage

John Eel

I think that they may have boarded together also while playing in the NYC

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