Finch takes 'credit' for Eels surge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Finch takes 'credit' for Eels surge

By Steve Jancetic 01/10/2009 05:34:38 PM Comments (0)

Ever the larrikin, Parramatta reject Brett Finch didn't look too far afield when asked to pinpoint the spark for the Eels' mid-season turnaround.

"Obviously I was a huge part of that because they've got better and better ever since I've left," the Melbourne five-eighth said at Thursday's NRL grand final breakfast.

"It's not good for the ego."

The reaction was met with a chorus of laughter, a far cry from the emotion of his ugly departure from the Eels after just four rounds of the season.

Back then, with his Eels side spluttering to a 2-2 win-loss record, coach Daniel Anderson told Finch that the club needed to go in a new direction, and the veteran half was on a bus going the other way.

In essence, Anderson didn't believe the Eels could win a competition with Finch at halfback.

Enter a lifeline from Melbourne, and a stunning turn of results which have conspired to bring Finch up against his former club on grand final day.

"It's funny how it's turned out," Finch said.

"I know how exciting and great a week it's been for myself and it's great that plenty of my mates are sharing the same thing.

"When I left Parra I didn't think I'd be coming to Melbourne, I thought maybe overseas would be where my next step would be.

"For a team that's had so much success, they certainly haven't rested on what they've achieved and continue to want to get better and continue to change if things weren't working.

"For me to jump into that environment, it was amazing to see guys who have achieved so much just want to get better and better."

Finch's benefit to the Storm goes far beyond what he brings to the table as a crafty playmaker.

His arrival has allowed coach Craig Bellamy to leave Test star Greg Inglis out in the centres, where he has thrived in the wide open spaces.

Finch, meanwhile, has been able to go about his business with a minimum of fuss with those inside and out dominating the ball and the responsibility.

"Probably the big one was the step back to five-eighth and getting out of that main playmaker role," Finch said when asked what had changed with his move south of the border.

"Coops (Cooper Cronk) is in control of all the organising and all I do is catch and pass to GI (Inglis) and he can take eight people on and I get the try assist for it."

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