It’s not often you see other players telling teams to be weary of other teams, but in this case, you do. Golden Boot winner Benji Marshall has labelled the Eels as the darkhorse side in this years NRL season.
After their near Grand Final victory in 2009, they capitulated in 2010 and missed the finals completely, and as a result, coach Daniel Anderson was sacked, and replaced with New Zealand coach, Stephen Kearney.
With the pressure off the team, and no-one expecting a great deal from them, they have a chance to fly under the radar, and Marshall believes with Kearney at the helm, they will do just that.
“I think they’ll be the dark horses of the competition,” Marshall said.
“I know with Jarryd Hayne at the back of that team, they’re a dangerous team.
“He’ll be back to his best I’m sure with Stephen Kearney there helping.
“I’ve seen (Kearney) get the best out of players and I’m sure he’ll get the best out of Jarryd Hayne and we’ll see a big Parramatta and a great team this year.”
Marshall, who knows what it is like to play under Kearney, believes that the Eels attitude and culture will be different under the new Eels coach, given his tough approach to coaching.
“I think he’s good at relating to players and he knows who needs a kick in the backside and who needs a pat on the back,” Marshall added.
“He’s trained Parramatta a lot harder than they have in the past and he’ll definitely get the best out of the players and provide a culture that gets a lot of respect.
“They’ll take pride in their performance every week.”