Jury out on Eels halves, says Kenny - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jury out on Eels halves, says Kenny

By Laine Clark 16/08/2005 07:31:08 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta legend Brett Kenny says the Eels' in-form halves combination could become their Achilles heel in the NRL finals.

Young Eels halfback Tim Smith is set to collect Rookie of the Year honours after combining with converted hooker John Morris to keep Parramatta in sight of the 2005 minor premiership with three rounds left.

But Kenny said 20-year-old Smith's inexperience could be exposed in the pressure-cooker finals atmosphere and believed Morris "is not a five-eighth".

Kenny - who holds the Eels' club record for most first grade games (265) - said Sunday's sold out NRL clash against title favourites St George Illawarra would give an early indication of how the halves handled finals pressure.

"Their combination is very good at the moment but it remains to be seen once the finals start how they handle that," he said.

"Tim Smith is the one you've got to be concerned about. There will be a lot of pressure on him because of the season he has had - you just wonder how he will handle it."

On Morris, Kenny said: "I said at the start of the year I didn't believe John Morris was a five-eighth and probably still don't believe he is.

"I wouldn't have Morris at five-eighth myself, I still believe he's a hooker."

Kenny said Smith - who leads the league with 30 try assists - would have to improve his passing game if the Eels were to become a force.

"Tim Smith goes quite well but I'm not prepared to give him as big a rap as the media does - I don't think he is an outstanding halfback just yet," he said.

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