The Parramatta Eels Junior Representative (Harold Matthews and SG Ball) sides along with the U14s and U15s Talent Squads held their first pre-season trial of the season, taking on Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at the Terry Lamb Complex, Chester Hill in the hot and sweltering conditions on Saturday 10 December.
The Under 14s Talent Squad played an in-house trial, with the Blue side coming away 5 tries to 1 victors over the Gold side, the Under 15s coming away 3 tries to 1 victors over the Bulldogs, the SG Ball side 5 tries to 4 victors over the Bulldogs and the Harold Matthews side suffering a 6 tries to 2 defeat to the Bulldogs.
“We got a lot out of the trials,” Anthony Field – Recruitment and Retention Manager, Parramatta Eels said.
“The Harold Matts team in particular were a bit light on troops at this stage of the year due to injuries, rehab and surgeries and they were short on numbers but not on heart.”
“They were caught napping a little bit, and were ambushed by a more dominant Bulldogs side, but having said that, the team rallied late and showed a bit of character. “
“The Under 14s Talent Squad had an internal trial against each other, a blue and a gold team, and it was a very entertaining clash that really set the standard for the day.” Field added.
Being the first pre-season trial of the year, Field noted that victory or defeat was not the most important aspect to take away from the weekend.
“We go there to trial, see where are kids are in terms of physicality and what they have learnt so far during their five-week pre-season, and see where we are going to position them and succession plans in terms of their future and where we need to base their development,” Field said.
“The plan is now to finish off the Christmas pre-season, finishing on the 19th December, before a short break before coming back early January.”
“There are two trials prior to the season beginning mid-February, so those two trials will be critical in seeing where opportunities lie In addition to some very stringent physical performance standards and testing results which we will analyse, go through before finishing selection in late January.” He added.
The Eels Junior Representatives future pre-season trials will be against the Penrith Panthers (21st January, 2017) and Wests (28th January, 2017).
More details on these pre-season trials to come closer to the date.
In 2016, the Blue and Gold Harold Matthews side claimed both the Junior Representative Final and National Final whilst the SG Ball side progressed through to the Semi Finals.