I have previously discussed Cartwright’s recruitment, however this is a piece more on how the Eels will look to use him.
Cartwright’s spell at the Titans promised so much yet delivered so little. He left the Panthers on the fringe of Origin selection and finished up at the Titans as a virtual reserve grader.
Parramatta’s 2020 side lacked a genuine gamebreaker off the bench. When they needed something different, something a side like Melbourne couldn’t plan for, they didn’t have it.
Cartwright offers an air of unpredictability and creativity few others in the side possess.
While Ryan Matterson is a genuine edge threat with his size, strength and offloading ability, he doesn’t quite produce Cartwright’s miracle offloads.
Coming to the Eels on a minimum wage deal means Cartwright will be fighting for a bench spot. It’s unlikely he’ll unseat either of Shaun Lane or Matterson in the starting 13.
According to training reports, Cartwright has impressed in his defensive application and willingness to work hard. Positive news so far.
He was also training with Mark Carroll during the off-season once he’d returned to Sydney and that indicates a willingness to push himself.
Cartwright has the potential to be that x-factor and with the likes of Brad Takairangi and Andrew Davey departing the club, he has an opportunity to take advantage of what is currently an open spot on the bench.