Eels Blogs

Due to the club stating that Takairangi has been training in the forwards (ie., will play in the forwards this year) it answered the question where Hayne will play (ie. Centre).  But it has thrown some other questions up such as the following:  

Q1.  Should Takairangi start in the backrow with Moeroa or Ma'u dropping to the bench?  

Q2.  Should Takairangi move to the bench with Edwards and Scott?  If so then we only have one genuine frontrower on the bench being either Alvaro or Evans.  If we have Edwards and Takairangi on the bench at the same time then we cannot have Smith and or Pritchard on the same bench.    

Q3.  Should Takairangi start the season for Wenty?

Q4.  Do we need two genuine frontrowers on the bench, or is one enough?    

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Replies

  • 1......no

    2......no

    3......no

    4......yes

    Don't take to much notice where anyone is playing to after the trials and the announcements are not set in concrete.

    You maybe surprised if BA is not on a completely different track to the thinking out there. Most of the journalist's questions are "Dorothy Dix's" with the answer being politically correct. Taka say's he is happy being in the pigs....he is possibly quiet horrified. 

    Evans ain't done shit yet and is coming off reserve for the reserves at Easts and injured for Fiji.

    I am not convinced that all the conjecture is nothing more than just that!

    • Evans will be in the top 17 and would be on very good coin.  Evans was only dropped to Wyong after he signed with us and when he played for Wyong he was streets ahead of every other forward on the field.  He wasn't dropped due to poor form.  He was punished and dropped for leaving the Roosters.    

      Takairangi did play in the backrow for the Gold Coast prior to coming to Sydney.  I think Taka knows he is too slow to continue playing in the centres.  Against fast centres BA would switch Semi and Taka in defence as Taka struggled with fast centres getting on his outside.  As a secondrower Taka will be very mobile (slow centre, but fast forward).  Taka also has a good off load so we should have even move second phase play if he plays in the forwards (could be a good move).  Being 6'4'' Taka also gives our pack some height along with Evans.    

      BA has stated a few things such as Taka has to be in the 17.  He also has stated Smith has to be in the 17.  BA also dropped Vave and brought in Kaysa for the last game last year with no match fitness, therefore BA does have a high opinion on him.  

      The 13 that runs out onto the field in the first half against Newcastle trial will highly likely be the starting team for the Penrith game.  

  • I think Taka would make a great ball playing backrower, however, I still have him behind Mau, Moeroa and Brown. At best he's a bench player, but then what happens if you want to carry cover for a hooker? There's a lot of pieces to the 2018 jigsaw puzzle yet to be sorted. Maybe BA has a fair idea of what he wants to go with, but just how that will sit with the fans and whether it translates to on-field success is yet to be seen. One things for sure, we've got more options this year than we've had for a long, long time. Any way you look at it there's going to be some quality players wearing black and white this year.

  • Evans made no impression on Easts fans Dave, When Taka played back row for the Titans he was just a player, in the new look Parra side Taka was good value in the centres for the wrestle, we all love him.

    You say he is too slow for the centres but his last 3 games of rugby league was in the New Zealand Test side as a centre.

    If the answer to 4 is yes, than everything you are saying by quoting announcements won't happen

    Evans would not be on more than 300k would he?

    • I would suspect Evans would be on Mannah and Scott money, not Brown money.  

  • THE team looks defensively better with Hayne on the wing and Takarangi in the centres.

    • I'm not too sure who is the better alround defender - Takairangi or Hoffman.  Takairangi is very strong fronton but does struggle to read the block play and would arguably be the slowest centre in the game, particularly last year.  The very fact Semi had to defend in the centres last year was writing on the wall that Takairangi was in the transition of doing a Ben Smith.    

       

  • No he shouldn’t start in backrow; we have enough back rowers tbh

    I don’t know where he is; maybe in wenty or bench; but it depends on whether we carry hooker on the bench (and no not the hookers from the streets);  we need one or two props on bench and a 2nd rower or 2. 

    To me BA will amend as per the teams we play.

  • I not concerned about balance of side with taka as starting back rower with moreoa and Edwards on bench. With Evans, Mannah and Alvaro we have 3 solid front rowers.
    Then add both Edwards and moreora who are big boys and more then capable of playing as middle forward for periods of a game when required. Brown has also proven aggression can replace size to make an effective middle forward.
    Yes Edwards has good ball playing ability and is dangerous out wide but he could manage small stints in middle to cover the front rowers as could Moreora. If Moreoa overcomes shoulder issues, with his young age and potential I see him developing into quality middle forward as I don't think he has ability play strong 80 mins on edge against the quicker and fitter guys.
  • BA mentioned a few weeks back that Takkas needs to be in the 17. That suggests there'll be a spot for him, most likely on the bench. The starting 13 is pretty much set, Evans will be there with Mannah IMO. The bench most definitely is not. I have a strong inkling that BA will go with Scott, Taka, Matagi/Alvaro & Edwards aa his bench. The reports & opinions of the TCT suggest Tep will be used as a prop so that we only need one on the bench. So that one is a wait and see. It really will be interesting if everyone gets through the trials and is fit for selection in Rd 1. Once we get an injury or two anf suspensions, these decisions will sort themselves. But for now it's a wide open race for the 3 bench spots (Kenny is a cert.
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