The eels will play Panthers in week 1 of the finals at 11am on Saturday. The game will be streamed on NSWRL TV so I encourage everyone to watch to have an insight to our future stars. Even though we just scraped through to the finals, at full strength were are a real contender. This is the line up:
- Tu Hurinui Twidle
- The SG Ball fullback. Had a great season in SG ball and has carried that form into Jersey Flegg. The more I see him, the more he reminds me of Tedesco.
- Mattheww Komolafe
- Lots on here know that he has been around Flegg and NSW Cup for a while. His potential and development clearly has plateaued.
- Samuel Loizou
- Same as Komoloafe however he does suffer many injuries in a year.
- Richard Penisini
- Lots of heard about Will's younger brother by now. Taller than Will and may make his way as a winger even. Graduate off our SG ball team.
- Ethyn Martin
- A great finisher.If you watch the jersey flegg highlights you will see some very impressive speed and finishing ability. Genuine first grade potential. He has been killing it since joinign the eels mid year. Probably overtaken Komoloafe and could get a NSW Cup spot next year. I am pretty sure he only joined the eels from union mid season. I could be wrong.
- Joshua Lynn
- With Sanders leavng, the club gave him the opportunity to play reserve grade. He is no star but does his job in the team. Another SG ball graduate from this year.
- Ethan Sanders
- Everyone knows about him now. Absoulte star in the making. Shame he is leaving. His kicking game is better than most halfbacks already in the NRL IMO. Another SG ball graduate.
- Brock Parker
- I do not know much about Parker. He did win the coaches player of the year 2023 for Jsersey Flegg. He has made his NSW Cup debut during this year.
- Matthew Arthur
- Will cop a lot of stick for his surname, but I believe he will be better than his brother. Another SG Ball graduate who is only 18 years old. He reminds me of Harry Grant a lot. May not be as explosive or good in attack, but defensively I would say he is better making numerous ball and all try savers on bigger men. He should get a decent amount of cup practice in 2024.
- Jontay-Junior Betham-Mesa
- Probably our best prop coming through right now. We saw him steam roll a Panthers player in the trials. He started the year in flegg but has been consistently (even starting at one point) in NSW cup during the year. Could easily get a top 30 contract next year if we release our dead weight forwards.
- Jock Brazel (captain)
- A former Australian school boy who did not play last year due to an ACL injury. As they say its only the year after they return that the players return to their best. So hopefully next year is a great year for Brazel (this year was good as well) as he too could earn a development deal or top 30 contract if we release some forwards. He got a taste of reserve grade this year. He has already had the taste of training a pre-season with the top boys. Massive wraps so hopefully he lives up to the potential. One reason why we do not need Ice.
- Max Tupou
- Started the year in flegg that dropped out (not sure if it was form or injury) when the SG ball players started making their way through. Do not know much.
- Nicholas Lenaz
- Has played a few games of NSW Cup this year. A leader in this team who got the player of the year 2023 in Flegg. Can play dummy half I believe but has transitioned to lock. I do not know much other than that.
- Blaze Talagi
- My favourite junior coming through. However, he has struggled with injuries this year hence hasnt been able to cement himself into a starting role when we are at full strength. Already on a development deal the club has massive wraps on him.Has played his juniors mainly at 5/8 however is capable of playing centre. However, whilst he has never played their yet, the club know his football ability and hasnt ruled out a transition to fullback or lock forward (like dylan walker) once he builds into his frame.He is a Joey Manu and DB mix. Very excited about him if he can get his body right. Keep in mind he is still eligible for SG ball next year like MA.
- Sam Tuivaiti
- Still eligble for SG ball next year as well. Played u19 for blues of the bench. He has a big motor and is like the modern forwards coming through. Explosive and footwork. He made his NSW Cup debut last week as well. I expect him, MA and Talagi to start next year in SG ball (since it starts before Flegg) and quickly progress throgh the grades. Once SG ball finishes, they will then play Flegg and then hopefully playing NSW Cup by mid to late 2024.
- William Latu
- Not to sure about him. Can play in the backrow and centre. I am surpised he is playing over Guymer.
- Noah Reed
- A prop forward who has played a couple games of NSW Cup.
- Charlie Guymer
- The SG ball captain who is held very highly at the club. Played a couple games impressively in NSW Cup this year (at backrow and centre). His leaderhip qualities our loved by the staff and players. He was a centre earlier in his career however due to his size has transitioned to a workhorse and line running backrower (a mix of Nikora and Wilton from Sharks). Did start the year at lock in SG ball before moving to the backrow at the end of that season. He was very impressive in the u19 origin game. Do not be surpised if he starts next year in NSW Cup and makes his NRL debut next year. He is the future of the club possibly captain as well. No need for Ice to return.
Just a quick note on what I find surprising.
-Toni Mataele was starting in the past couple weeks at prop so I am not sure why he was dropped, injured or suspended this week.
-Under 19 star Charlie Guymer was unable to make the 17 which is a real surpise for me. He had found his way into NSW Cup so I thought he would have taken Tupou spot as he had earlier in the season. Do not be surpised if it is a late change and he is in the side.
Contracts for Flegg Players:
I wil probably update this after watch the finals games but from what I have seen and if we can cleary some of the dead wood in our top 30, I would consider:
Top 30 contracts: Brazel, Guymer and JBBM
Development contracts: R Penisni, Talagi (already has one), MA, Tuivita, AMS. Consider Twiddle based on next year form since he could be Gutho's heir.