Tinkering at Eels is over, says Anderson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tinkering at Eels is over, says Anderson

By David Beniuk 11/04/2009 11:20:43 AM Comments (0)

Parramatta coach Daniel Anderson says the tinkering with his run-on side is over after he re-jigged his line-up in the wake of Brett Finch's exit from the NRL club.

Finch was released by the Eels from his $300,000-a-year deal on Thursday, forcing a raft of positional switches from Anderson for Friday night's clash with St George Illawarra, won 22-8 by the Dragons.

The early season experiment with Jarryd Hayne at five-eighth was abandoned, with the former Test star shifted back to the centres.

Lock Feleti Mateo went back to pivot, while Jeff Robson was promoted to halfback.

Tall centre Ben Smith fulfilled a prediction made previously about his career when he packed down in the second row.

Asked if the side was still a work in progress following the defeat, Anderson said: "No, not really.

"We don't have a bottomless well of players to choose from, this is our first grade squad.

"I've got no issues with the effort and attitude and commitment and team ethic that they showed so they'll be rewarded, most of those players if not all of them with selection again next week."

Hayne's move to No.6 had been the most controversial for Eels fans, particularly after former coach Michael Hagan slammed the experiment.

Mateo excelled at pivot in 2008, gaining an average of 117m per game - the club's second best performer - and finishing behind only Finch in try assists.

Anderson rated Robson's performance as "solid" and said there was no need to go back to square one following the loss of his most influential playmaker.

"We have to basically just hang in there for periods," he said.

"In our own half we showed some very, very good plays, individual players like Jarryd Hayne breaking the line.

"We made a couple of clean breaks then we lost the ball at the end of a break or the final pass goes to a player and we put it down.

"If we play the ball there we might get them a tackle later or two tackles later so that's the maturity in our young players that will come over time, they're the boys that are trying to win the game with their play and sometimes a play-the-ball is every bit as effective as the offload."

"We need us to just hang in there, work hard again this week. I'm very, very confident that we can get more rewards for what we're doing."

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