The Parramatta Eels Jersey Flegg, SG Ball and Harold Matthews squads have held their first pre-season trial games ahead of the 2019 season, holding trials on Saturday 15 December against the Canberra Raiders and South Sydney.
In the young Blue & Gold first trials of the pre-season, players impressed in difficult and trying conditions along facing the adversity of plenty of players unavailable to take part in the day due to injury.
In just the first pre-season trial of the season, the action and competitiveness on the field demonstrated the depth amongst all development squads.
The Eels Jersey Flegg side took part in two trial game clashes, against the Raiders and Rabbitohs at Kirkham Oval, Camden.
In hot and humid conditions, before dealing with torrential rain, the young Eels suffered a four try to three defeat to the green machine. Missed opportunities and crucial errors at key points of the game will be key takeaways for the young Blue & Gold side that featured train & trial players along with younger squad members compared to their opposition.
The side however looked coherent in both attack and defence, and it showed when the side bounced back with a dominant four try to nil victory over the Rabbitohs. Slick backline movements were capitalised on and brutal defence punished the Rabbitohs side as the Blue & Gold controlled both halves of the clash.
Cuts will be made to the Jersey Flegg squad in the near future before the team begins preparations for their next trial to be held in January 2019.
The Eels SG Ball side saw a young Blue & Gold line up take the field, with several players from last year’s Harold Matthews side beginning the clash.
The Raiders built an early lead against the Eels, taking a four try to one lead early in the second third of the trial. But momentum swung and the Eels capitalised crossing for four tries of their own to take a lead into the final third.
However, with players being interchanged and younger players in the squad given a taste of the action, a lack of completion and possession saw the Eels crumble in the final stanza with the Raiders running riot and taking home a nine try to five victory.
The Eels also saw a young Blue & Gold Harold Matthews outfit for their trial against the Raiders, with plenty of footballers looking to impress in the first trial of the year.
A blistering start with some of the young forwards showing powerful carries early and some big defensive shots in the humid conditions set the tone, and the points followed with the Eels building an early lead.
Completions began to fall as the players fought with the conditions, but as the game progressed, the Eels began to assert their dominance.
Playing close to eight underage players in the final quarter of the clash, the Eels Harold Matthews side came away 11 tries to five victors.