The shock suspension of centre Michael Jennings has stunned the NRL world. The longer term ramifications for him and the Eels will play out and be covered by the media in the coming days and weeks.
More immediately, the suspension has forced a last minute change in the Parramatta Eels side for tonight’s big finals clash with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Haze Dunster, the Kiwi born Eels pathways outside back has been named to make his debut. At this point, it’s speculated that he’ll take his place on the right wing outside Waqa Blake.
For Haze, his excitement would be understandable.
He’s been on the fringe of first grade selection throughout the second half of the NRL season. During this period, the Parramatta coaching staff have dedicated individualised training for him, working on his skill set in preparation for his debut.
Furthermore, his inclusion in the top 21 and top 19 over numerous weeks has familiarised the young winger with match day preparations and protocols.
During that period, following an extended coaching session with Ryan Carr and David Kidwell, Haze spoke with me about the prospects of his debut. He expressed that he was extremely keen to get a shot this year. He was ready.
Well Haze, dreams can come true.
You’ve earned this opportunity via a fine preseason, a great showing at the Perth Nines, and continued hard work during a challenging season that’s been limited to training, opposed sessions and that dream of an NRL debut.
Your dedication to achieving your goal via all those hours in the gym has given you the frame required to play first grade footy. At 187cm and around 95kg, it’s made a difference. You’ve always been able to beat that first defender in your carries but now you thrive in the collision too.
I know I’m glad to be there to watch you take the field.
It seems like only yesterday that TCT was watching Haze play alongside Dylan Brown in the Eels junior pathways. He’ll only need to look to his left to see his good mate wearing the Blue and Gold beside him once again.
For his Parramatta team mates, the disappointment of losing Jennings has been overshadowed by their excitement about Haze. Positivity and desire will not let negative thoughts enter their psyche.
Congratulations Haze and brace yourselves Eels fans. There’s a memorable match heading your way.
Go you mighty Eels!
Good luck to the young fella… Hey gotta start somewhere.why not today champ
Couldn’t get any better for a debut – win will top it off.
By the end of the year hopefully Haze you will get a 100% win rate in the NRL. Best of luck and do your best
They won’t see him for smoke.
Expect to set the grass on fire.
You know what? He is an unknown, which could work in our favour. Haze certainly has the skills, we just need to give him some ball. Good luck Haze!
This could be a famous debut. I truly believe that we can still get the job done tonight. Our forwards can dominate the middle and the spine can play off the back of this. We have been on the end of some losses when at similar odds to what Souths are tonight (cowboys in 05 and 17). It might be the night to pull one back for the blue and golds. We can do this. If everyone does their job, we win. C’mon lads.
Go hard haze. No matter young fella play your natural game. Parramatta will unite to prove all the na Sayers wrong.
Eels 26 rabbits 16
Is haze playing outside waqa does anyone know. If so good luck getting nice early clean ball. They will target him nut I’m hoping he will burn south’s
Have just arrived, would not miss it. I can only imagine the dedication needed to make it this far. Good luck young man. Give your all, we will be cheering for you no matter what.
That goes for all the team not just Haze.
With the benefit of hindsight, I still reckon that was well said Shelley. I cannot imagine “not following this footy team. Although the second-half had numerous missed opportunities for us to stay in the game, which we did not take? I’m gunna keep my replay of this game and watch the first half over and over again to remember how well these boys were able to rise against the adversity of the week/morning and take it to Souffs even when we were 8 nil behind to lead 18-8 at the break. I might delete all of Souffs second half tries… Read more »
Haze, this is your night mate, I’m confident you will make the most of it. I can’t believe the msg’s that started coming out of the club from about 10.30am this morning. All the boys were up and inspiring the coaching staff rather than the other way around. Then to hear BA’s comment just 1/2 an hour ago at BankWest “I have never seen the energy that is in the change room in there, not for 7 years since I’v been here. That’ll do me.
Shame it could not be for 80 mins. Shame and shame, here is another off season!
I posted on the other site regarding the MJ findings and said that I was disappointed in what had happened, but the picking of Haze for me made me very happy & made my congratulations that he had finally got his chance in the top side. Watching what I could of tonight’s match especially in what I saw of this young player, and while he made some mistakes, but he looked a player that has a top future, hopefully with the eels long term. I was a bit concerned that playing outside of Waqa may not have been the ideal,… Read more »