https://www.sportingnews.com/au/league/news/blake-ferguson-parramatta-eels-nrl-2020-rugby-league-peter-sterling-george-jennings-semi-finals-grand-final/1x9ocq9jbct7c1vti2wcg2vo5j

 

Blake Ferguson, on his day, is the best winger in the NRL.

The 30-year old possesses size, power, athleticism and skill that not many others have - it's why he is the incumbent NSW Blues winger.

But in 2020, his form has ranged from decent to poor.

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It's somewhat surprising, with the Eels many experts' tip to take out the title this year, that their only State of Origin player would drop off the way he has.

 

In 17 games this season, Ferguson has scored just one try. That's obviously not a stat that any winger wants, and it has attracted plenty of attention.

Speaking on WWOS' Sterlo's Wrap, Eels legend Peter Sterling questioned the form of Ferguson and admitted the veteran was on 'shaky ground' to retain his spot in the finals.

“It’s a tough question. The last thing you want to be doing is dropping a State of Origin winger a couple of weeks out from finals," he said.

"But he is on shaky ground – his form hasn’t been good for a while now. We made a bit of a joke about him not scoring a try and finally that drought was broken last week.

"But it’s the other areas of the game where he hasn’t been as effective as what we have seen in the past and what we expect."

Ferguson has always been fantastic out of his own end, but does have the tendency to come up with an error. Those are forgiveable when he is coming up with four-pointers, but he isn't right now.

 

Sterling highlighted some moments in the loss to Penrith on Friday night that were somewhat concerning - especially for an experienced campaigner.

"Looking back at this game, Mitchell Moses gave him a serve because he wasn’t in the right position to chase a kick," he said.

"If you look at the 40/20 kick from Nathan Cleary, the effort to get back wasn’t great. He has looked suspect under the high ball at times.

"He is part of that right edge problem defence, and I still think his combination with Waqa Blake is way off the mark."

But is Ferguson's spot really in danger?

According to Sterling, he doesn't believe head coach Brad Arthur will make such a big call this close to finals - but the form of George Jennings on loan for the Warriors has been impressive.

"The guy who would be looked at to come in if there was to be a chance would be George Jennings, who has done a pretty good job for the Warriors," he said.

"I don’t think Brad will make that change, but I think Blake Ferguson has got to show the kind of form that has got him a Blues jersey on a number of occasions.

"He needs to convert that to the blue and gold jersey this week and in the coming weeks, and to be a dominant player."

Parramatta play the Broncos and Tigers in the final two weeks of the regular season, and if they are to go into the finals with some renewed momentum, Ferguson will need to be a big part of that.

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  • Brad most certainly won’t 

    • I don't think Ferguson is playing badly, he just doesn't get the ball off Waqa Blake.

      The opposition know he starts off our sets and just compress the defence on him now, not much he can do there.

      I think it's more the fact that we should be using him better and smarter, why not use him as a decoy and throw a cut out pass to Sivo or Waqa Blake to have that hit up?

      • They are all below their best.

        Some more so then others. Backs are woefull.

         

        • Exactly when have you ever seen Waqa Blake pass the ball, the job of any good CENTER is to draw the man and offload the ball but Waqa just runs it himself, Ferguson hasn't got any try's this season because he doesn't get passed the ball, Waqa needs to learn what a CENTER is supposed to do!!

          • Hey, cut it out.  I saw him actually pass a ball last night.  Fell off my chair!

  • It's interesting because if your talking just using him as a battering ram which Parra have well I certainly am not dropping him.

    Attack has been non existent down that right side so confidence wise it's got to be down.

    Fergos form is in direct context of how Parras attack is anemic.Sivos no better much like Fergo our wingers are in poor form much like our attack.

  • I would drop Sivo well before Fergo.

    • I can't believe how far Sivo has regressed this year. Not sure what's going on there but I would drop him first and replace with Jennings. Can't get any worse.

      • Hows Sivo's court case going? Anyone know?

        • which is that? The one for impersonating an NRL winger?

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