Dallin Watene Zelezniak is also coming through. Panthers fans are stoking on him already. Ironically, it reminds me of how we were all screaming for Locke to come into first grade.
I just thought about Dallin Watene-Zelezniak too. In my opinion he will develop into a better player than Locke. Lockey hasn't really kicked on sadly. Penrith got a heap young fast elusive backs coming through. I'd save the money I was prepared to spend on Locke and invest in them.
Penrith teenager Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is in demand to pledge his allegiance to New Zealand after he was sought out by Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney for a patriotic-charged meeting two weeks ago.
The fact Kearney, and his right-hand man Tony Iro, had monitored the fullback's form in the NRL's under-20 competition confirmed suggestions Watene-Zelezniak, who has only just become eligible for the Panthers' first grade team by turning 18, is highly rated among the code's most promising junior players.
It has also heightened expectations he could be blooded in first grade before the season's end although Penrith have second-tier salary cap problems which may prevent him even being eligible.
Last year his manager Tyran Smith, a former Kiwis international, predicted the teenager of New Zealand and Polish ancestry was blessed with the traits to be the next William Hopoate. Since then others had tried to find their own comparisons.
His Patrician Brothers' Blacktown High School coach Peter Ross declared last month that Watene-Zelezniak was the best teenager he'd seen play rugby league since Brad Fittler and added he also resembled the former Canberra Raiders fullback Brett Mullins.
Smith said Kearney and Iro had successfully stirred the whiz-kid's sense of "belonging" to New Zealand during their lengthy meeting in Sydney. "Dallin met with Steve Kearney and Tony Iro because they want him to align himself to New Zealand," Smith said.
"People have said he might miss out on a lot by not playing State of Origin but, sometimes, when it comes from within you can't put a price on it.
"It was a good meeting because it allowed Dallin to realise his options, and that he was wanted by the Kiwis after he played for NSW and was picked for the upcoming Australian Schoolboys tour of New Zealand. They've allowed for him to make what will eventually be an educated decision."
Watene-Zelezniak, who has averaged 200 metres per National Youth Competition game, has shown enough for insiders to expect he would eventually shunt Penrith's boom rookie Matt Moylan from the club's No 1 jersey and into the halves.
The emerging Penrith star wasn't the only Australian-based player of Kiwi heritage on Kearney's radar. Smith said it was clear Kearney and Iro had a long list of talented young rookies they were keen to conscript. "When Dallin was approached it was clear they'd identified players eligible for New Zealand who are in the Australian system," Smith said.
"Dallin was born in New Zealand and his family came over here when he was young but Steve and Tony made it clear they considered him a player of exceptional talent." Sun-Herald
- © Fairfax NZ News
Eels slip past Warriors
They were good, they were bad and often quite ugly and, in the end, disappointing.
They have historically not coped well with increased expectations - the Warriors were being talked about pre-season as at least playoff contenders and possibly even top-four material after their 48-4 demolition of Brisbane a fortnight ago - and were inexplicably flat and disjointed tonight.
They couldn't cope with the Eels' aggression and will need to improve their attitude and execution against the Dragons next weekend at Eden Park.
Tonight's loss continues a poor sequence in opening games of the season.
The last time they won their opening match was against the Eels in 2009, and they have won only two first-round matches in the last 12 years.
It's still far too early to make judgements on this side, and there is enough quality to turn things around, but it doesn't make it any less disappointing.
The Eels will be better than the past two seasons, when they collected the wooden spoon, but they still aren't expected to threaten the top eight and the Warriors have talked repeatedly about wanting to start this season well.
They have put an accent on defence but were dreadfully inept in their opening 20 minutes as they conceded three tries and it put them on the back foot from the outset.
Their right edge was a huge issue last season and it didn't start well but the left edge was also badly exposed as most of Parramatta's tries came down the flanks.
Their defence stiffened - it needed to - for a time and they were in the game at halftime as they trailed by 14-12. An eight-point try helped - Carlos Tuimavave copped a suspected broken nose in the act of scoring, giving Shaun Johnson a penalty from in front of the posts immediately after landing the conversion.
But the Eels took control in the second half as Semi Radradra and Vai Toutai both snared hat-tricks. Radradra's came very simply as he was the beneficiary of spilled bombs from Glen Fisiiahi and then Sam Tomkins.
There had been so much anticipation around Tomkins' debut and he won't look back fondly on this match. He will play a huge role in their gameplan this season, and few fullbacks play in the line as much as Tomkins, and showed some slick handling to lay on a couple of tries but also had some nervy moments and was easily beaten when trying to defend one try.
Supporting the Warriors has been a rollercoaster ride and, on the evidence of this match, it won't be any different in 2014.
Eels 36 (Semi Radradra 3, Vai Toutai 3, Jarryd Hayne tries; Corey Norman 2 gls, Joseph Paulo 2 gls) Warriors 16 (Glen Fisiiahi, Carlos Tuimavave, Manu Vatuvei tries; Shaun Johnson 2 gls). HT: 14-12.
I'm not surprised our sports journalists getting their facts wrong. It's usually quite funny how the players ignore the incorrect fact and carry on answering the question.
Robbie Rakete isnt a sports journalist, hes a tv presenter (used to do kids shows) that got a job on the radio as a dj.I'm not surprised our sports journalists getting their facts wrong. It's usually quite funny how the players ignore the incorrect fact and carry on answering the question.
The debate at the moment with the All Blacks not performing in Super Rugby people bring up the NRL players needing to perform week in week out (well Warriors being the exception). Mark Richardson's argument on Radio Sport was that all of the NRL players start the pre-season at the same time compared to the union players who come back and different times due to the end of year tests.
Didn't the Warriors start the pre-season with only 6 players?
The Union guys have a long season and at the end of the year and play more of a variety of opponents due to union being played in more countries. But the league guys are usually in England playing tests at a similar time and probably finish at a similar time due to when the NRL and Super League seasons finish. Last year the World Cup finished a week after the All Blacks last test.
Mark Richardson brought this up again with Nathan Friend who ignored the union part and compared when our players came back against the other NRL clubs. Probably the best way to deal with it.