The Cumberland Throw

Jakob & The Beanstalk – Can The Son Of Arthur Reach The Summit?

There are giant expectations on his shoulders but Jakob Arthur is ascending towards first grade with a single-minded determination worthy of any fairy tale hero.

 

Everyone knows the story about Jack & The Beanstalk. Jack, a destitute country lad, makes the gamble of a lifetime when he trades the family cows for a handful of magic beans and the promise of fortunes untold. When a colossal beanstalk sprouts from the beans overnight, the curious and enterprising Jack climbs the mutant flora and discovers the existence of a world in the clouds which is home not only to a giant but a golden goose and much, much more.

Our protagonist Jack outwits the fearsome giant who is out for the Englishman’s blood. In doing so he reclaims a trove of familial heirlooms headlined by the gilded goose which the giant had long since stolen from Jack’s family. The climax of the old tale sees the intrepid explorer of the skies fell the enraged giant by taking the old Trevor Gillmeister to the beanstalk and thusly reclaiming his family glory forever after.

For Jakob (Jake) Arthur, the hero of this particular story, the allegorical parallels to the fable of Jack aren’t exactly perfect but they twist themselves in a fascinating manner to give life to an exciting story in its own right.

As the eldest son of the Parramatta Eels’ head-coach Brad Arthur, one might argue that the opportunity provided by his birthright is akin to that of Jack’s magic beans. It is certainly true that his father’s station has afforded the young half a pathway in rugby league. However, to suggest it is why he is now where he is in the code is grossly disrespectful to the unrivalled commitment and dedication of the youth. Indeed, the single greatest benefit afforded to Jake as Brad’s son is that he inherited the toughness and determination that has taken his father so far in rugby league.

Check out who featured alongside and against Jakob Arthur for the Eels in the NRL Schoolboys Grand Final!

Jake’s path to the NRL is embodied by the beanstalk. A long and demanding climb that will ask everything of the young man and more. For Jake though, there is no giant awaiting him at the summit of the ascent. Instead, the giant is always with him, always weighing him down. A mountainous burden on his shoulders born purely from his surname. For Jake Arthur the scrutiny of fans and media alike is far more intense than almost any other prospect. The snide calls of nepotism and preferential treatment will always follow him regardless of his own legitimate talents. Just as Jack before him blotted out the blood-curdling taunt of ‘fee-fi-fo-fum’, so too must Jake ignore his detractors and remain resolute on his goal, on his golden goose as it were.

Intriguingly though, while Jake’s ‘golden goose’ lies in the possibility of a lucrative NRL contract down the road he is simultaneously the golden goose. As a talented young halfback that is confident in marshalling his team around the park and proficient in all three phases of attacking football (running, passing and kicking), Jake is already a coveted commodity. Throw in his elite conditioning, even by demanding NRL standards, and his plus defensive ability for his position and his upside is damn near impossible to ignore.

At 188cm tall and working his through the early 80s in kilograms, Jake Arthur is still a ways off being physically ready to handle the rigorous demands of the NRL. It is going to be a year or more until he is ready to be chopping down that beanstalk. Still, he possesses the sort of frame that can comfortably grow into a NRL calibre physique. Should he grow proportionately in mass relative to his height then he will be a truly difficult proposition for opponents as both a running half and a defender.

He has taken to the 2020/21 preseason like a seasoned professional, leading the team in fitness drills and excelling in field sessions as he directs his vastly more senior cohorts. It should also be keenly remembered that Jake piloted his school, Patrician Brothers Blacktown, to NRL Schoolboy Cup glory just prior to the summer of 2020. Jake shone brightly as the captain and general of ‘Patties’ meshing the flash and pizazz of a strong running and passing game with the suffocating constrictions of his accurate kicking and resolute defence.

So what exactly does 2021 have in store for the protagonist of this particular story? The ground is already out of sight for young Jake and the clouds are tantalisingly close, that is for certain. Despite being eligible for the newly ratified Under 19s iteration of the SG Ball (which begins this weekend, coverage right here on TCT!), I will be stunned if Jake plays a minute of that grade. Instead, Jersey Flegg (Under 21s) and perhaps even Canterbury Cup are calling for the young playmaker this year and I am unbelievably hyped to cover his progress through these grades over the year.

In a manner, Jakob Arthur is the symbolic figurehead of a rising wave of young talent at the club whose fortunes are almost inexorably interlinked up until first-grade. Arthur is the face, the protagonist, the symbol but there are plenty of others climbing beanstalks of their own. It is truly an exciting time for the Eels and I sincerely hope fans can enjoy it for it is. They have assembled a fantastic roster in the NRL and have a host of young bloods nipping at the heels of established talent. I won’t quite dub it a golden age until we secure the drought-ending premiership but we have it pretty damn good.

For Jake though, the intensity of the scrutiny on him will only increase from here on in but he hasn’t cowed under the pressure up until this point. I don’t expect him to falter in the future either because he is damn right chip of the old block. His story is still only beginning but as fans of the blue & gold we are intrinsically tied to his journey and you can bet that TCT will be there to document not only his ascent to the summit, but the respective climbs of all of Parramatta’s young prospects.

 

Forty20

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Eggman

You don’t succeed in the NRL on a name alone,if he makes it, it’s because he has the talent and the drive to make it.Good luck to him,hope he becomes a Parramatta Legend.

sixties

Well said Eggman.

Colin Hussey

Forty. Great story and the fairy tale seems to roll on. Not being able to see the game these days except when on the box, I looked forward to watching that Blacktown vses Westfield sports high in the GF last year, hope I got the teams right. Up until that match I had only heard some talk of the bean boy, would not have known or recognised him even had a tripped over his roots, 0oops boots. But as that game settled into a quality joust between two very good young school boy teams. The size of a couple of… Read more »

sixties

Great reply Colin. The greatest assets possessed by Jake are his composure and intelligence. As a game manager, these are a great platform for him to build on. Until he plays NRL, we are talking potential, but he’s thriving in the full time squad.

John Eel

Colin the first I saw of Jakob and his brother was as ball boys on game day. A couple of seasons ago I went to Wyong to see a junior rep game and Jakob was warming up when I arrived. To start with I did not recognise Jakob, I thought it was him but I could not believe how tall he had got. He looked like 2 yards of tap water. He played a good game that day, his kicking game especially. I was talking to Paul Crawley after the game and he thought he had a great game also.… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Interesting description John 2 yards of tap water. I used to be slightly under 6ft, my late dad was 6’2, our two sons, 43 & 40 are both around the 6’3 mark with oldest one a shade higher, his son, & our grandson is likely around 6.5, plays union & RL in winter & bums around at other times. It seems a phenomena in many ways how both boys and girls are growing tall, our 12 year grand daughter is around 5’8 already, and brother near my height now and he’s 14. We do have some tall & lanky players… Read more »

Milo

Think that was the same game i saw John, it was a decent day and warm too and also easts did ok. I agree, his height as half had me thinking not a chance but he has done v well, along with the other young guys in the mix now. Go well Jake, and thanks TCT

John Eel

Do you remember who the winger was? I think he was left wing.

parrathruandthru

Matthew Komolafe

John Eel

Thank you

Milo

No mate, but I recall Jakob’s passing and kicking game. Our forwards also looked v good. I actually think we lost either Matts or Ball that day. Parrathruandthru has his name….

Jim

I have watched Jake playing through the juniors and heard the opposition give it to him over who his father is and that in itself make his journey to a prospective start in the NRL harder, but this kid will hopefully shut the tormentors up with his actions.

sixties

Well noted Jim. I’ve heard that too. But that composure and temperament holds him in good stead – and when he makes an error, he just reloads and goes again. A good quality to have.

Colin Hussey

Jim, I think the name comes with the territory, and have seen how other coaches kids have copped it from the opposition, especially the opposition supporters, reminds me of the old Lolly Legs cat calls when penalty goals & conversions were being taken with the opposition giving them heaps. loved it!

Joshuatheeel

Good read!

With that height and still only 18, what are the chances of him being 100 plus kg and an edge forward by 21…….interesting couple of years in his development and how he develops physically…

Last edited 22 days ago by Joshuatheeel
sixties

That will be interesting. I’m not sure where he gets his height from. BA is nowhere near that tall. In the short term I reckon they be happy to get him up to the high 80s in weight.

Milo

Sixties, maybe we can send him sone of Kens’ Mornays to get the KG’s on!! Leave the chunky beef for me pls…

sixties

We just finished the last that we brought home a few weeks ago. Must be due for another central coast Ken’s trip soon.

Milo

I will email some over to you, or Uber down!! 🙂 Look fwd to it.

Big Derek

Don’t think his physique will see him pile on muscle and kegs, prob end up a taller Jason Taylor or similar to Dylan Brown, his work ethic and training regime won’t see him muscle up like a forward.

Big Derek

Like Jim, have seen Jake make the progression from the time he came to Sydney when BA came to the Eels. He has always been a calm head and very hard worker, my opinion is he is the best half I’ve seen for a long time. Would rate him as high as Nathan Cleary, except he is not a goal kicker. Went to Kellyville Park training; this week, and he and the development boys weren’t put of place with the NRL players. He takes the line on when necessary and has a more than decent passing game both sides, defence… Read more »

sixties

Reggies would be a good learning fit for him Derek. It was a good session for you to watch, and enjoyed catching up with you.

Anonymous

A great read

sixties

Forty goes well doesn’t he!

Anonymous

He will make in spite of his name not because of it , theres no free rides in the NRL !!!!

sixties

Absolutely true

Mikey CH.

great read 40.

sixties

I agree!

Glenn

Great article as usual. Does BA have any other kids coming up thru the grades and are they any good?

sixties

Actually young Boods (Matthew) is 16 and moving through pathways. He’s a dummy half and tough as. He is often at training during school holidays, helping out with gear, jumping in to help with drills, running with the squad.

Anonymous

Always up with front and tireless , tough as old boots , like his bro reads game beyond his years , surprised if he dosent make it !!

sixties

I’ll be stunned too.

BDon

Well said. And you sorta know this young bloke will be a decent citizen. Good luck to him.

sixties

Well said.

Coachjim

I coached junior rugby league for over 10 years in both the Saturday and Sunday comps with the Smithfield Bombers and Cabra leagues. Yes I started as a dad with the with the under 6’s and did my level one coaching course then over the years got my senior club coach accreditation as well as president for the Bombers. I think I put in a fair effort looking back I sometimes wish I had just stayed a parent on the side line because my son ended up giving up because of the constant abuse and back stabbing I received at… Read more »

sixties

Coach Jim, there were parts of your reply that left me a bit teary- your insight about what junior coaches might go through is a lesson to anyone who might want to have a crack at people who volunteer for roles. As someone who has coached young kids in different sports I understand the time that you would have devoted to it. But you also coached your own child, and you have had the joy and the challenges that only someone in your position can understand. It’s sad that your experience ended the way it did. i reckon that anyone… Read more »

Anonymous

Is he too tall for half? – RM is 194cm

sixties

Is there a perfect height for a half in the modern game? I think the only criteria is whether a players build prevents them from executing what they need to do in their role. A taller build, especially if accompanied by increased bulk, might open up the potential to play in other positions that require bigger players. In Jake’s case, he’s a game manager. He reads the game well, is composed, and has a terrific passing and kicking game. That’s his skill set, so he should play where that will be best utilised.

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