Smith or Field, an interesting decision

Will Smith started his first game in the halves for Parramatta for over a year when he took to the field on Saturday night against the Wests Tigers.

He played perhaps his best game for the Eels since his stint at fullback in 2017 and looked dangerous whenever he touched the ball, not to mention he marked up well opposite Luke Garner.

Dylan Brown may very well be fit this week given he was running last week and he will slot into the side if available.

However, there is still the chance of Brad Arthur having to choose between Jai Field and Will Smith.

Field has been up and down this season as he slowly comes to grips with playing in the NRL.

Smith meanwhile has seen very limited game time but has more NRL and finals experience than Field.

For mine, Saturday night seemed a trial run for week one of the finals if Brown isn't fit. It looked odd given Field has played little football himself to be given a rest and Smith to be moved into the halves. Was it indeed a case of rotation, or was BA trying to decide who gets a run in the number six this weekend?

To add to this is the expected return of both Marata Niukore and Ray Stone.

The Eels will have almost their entire squad available and players are going to have to miss out.

Alvaro will almost certainly drop off the bench while there are some questions over Stone, Takairangi and Lane.

Andrew Davey, in my opinion, has earnt himself a starting position with his performances this season. He's aggressive in defence, runs fantastic lines, provides high quality offloads and has a great engine. Lane has been filling in through the middle but has been a little impotent in that position, offering little in the way of ball playing or "x-factor".

Takairangi has been in and out of the side this season, he did a job against the Tigers to give Michael Jennings a rest but could very well serve as a super-sub of sorts for BA to call upon against the Storm. He has great utility value, offers some variety with his ball playing and is different to virtually every other bench player in the squad.

The other consideration is Ray Stone. He is in a similar mould to Brandon Smith regarding his defence and workrate through the middle and serves as a backup hooker.

So what does BA's bench look like?

For mine, it has to have a little unpredictability about it. Stacking it with four middles will not provide a great deal of change that we'll need against Melbourne.

So I'm going

14. Taka

15. Niukore

16. Evans

17. Stone

18. Kaufusi

19. Lane

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Replies

              • That’s hilarious !!!! 

                • Kotoni Staggs looked closer to a 2 hand man...

                  • Wasn't a similar thing said about RCG?

          • That was some handjob Carl's

            • Poppa !!!!!!!!

              hes a lovely family man 

              i tell you he’s a good omen . That speech  he gave after Nathan brown in the change room has worked wonders I reckon - prob told all those being lazy they are lucky to have their spot and if they don’t want it he will take it 

               

              • well you said you got him in single handedley.......that fact you did it for him doesn't effect him being a lovely family man.......

                promise you will listen to this

                • They are more greeny blue I think lol

                  you know, green being the most special colour 2 percent of population and all 😉

  • If Dylan plays then need Smith to cover him on the bench.

    Evans and Niukore are lock ins if fit.

    Last spot is Stone. Davey is more an edge forward and Matterson and Lane will play 80 min.

  • I disagree re Lane. I think he’s been outstanding in the middle the last two weeks, his length & athleticism are a load for most middles to handle. There is no question in my mind he is still in our best 17. 

    Our best bench right now is 

    14) Lane 

    15) Evans

    16) Niukore

    17) Field 

    • Agree, I think Lane needs to be in the 17. Hes a very good player.

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