The Parramatta Eels have returned to their pre-season training with the memories of bowing out of the 2017 Finals series in consecutive weeks spurring on the side.
Speaking to the media at yesterday’s launch of the Club’s new Major Sponsor for 2018 and 2019, Blue & Gold forward Tepai Moeroa says the returning players have been put through their paces early.
“It’s good to be back in the sense that we are back to footy, but it’s preseason so we have been getting punished,” Moeroa said.
“Brad has been flogging us and we have had a new strength and conditioner come in and he is real big on long distance running and short efforts so we have been getting punished.”
Reflecting on the end to their 2017 campaign, Moeroa says the side will take plenty of learnings from the experience, noting that the side is confident of going deeper this season.
“It was just a learning experience for us in the sense that we just weren’t prepared for Finals footy. Right now, we are doing everything possible to make sure that when we do come to Finals footy, we are prepared and can handle it better,” Moeroa said.
“It had been well over 6-7 years that Parramatta had been in the finals so apart from Timmy [Mannah] who was the only one that had that finals experience in our team, it was good to be together for that Finals series. Even though we bowed out it was a good learning experience and hopefully we can go better.”
“I defiantly think we can go better. We have the team, the commitment to each other that there is no reason that we can’t.” Moeroa added.
And with recent media speculation surrounding the return of former Blue & Gold Jarryd Hayne, Moeroa says the side did not need the former Eel.
“Need Jarryd? I don’t think so.” Moeroa said.
“Jarryd is a world class player, has played Origin, for Fiji, Australia. It would be naive to say you wouldn’t want him in the team because he is that X-factor so it would be good to have him but if we miss out, it’s not the end of the world.”