I have cut and and pasted the relevant sections from The Cumberland Throws report on these trials as I believe we have a lot of nisnomers about our juniors and there current levels. Tarsha Gale is the womens u/19's, Harrold Matts u/17's and SG Ball u/19's and the best lead for our next NRL players outside of the NSW Cup.

Junior Reps Trials – January 20 & 21, 2023: Eels vs Panthers

The Parramatta Eels took on the Penrith Panthers across four grades over two days at Windsor last weekend.

Proceedings kicked off on Friday night with the 16s Development Squad and Tarsha Gale teams taking the field. This was followed on Saturday morning by the Harold Matthews and SG Ball clashes.



Under 16 Development Squad

This was a convincing seven tries to two victory for the Eels over the Panthers.

Overall it was a solid team performance with the Eels being simply too powerful for their western Sydney opponents. 

There was some credit due to the Panthers who fielded a young team. They had a genuine dig in trying to match their mostly older rivals.


Tarsha Gale Cup

This clash was played in thirds, 30 minutes in the first third and 20 minutes in each of the following stanzas.

After some early dropped ball the Eels dominated those first 30 minutes. The attack was clicking as they posted three straight tries. A bit of that work was undone in allowing the Panthers to cross right on the break and narrow the try tally.

Parra’s dominance continued for the next ten minutes of the second period of play, and after adding another try they were up by four tries to one at the forty minute mark.

Players were rested at this point and over the next ten minutes the Eels and the Panthers each crossed for a try, making it 5 tries to 2 after 50 minutes.

Penrith finished strongly, scoring four tries to the Eels sole four pointer, bringing the final tally to 6 tries apiece.

Overall it was a solid performance as the team prepares for the first round. The collision in the tackles was a step up on the previous week’s effort against the Bulldogs, but coach Ryan Walker will be looking to his team to improve their goal line defence.


Harold Matthews

Parra started this game on fire, dominating territory and enjoying three line breaks down the left wing via Dom Farrugia. Unfortunately, the Eels couldn’t covert territory into points, with a held up call on fullback Corey Leigh being as close as they could go.

In contrast the Panthers scored from their first foray into the Eels quarter and the momentum went their way from there.

The Panthers initial try in the left corner at just on 8 minutes went unconverted, but a crash play next to the posts soon after added six points to Penrith’s tally. The Eels were then lucky not to concede another try when the Panthers next crossing was ruled to have come from an offside play.


The lead up to Farrugia’s try – good depth in the attack as they shift left

Parra’s earlier line speed and aggression was now missing and the Panthers pack was on a roll. Their dominance was rewarded when a line break next to the ruck was well supported for another try next to the posts. At 16 nil after 20 minutes the home team were now in complete control.

Penrith took full toll on a retreating Eels defence by adding a further two converted tries before the break. At 28 to nil down, the Eels were looking for any way to stem the tide.

The second half could not have commenced any worse for Parra. In the first set after the break, an Eels player got his hand to Penrith’s 5th tackle kick, and the deflection bounced perfectly for the chasers. The unconverted try stretched the score to 32 nil and Penrith were doing their best to keep pace with the clock.

From this point, the Eels fought back to post their own tries.

A sequence of set restarts finally provided Parra with a decent launch point for their attack. Quick hands in a right to left shift gave centre Lachlan Vella space to cross out wide but at 32 to 4 the scoreboard remained lop-sided.

Further joy was again found through the Eels left side as the Panthers compressed defence left winger Dom Farrugia with a corridor to exploit. Every shred of his pace was needed as he raced the cover to the corner post.

Farrugia then sweetened the moment even more with a pearler of a conversion from the sideline. At 32 to 10 with just over ten minutes remaining the result was still safely in Penrith’s keeping.

But the Eels weren’t finished yet. Replacement forwards Ocean Vaivela and Anthony Abdow were leaving some bruises on their Penrith counterparts. The next Parra try would result from a turn over forced by an inspiring Vaivela tackle.

After working play downfield following the turn over, sharp footwork and pace from five-eighth Brandon Navarro created indecision in the Penrith defence. Halfback Lincoln Fletcher added the finishing touches to the movement as he scored the Eels third consecutive try.

That would be all both teams wrote as the 32-16 score line remained unchanged for the final 8 minutes.

This loss was a valuable reality check for the Eels. The week before, Parra brought a heady mix of pace, skill and aggression against the Bulldogs and in the first few minutes of this clash a repeat seemed to be on the cards.

But, after allowing the Panthers to get on the front foot, Parra found it difficult to arrest the momentum and their errors compounded what was a disappointing 20 minute period in the first half. A positive from that period was the go forward from the wingers Lorima Rokusuka and Dom Farrugia and they continued to supply that impetus during the second half.

 Coach Chris Howard would have taken plenty from this loss as he looks to fine tune the line up prior to Round 1.

The competition kicks off against the Roosters at Wyong on February 4.


S G Ball

This would be an important trial for the Eels SG Ball team. The Panthers are the reigning Ball champions, whereas Parra’s 2022 team failed to qualify for finals football.

A mixture of new faces, returning players and elevated Harold Matthews fellas took the field at Windsor. Many eyes were likely on those who had been part of the Eels JETS squad, but it should be noted that five Ball players were unavailable for selection.

Parra began superbly when fullback Apa Twidle linked with Dom DeStradis on the left edge for the first try, with halfback Josh Lynn adding the extras.


A terrific ball from Twidle and DeStradis runs a great line for the first try

Penrith replied with a try that wouldn’t have pleased coach Steve O’Dea. The Panthers five-eighth broke away from several defenders close to the line and the conversion levelled the scores after 13 minutes.

An impressive try double to left winger Mohamed Alameddine extended Parra’s lead to 18-6 and the Eels should have taken that score to the break. However, a Panthers try off a kick just as the bell sounded narrowed the margin to six points at half time.

Neither side troubled the scorer for the first 15 minutes of the second half, then a clever pass from dummy half Patrick Spence put prop Sebastian Piukala over next to the posts.

Another sequence of missed tackles on the Panthers pivot lead to his second try, this time out wide and unconverted. At 24-16 the Eels still had a valuable eight point buffer.

The final two tries belonged to the Eels.

Firstly, Reilly Canning took advantage of a disorganised Panthers defence to sneak across from dummy half. Cody Parry then put the icing on the cake with a spectacular try as he leapt for and came down with Josh Lynn’s cross field kick just as the final whistle was blown.

The 34-16 victory was a marked improvement on the error riddled trial loss to the Dogs. Parra’s pack worked as a unit and they’ll be even bigger when Lebron Tuala gets his first match in the Blue and Gold. The backs should have a good platform from which to launch their attack.

Josh Lynn was an absolute standout at halfback and a pick for best on field. Richard Penisini had some classy moments whilst Apa Twidle provided important contributions in both attack and defence.



You need to be a member of 1Eyed Eel to add comments!

Join 1Eyed Eel

Votes: 0
Email me when people reply –


      • I'm not sure you understand PT but Storm do not have a pathway that starts the same way as an "identified development club", like the Rooster's they identify young talent through genuine pathways of other sources and clubs and in doing so can afford to pay a lot more for them, than say we can as a development club.

        i.e. we may have a pool of identified juniors of say 60, they will come along identify their standouts seperate them from the herd and pay them to do so. 

        If you know anything about junior development you will recognise the conudrum we face in this respect, not that it is quiet that simple, Penrith got it right by getting some of their exceptional talent from the bush.

      • paul taylor spot on Squiz - i recently listened to Bellamy on the Howie games and it was spot on.  While not being a fan of Melb wrestle etc I admire how they get players and make them better and it's also about them as people which isn't rocket science. 
        Your comment abt the jersey is paramount for me 

    • Snake I think I shared a TCT article once not long ago re pre season training - I didn't know it was " a thing" not to 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

      • There are no laws to say it cannot be copied, I said at the beginning it came from TCT. You can put up what you like Carls and don't let the big bad Snake worry you. You could play him off the edge with a fiddle if you want to.

        The statements that Phil Sim doesn't like it may have been true once but we have all grown up a bit since those days.

        Snake has an obsession with TCT that is as undeniable as the owners not giving a shit anymore.

        Just so Snake can have a few more giggles (is he actually chimp?) or someone with a fetish that can never be satisfied.

        PT you say you agree with Snakey, you then explain the unique style. The pathways are often brought up here  as a criticism. The point of the blog was to say at this point of time our juniors maybe starting to make the inroads we have been craving for. The usual discouragement comes from the usual morons, Chief's opening statement being a true example of how dumb some people are.

        I find it amazing how many people  want to shoot  the mesenger but ignore the message.

        This site is principally about Parramatta Rugby League football, unless we can get some scribes to fill us in about our juniors and how they are going we will never know. 

        No apologies from me in trying to enlighten such under enlightened group.......

        • This reply was deleted.
          • Not another fcuking goose, what bush lawyer did you get that from Joel and tell me what I was advertising?

            • This reply was deleted.
              • Stop shaking Joel you will drop your Bong and lose complete control of your bowells, at this stage its only your vowells you need to worry about.

                • This reply was deleted.
                  • That's extremely benevolent of you Joel.....I must admit I didn't sleep much last night worrying about the consequences, I was especially concerned when you called me "mate".

                    PS Next time you come past the dumpster don't hesitate to make yourself known.

                    • Sorry Joel, I didn't realise you are only 12 years old.....all makes sense really.

    • He's an agitator mate, loves to stir shit and then complains when some call him out on it.

      He could care less about TCT or 1eyed eel, he just loves playing the contraian on either site...

      • You know what Heisen, I probably prefer to be the contrarian in many things, but I am not as locked in or carry the negativity that some do here.........You must admit it has been a pretty boring orf seezun.

This reply was deleted.

More stuff to read

The Captain replied to ParramattaLurker's discussion Round 12 Team List v South Sydney Rabbitohs (Indigenous Round)
"I'd be more worried if Baz brought in big changes and they worked and we started winning... because given our history of very dumb decisions we'd probably offer him the top job."
11 minutes ago
Coryn Hughes replied to ParramattaLurker's discussion Round 12 Team List v South Sydney Rabbitohs (Indigenous Round)
"The players are the ones now.They stopped playing for the last coach now that excuse has gone.The onus and there futures depend on it."
11 minutes ago
Blue Eel replied to ParramattaLurker's discussion Round 12 Team List v South Sydney Rabbitohs (Indigenous Round)
"I hope your right HKF, but  for Trent this is his oppurtunity to put his name forward for a first grade coaching gig. The players have been deadset lazy when fatigue sets in, if they wouldnt do it for BA and Barrett before, i dont really know why…"
17 minutes ago
Coryn Hughes replied to ParramattaLurker's discussion Round 12 Team List v South Sydney Rabbitohs (Indigenous Round)
"Shall we tell Barrett to have the game off Chief and just leave the players to it then.I mean 3 of the last 5 weeks the players have thrown in the  towel."
19 minutes ago