Eels coach Brad Arthur has answered the lingering query surrounding make-up of his bench after two gamers in two rounds didn’t take the sector.
In Spherical 1, Makahesi Makatoa stayed on the pine for the entire 84 minute sport, whereas Wiremu Greig and Jirah Momoisea mixed for less than 40 minutes.
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Then in Spherical 2, Greig performed zero minutes and Makatoa was within the motion for less than 14 minutes.
Arthur additionally got here underneath hearth final season for carrying his son Jake on the bench for a lot of the season, regardless of the 20-year-old solely with the ability to play within the halves.
In opposition to the Sharks, entrance rowers Junior Paulo and Reagan Campbell-Gillard each performed over 58 minutes — and the Eels coach mentioned he merely wanted them on the sector.
“We’ve acquired quite a lot of good gamers that begin for us in Junior and Reg and I believe they’re fairly necessary to the staff,” Arthur mentioned within the post-match press convention.
“I believe we want them, particularly in tight video games like tonight, we want them on the sector for lengthy intervals.
“They’re our match-winners and that’s why we want them on the market.”
The feedback increase loads of questions concerning the Eels’ depth after shedding the likes of Isaiah Papali’i, Reed Mahoney and Oregon Kaufusi after the 2022 season. The membership additionally missed out on signing ex-Manly prop Marty Taupau, who signed with the Broncos.
In the meantime, Eels recruit J’maine Hopgood continued his spectacular kind in solely his second sport within the blue and gold.
In Spherical 2, the lock ran for 129 metres, broke three tackles and recorded two essential strive assists for Campbell-Gillard and Moses tries.
“He was good once more tonight. I mentioned within the pre-season, he simply wanted a possibility to get out on the sector and I nonetheless assume as soon as he’s performed 10 to fifteen video games straight he’ll be higher for us,” Arthur mentioned.
“However he does some good issues with the ball, works arduous defensively.
“A few issues he must tidy up from tonight however he’s going very well.”
With Ryan Matterson returning in Spherical 4, Arthur has an enormous choice looming with Hopgood making the No.13 jersey his personal.
Initially revealed as ‘We’d like them on the market’: Brad Arthur explains Eels’ bench rotation