The Dyldam Parramatta Eels Under 20s side are coming off a trial victory against the Newcastle Knights and will be looking to continue their winning momentum heading into this weekends pre-season trial clash against the Penrith Panthers NYC at Pepper Stadium, Penrith on Saturday 21 February 2015.
Eels NYC Head Coach Steven Hales was pleased with the 28-12 victory over the Knights last week, however he knows that the Blue and Gold still have plenty of areas to work on before the season gets underway.
The Eels built an early lead (12-4) in their clash against the Knights after the first two quarters of the trial, however the opposition rallied back, clawing their way back into the contest to level the score in the third quarter.
“We started the game really strong last week, and our execution was really good but then we probably got a bit excited and ahead of ourselves and we started to spill a little bit of ball,” Hales said of the Eels performance.
The Eels switched to another gear late in the game, crossing the white line four more times in the final quarter to security victory, however Hales knows there is plenty to improve on this weekend.
“To the boys credit, we were pretty resilient and we were able to defend our line and only concede one try of our own error in the opening 65 minutes,” Hales said.
“They scored two late, which is something we have to tidy up and focus on playing the whole 80 minutes.”
Hales was impressed with strong performances by several members of the Blue and Gold from last week’s trial, pinpointing match winning performances from some barnstorming forwards and half Dylan Izzard.
“I thought our middle was really strong. Tepai Tepu-Smith, Alex Twal and Tom Amone had really good performances along with Jeff Markus who played well,” Hales praised.
“Tyrell Fuimaono and Nathan Davis were outstanding for us and Dylan Izzard stood up and played a really strong role getting us around the park in the middle,” he said.
“He has taken a real leadership role amongst the squad this year and is doing really well.”
Hales was pleased to claim a victory in the trial game and believes that the experience gained will leave the Eels in good stead for this week’s trial against the Penrith Panthers, where many of his young squad will be in an unfamiliar environment.
“We didn’t take away any injuries from the Knights trial, which is really pleasing so we should have all hands on deck for the trial against the Panthers this week,” Hales said.
“Going out to Penrith for a hit out will be a bit of a thrill for the younger boys,” he added.
“We play before the first grade side and we have a fair few younger boys in the squad who haven’t played in that environment so it will be another challenge for us this week but one all the boys look forward to.”
The Eels NYC Squad to take on the Panthers will be posted once confirmed.
The Eels NYC clash will kick off from 12:45pm at Pepper Stadium, Penrith ahead of the NSW Cup (3pm) and NRL (5:10pm) clashes.
Tickets are $5 for a junior GA and $10 for Adults whilst Grandstand seating is $15 for adults and $10 for children.
To purchase tickets to the trial game, click here.