Eels wary of air turbulence - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels wary of air turbulence

By Steve Jancetic 30/07/2010 06:15:04 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta fear the 'Hayne Plane' could finally run into some air turbulence on Saturday night, with the Eels labelling Sydney Roosters playmaker Todd Carney the tri-colours' equivalent of blue and gold superstar Jarryd Hayne.

While Hayne has turned it on to propel the Eels back into the finals hunt in recent weeks, Carney has quietly elevated his game and the Roosters into the NRL's upper echelon.

Currently third on the ladder, the Roosters are one of few sides in the competition who posses the form and point-scoring ability to stop the Eels, who are threatening a repeat of last year when they stormed all the way to the grand final.

Heading into Saturday night's blockbuster clash at Parramatta Stadium - for which there were just 1000 tickets remaining on Friday afternoon - it was clear who the Eels feared could bring their three-match winning run to an end.

"Carney does what Haynsey does for us, he takes advantage of the opportunities and he's a quality player and he's one to watch out for," Eels backrower Ben Smith said.

As good as the likes of Braith Anasta and four-try hero Shaun Kenny-Dowall were in the Roosters' dramatic win over Brisbane on Monday night, there's little doubt Carney was the star of the show.

Stepping into halfback for the injured Mitchell Pearce, Carney was 'Mr Everything' - one try, one try assist, two line breaks, four line break assists and zero errors in a superb display.

Now with Pearce back by his side at the scrumbase after recovering from a hamstring injury, Carney could pose an even bigger danger on Saturday night.

"Todd does have an influence on the side and as you can see from Monday night when he wants to turn it on he can turn it on," Myles said.

"It's better for him too to have Mitchell coming back, it might relax him a bit more and take the pressure off him."

Ironically a change in the halves at Parramatta has coincided with Hayne's late-season surge.

Hard as he tried Hayne struggled to make too big an impact until Jeff Robson - the man who steered the Eels into last year's finals from halfback - was moved from hooker to five-eighth, where he was once again partnered with young gun Daniel Mortimer.

Since then the Eels have lost to the Warriors - a game which Hayne missed due to State of Origin commitments - before winning their next three.

"It's probably helped a bit Jeff Robbo moving back into he halves, taking a bit of control of the team," Smith said.

"I think (it's) releasing a bit of pressure off Haynesy and just letting him float around and just do what he does best, which is just pop up and inject himself when he can."

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