Parramatta Eels Supporters Website
PARRAMATTA legend Nathan Hindmarsh expects the Eels to be among the premiership frontrunners in 2018 but he says there’s one area in the roster that needs to be bolstered to make them a match for heavyweights like the Cowboys and Roosters.
Other than the signing of larger than life prodigal son Jarryd Hayne, the Eels have had a relatively quiet off-season on the recruitment front, giving them the advantage of stability as they prepare to better their second week finals exit last year.
Hindmarsh says coach Brad Arthur will miss the impact of matchwinner Semi Radradra — who recently tied his future to rugby union by signing a lucrative two-year deal with French club Bordeaux — but believes there may yet be a silver lining to that story.
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Hayne defends poor pre-seasonHayne defends poor pre-season1:12
So keen was Arthur to secure Radradra’s return in blue and gold, he set aside special funds to entice the star winger back mid-season had he cut ties with French rugby following his stint with Toulon.
With an already strong backline holding the Eels in good stead, Hindmarsh told foxsports.com.au Arthur should use the funds to find the club’s next gun power forward — a position that has never really been filled since the 2014 departure of Fuifui Moimoi.
Fuifui Moimoi was a much loved figure at the Eels.
Fuifui Moimoi was a much loved figure at the Eels.Source: News Corp Australia
“I think our backs are pretty good at the moment, I like our centres as well,” Hindmarsh said.
“Maybe a bit of a power front-rower or a back-rower there, someone to help out Nathan Brown a little bit more.
“Tepai Moeroa I think’s still got a fair bit to learn. He can be good but I think it’s consistency week in and week out for him. Kane Evans is there, but I’m not sure, I’m going back to someone a bit more like Fui Fui, a bit more explosive.
“Someone who’s going to punch through the line and get the sets started for them, get them on the front foot a bit earlier in that set, so a bit more of a power front rower.”
What Hindmarsh is looking for to beef-up Parramatta’s pack is a unique quality that not all NRL clubs can call on.
The Roosters have Dylan Napa, Manly have Marty Taupau and the Cowboys have Jason Taumalolo but the Eels lack a middle forward ballrunner with the explosiveness to compete with those stars.
While Kane Evans looks set to be a solid addition to Parramatta’s pack, the qualities he will bring to Arthur’s side will be more silk and subtlety than sledgehammer.
Kane Evans will give the Eels’ pack a point of difference.
Kane Evans will give the Eels’ pack a point of difference.Source: News Corp Australia
“I saw what he did for the Roosters and he’s a big, tall, lanky bloke,” Hindmarsh said.
“I don’t mind the buy there, he’s got a good late offload when he can get his arms free, which is good. It creates some good second phase play for the halves, which Mitchell Moses and Corey Norman will enjoy playing off the back of.”
Ultimately, says Hindmarsh, it will be the ability of the key playmakers — Moses, Norman and fullback Clint Gutherson — that will determine Parramatta’s fate in 2018.
“I was a bit hesitant when they purchased Moses, considering his form at the Tigers at the time,” Hindmarsh said.
“But I think he’s come on in leaps and bounds. I’m quite glad he’s at the Eels at the moment. I think their combination is starting to work well.
“You probably would think that Norman is the shot caller there but I think last year Moses gained that confidence to start taking control of a few games and his kicking game was outstanding, so it’s a great combination at the moment.
Corey Norman and Clint Gutherson will play a key role for the Eels.
Corey Norman and Clint Gutherson will play a key role for the Eels.Source: Getty Images
“ ... We’ve seen in previous years how good Gutho is around the ball and he got put out on the wing in one of those games last year and the team wasn’t themself. The spark wasn’t quite there.
“But I could have Bevan French at fullback as well. I think he’s a talented young player who’s learnt a lot under Brad Arthur.
“He’s put a bit of weight on and he’s understanding what it’s about to play NRL week in, week out, rather than just play under 20s, so he’s learnt a lot there.
“But Gutho definitely has to be around the ball, and I think the thing for Gutho is he’s been good in so many positions, it’s hard for him to nail one down.
“It’s a good thing for Brad Arthur though.”
napa to the Eels . dont forget he is a brissy boy dont get your hopes up
I got excited then I realised you’re just catching onto old rumours.
Very informative Hindy, NOT. He is not the sharpest tool in the shed the old Hindy.
Everybody who watches the game knows we need another leader in our pack, someone with size and power.
But these players genuinely cost a million dollars and are under contract for lengthy periods of time. These players don't come along often and may only come around every 10-20 years through you junior grades.
Until Scott, Gower, Matagi and Williams move on we will not have the big coin to buy someone.
Gower, Williams and Matagi are not going to give you anything. All three would be on base money or near enough and simply would need to be replaced by 3 others on base money and with no guarantee that they would be any better.
I know most of you will disagree with this but why not throw a low ball contract at Dave Taylor. He has just been sacked from his overseas club so he could be realising his career is on the line, hence may finally put in a concerted effort. BA wouldn't stand for anything less and it could end up great budget buy. He started to play some pretty decent football at the arse end of last season for the Raiders. If we have a couple of spots to fill why not? Low dollar contract for 1 season. I expect many will disagree but i have faith in our new culture and our coach to get the best out of anyone, regardless of who they are.
In theory I would, but others have stated he went back on the see food diet in the UK and is massively over weight. If he was desperate/willing and had the desire to return to the NRL and to do extensive extra training I would consider it. You would have to interview him to see where his head was at. He may be suitable as a mid year signing if he busted his backside and played big minutes each week in the Q Cup.
BD, its a huge call with Taylor, & I am not for or against it, being a rep player, and the weird frame he could be a very devastating player. Certainly a perhapser and if a contract was offered it would have to be at the least coin possible, give him 6 weeks to get down to respectable weight beforehand though.
I will be watching with interest the Storm play and how Kasiano goes, its a good comparison although in recent years Kasiano even at his biggest still had some impact, so if he can do it, so could Taylor if he has the heart for the needs of diet and fitness.
the difference is though, big Sam went and followed the coaches orders - Dessy wanted a big body to play low minutes but high impact, seems Bellamy wants a higher minutes and consistent impact to replace Maclean,
You could never seriously fault Kasiano's efforts on the field, however the coal train never seemed to put in to make an effort in any facet of his career.
The coal trains biggest deficiency is the lack of stuff between his ears - he's got a big enough head but it doesn't seem to have anything in it.
We have enough loose cannons in the squad without brining another one in....even if he offered to play for nothing, it would be too much.
Fair calls Da. I'm not that fusses on him but, at a very low count could be worth it, would need to be fit both body and head wise, the later is likely the big problem.