Eels' rise and rise stuns Mortimer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels' rise and rise stuns Mortimer

By Steve Jancetic 17/09/2009 07:50:25 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta fans may be stunned the club is just two wins away from an NRL grand final berth, but they're not the only ones.

Take boom rookie Daniel Mortimer, the 20-year-old living the rugby league dream who still has to pinch himself to make sure this is all really happening.

Along with the stunning form of fullback Jarryd Hayne, the emergence of Mortimer as an NRL-quality playmaker has been vital in turning the Eels' season around.

But the wow-factor still remains for the boy from Orange, who admits to scouring the opposition line-ups to marvel at the names he's going up against.

And they don't come much bigger than Gold Coast half Scott Prince - the man who almost singlehandedly sits between the Eels and a preliminary final date with the Bulldogs.

"I always look at the line-ups of the other teams and it's pretty amazing to see these guys, and that I'm out there," Mortimer said.

"But even the guys I'm playing with - to play with Nathan Hindmarsh in his 250th game was my highlight of the year so far.

"Just to be playing in that sort of company - it still amazes me."

And what about going head-to-head with Prince?

"I watched him play against Brisbane (in last week's qualifying final) and he was outstanding in a losing side," Mortimer said.

"There's no doubt he's going to present a very big danger."

If the form of his 15 NRL games to date is any guide, so to will Mortimer.

He came up with the key play to get Parramatta's first points against St George Illawarra last Sunday, when he tapped back a bomb into the waiting arms of Luke Burt for the opening try.

It's those sorts of plays that have instilled confidence in his teammates, that the Eels' unfashionable halves pairing of a rookie and journeyman No.7 can take them all the way.

"The only advice I'm going to give Morts is just keep doing what you've been doing," Eels backrower Nathan Hindmarsh said.

"He's been playing some good football for us so there's no use changing anything."

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