Tag Archive: Ben Smith


Eels 30 – Panthers 0

Maligned Parramatta halfback Jeff Robson starred on Saturday night as the Eels thrashed Penrith 30-0 in their NRL trial at Centrebet Stadium. Last season the Eels chased a string of high-profile halfbacks to mentor young five-eighth Daniel Mortimer, but perhaps the answer was under their nose the whole time. Robson, the halfback who took them to the 2009 grand final, was involved in everything, setting up tries with precision passing and kicking while also pulling off try-saving tackles. The Eels cruised home with a comfortable victory in a spiteful and physical, but mostly dour, affair. Continue reading

Eels turn age into experience

They may not have the glitz of a Timana Tahu or a Krisnan Inu, but Parramatta backrower Ben Smith claims NRL opponents can write off the Eels’ `Dad’s Army’ backline at their own peril. The off-season acquisition of veteran three-quarters Chris Walker, Paul Whatuira and Chris Hicks to fill a barren backline was met with some derision by critics, who claimed the trio had passed their used by date following Super League stints. Walker and Hicks are both 30-plus, while Whatuira turns 30 mid-year, with the trio essentially coming in for the departed Tahu (released), Inu (Warriors) and Eric Grothe (retired). The lack of star power out wide threw up the possibility that Smith would go back to his younger days and return to the centres, but he confirmed he would remain in the backrow with Eels coach Stephen Kearney more than happy with his options out wide. Continue reading

The Judiciary – It’s a busy week!

Seven players have been charged following a marathon sitting by the NRL’s match review committee on Monday. Eels’ forwards Ben Smith (grade two dangerous contact) and Fuifui Moimoi (grade one careless high tackle) headline the long list of charges, while Cowboys prop James Tamou (grade two striking) is facing a two week stint on the sidelines. Moimoi can escape a ban if he pleads guilty while the remaining four – Trent Hodkinson (dangerous throw), Jason Ryles (dangerous contact), Anthony Minichiello (dangerous contact) and Ben Cross (careless high tackle) – have all been slapped with grade one charges but will be also be free to play next weekend if they enter early guilty pleas. Parramatta have placed leading Sydney lawyer and judiciary expert Geoff Bellew SC on standby should the club opt to fight either charge. The match review committee took most of Monday to come up with the season-high list of charges.

The Wing/Centre combination is the next key position to review and there really aren’t a lot of options available if you want your backline scoring good points. 

Again the table explains its self and the only change from the fullback table is I consider 35 points to be the bench mark for the last two columns.  If your four wing/centre players can get you 35 points or more each game (140 points) you are well on the way to a big score and not relying so much on those high priced meat heads in the forwards to deliver those high 50’s or 60’s scores.

If you have had a look at the top teams in the NEX and DT competition you would have noticed the vast majority have gone with Lowe (42.06), Aubusson (36.61) and Ben Smith (35.00) from the Eels and a selection of different players making up the 4th spot.  Those three players are solid performers but they don’t have the X-Factor of Jaryd Hayne but if you look at the percentage of scores over 35 it would be a brave move to go with someone else.  I’m not going to talk about all of them I’ll just look at some of the alternative options that might make up that 4th spot. 
 

  GMS Ave Total Pts Tries  Goals MG TA KM Oth Lost Pts >= 35 % >= 35
LOWE 17 42.06 715 4 157 591 3 34 -74 16 94.12%
AUBUSSON 18 36.61 659 24 115 504 0 84 -68 11 61.11%
HAYNE 16 35.38 566 32 265 68 175 114 -88 9 56.25%
LEWIS 14 35.07 491 20 117 360 9 94 -109 8 57.14%
SMITH, B 15 35.00 525 12 86 462 0 24 -59 10 66.67%
SCOTT 14 31.07 435 4 104 308 1 76 -58 6 42.86%
SMITH, N 14 30.50 427 0 72 406 1 14 -66 4 28.57%
Lawrence 18 27.06 487 40 149 309 3 56 -70 1 5.56%
Kenny-Dowell 18 25.61 461 48 221 200 7 82 -97 2 11.11%
ROGERS 12 24.67 296 38 84 159 28 47 -60 2 16.67%

  Continue reading

The Parramatta Eels is another side that will have their last bye in round 14 and they too have a few players worth considering to shore up some key positions for the remainder of the season, some bargains and some that maybe look better than they really are.  Here are four players that could fit into those categories.

Nathan Hindmarsh (2RF) @ $368,800.00, averaging 52.20.   Hindmarsh is the Eels, what will they or we coaches do with out him.  He was someone I considered at the start of the season but his price and the talk about his hand injury made me shy away from him.  The starting price of $367,700.00 meant he had to start scoring around 58 points to keep his value.  By round 6 he had dropped in value by $37,000.00 averaging only 46.33 per game.  Since round 6 he has played four games averaging 61.00, increasing his round 6 value by $38,100.00 and regaining all of his starting price with a little extra.  His tackle count of 439 is the second highest in the NRL with a low of 33 in round 2 and a high in round 7 where he pulled of 57 for a score of 71, his highest score of the season while his lowest score was a 41 in round 2.  He is currently the second best Dream Team performer, behind David Stagg.  The things you should know; His current season average of 52.20 makes his market value around $335,000.00.  His average for the last three games is 57.66, which makes his current market value about right.  With the score of 48 in round 11 he will need to score a 64 or better in round 12 to hold his current price.  Continue reading

Trials round up.

As a NQ Cowboys follower, I expect no less from a player that has left our ranks under hazy circumstances other than to go onto success for another club. Travis Burns ($155,100 HLV) it seems will prove to be another statistic in this ever growing list, it has been reported he had a blinder and made an unforgettable statement in his pursuit to be the other half running along side Luke Walsh ($210,700 HLV) for the Panthers this season. Wade Graham ($167,200 HLV) is also looking to secure this position but after the weekend he may have the odds against him, also having had his differences in the past with Coach Elliott may work against his desire for a starting role. With Luke Lewis ($220,200 CTW/HLV), Petero Civinoceva ($271,300 FRF) and Trent Waterhouse ($307,800 2RF) to return the Panthers are certainly poised for an early attack in this years competition. The Eels on the other hand could possibly see reason for a little concern seeming they almost had their A side on the paddock, but with Daniel Mortimer ($268,000 HLV) and Ben Smith ($189,600 CTW/2RF) exiting because of injury early and Nathan Hindmarsh ($367,700 2RF) a no show, the Eels won’t be too worried.

PENRITH PANTHERS 32 (Travis Burns 2, Shane Elford, Luke Walsh, Michael Gordon, Ryan Walker tries; Michael Gordon 3, Travis Burns goals) def PARRAMATTA EELS 12 (Luke Burt, Ben Smith tries; Luke Burt 2 goals) at CUA Stadium. Crowd: 11,113.

The first half of the Dogs V Dragons line ups looked almost like a standard Telstra Cup fixture, with Jamal Idris ($153,300 CTW) for the Dogs showing what he is potentially capable of week in week out with his unique attacking style culminating in 2 tries for the giant youngster. Ben Barba ($91,100 HLV) also showed he is more than ready if veteran Brett Kimmorley ($237,300 HLV) should happen upon injury with some good touches when on the field. For the Saints, Nathan Fien ($211,500 HLV/HOK) continues to impress Coach Bennett, constantly threatening from Dummy Half and will no doubt slot into the run on side somewhere in this seasons Dragons campaign. In true trials fashion both sides made plenty of errors and it was difficult to split the two, defence being the only winner in this tight fought contest.

DRAGONS 16 (Lett, Green, Vickery Tries; Goodwin 2 Goals)BULLDOGS 14 (Idris 2, Nanai Tries; Turner 1 Goal)

Big things are expected from the Rabbitohs and the Titans this season, if we were to go by their rosters it should be a safe bet on a finals berth for both. The bunnies didn’t throw their big money forwards onto the field preferring to show off their depth against the Titans, and they held their own. For the Titans, the Prince ($287,300 HLV) Bird ($250,000 HLV/2RF) combination had another game to find the common ground between the flair and creativity of Prince mixing with the glass smashing brutality of Bird. The Bunnies youngsters, trying to capture the eye of Coach Lang had some flair of their own whilst the Titans proved to be more tradesman like in their performance. The Titans also played their bargain Ex Kiwi International Clinton Toopi (Not Listed) who brought plenty to the table.

Gold Coast Titans 28 (M Rogers, C Toopi, R Brown, S Prince, W Zillman tries; S Prince 4 goals) defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 (L Capewell 2, I Luke, J Vaivai tries; C Sandow 2, A Reynolds 1 goal). Crowd 5500.

Ben Te’o ($203,100 2RF) performed, scoring twice in what could may possibly be the year for the talented back rower, after showing plenty of potential the former Tiger may have finally settled within the Brisbane outfit. As reported, Israel Folau ($139,800 CTW) also shared the Fullback position with Corey Norman (Not Listed) who is only 18 but showing plenty of confidence and try scoring ability. Albeit an experimental outing for the Broncos it was considered successful. For the Green Machine it was Terry Campese ($331,900 HLV) and Joel Monaghan ($154,500 CTW) who stood ahead of the rest, behind a pack that never let them down. Dane Tilse ($195,600 FRF) ate up the metres while stalwart Alan Tongue ($238,800 2RF) proved that his workload is as high as ever and the Scott Logan ($162,100 FRF), Dane Tilse, David Shillington ($175,500 FRF) and Bronson Harrison ($292,200 2RF) combination could prove to be a dark horse in this seasons high profile packs.

Brisbane 32 d Canberra 24 *Will Post stats asap.

Flick of the wrist for Hindmarsh

As stated previously, Nathan Hindmarsh ($367,700 2RF) is having significant problems with his left wrist, an issue he was hoping to rectify after the Four Nations tour of the UK. Unfortunately for Hindmarsh and the Eels the off season wrist reconstruction could be something he deals with for quite some time. “He’s unable to (play) at the moment just because it’s too painful when he collides with people,” Anderson told reporters on Monday. “It’s not going to be something that goes away in two weeks, it’s going to be something he’ll carry through the competition.” The worrying news on Hindmarsh came after back rower Ben Smith ($189,600 CTW/2RF) booked in with a facial specialist on Wednesday to learn the extent of a suspected cheek bone fracture suffered in Saturdays trial against Penrith. Jarryd Hayne -sternum ($228,300 FB/CTW) and also Daniel Mortimer – head gash ($268,000 HLV) have been ruled out of next weeks trial but are considered only precautions. One player coming back into the fray will be Timana Tahu ($120,300 CTW),  who is showing no signs of the hamstring issues that have plagued his past. Anderson will attempt to get as many minutes out of Tahu as possible and is confident he will be back to his representative best.