Tag Archive: Chris Walker


Parramatta Elvers and new faces

Parramatta coach Stephen Kearney has ushered in a new era at the club. He announced a team for the opening round of the NRL premiership which contains six new faces and only nine survivors from the side that played the final game of the regular season last year. Among the new faces in the 18-man squad to take on the Warriors in Auckland on Saturday night are local juniors Mitchell Allgood and Ryan Morgan, recruits Carl Webb, Casey McGuire and Chris Walker plus former Melbourne lock Billy Rogers. Kearney’s hand was forced somewhat given prop Fuifui Moimoi and centre Joel Reddy were unavailable as they are injured. Continue reading

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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

McGuire provides spark for Eels

The signing of Casey McGuire by Parramatta in the off-season caused few ripples around the NRL, but on Saturday’s evidence that could soon change.

The 31-year-old former Brisbane utility has returned to Australia from a four-year stint with French side Les Catalans, and looked a class act against West Tigers at Campbelltown as the Eels eased to a 30-10 trial win.

Playing out of dummy-half, McGuire was sharp around the fringes of the ruck and gave Parramatta the energy in attack they so badly lacked last season.

Only Cronulla scoring fewer tries in 2010 as the Eels, pre-season premiership favourites, failed to make the finals. Continue reading

Premiership talisman Paul Whatuira is desperate to repay the faith at Parramatta, but isn’t promising a premiership.Whatuira, who won grand finals with Penrith in 2003 and the Wests Tigers two years later, was thrown a lifeline by the Eels for 2011 after a troubled stint in the UK Super League. If he was to notch a third premiership ring this year, he would equal Glenn Lazarus’s record of three titles at three different NRL clubs. The former Test prop won competitions with Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne. “No, it’s a long season ahead and a lot of hard work goes on in the background,” he told reporters. “All I want to do is, if my opportunity comes, I’ll take it with both hands and hopefully I can front up for the team and play some good football.” Continue reading