The mysterious case of Tahu and the Eels - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

The mysterious case of Tahu and the Eels

By David Beniuk 16/03/2011 08:08:40 PM Comments (0)

Just why Timana Tahu quit Parramatta is something the man himself is happy to remain a mystery.

The Penrith signing dodged questions about his puzzling exit from the Eels at a press conference to announce his one-year deal with his new NRL club on Wednesday.

Tahu arrived back at Parramatta in late 2009, after two years in rugby union, reportedly on a three-year deal put together by his friend and Eels chief executive Paul Osborne.

By the end of a tumultuous 2010, he was being described as a free agent by some within the club.

The off-field distractions of two race rows, and a suspension after a brain snap playing former club Newcastle, may not have gone down too well with teammates.

Public criticism of sacked coach Daniel Anderson when captain Nathan Hindmarsh was backing the ex-mentor did little to quell suggestions of a rift.

Then, Tahu's request to take virtually the whole 2011 pre-season off didn't sit well with new coach Stephen Kearney.

Asked how it all went wrong, Tahu would only say: "I enjoyed my years at Parramatta and they're a great team but, for now, my future's now with Penrith and I just want to concentrate on playing well for this club and hopefully have a successful year with the club."

He repeated it virtually word for word when asked a second time.

The Panthers won't risk rushing a restless Tahu into the fray against fierce rivals the Eels this Friday night, no matter how desperate they are to make amends for last Sunday's mauling by the Knights.

"That wouldn't be fair on 'T' and it wouldn't be fair on the team," Panthers coach Matt Elliott said.

While Penrith chief executive Michael Leary said he had smoothed Tahu's signing with Eels boss Osborne, Tahu wasn't so sure about how his former club would be taking it.

"I haven't been speaking to no one," he said.

"My phone's been off for a while now so everyone knows that. I'll probably change it again."

Meanwhile, Elliott hinted Tahu would be more likely to play in his favoured position of centre, rather than shifting to the back row.

"We've had some discussions about both those positions," Elliott said.

"'T' sees himself as a representative centre, it's pretty hard to argue that point."

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