How Good Is: Semi Radradra
How good is Semi Radradra? You mean, other than his gorgeous Abe Lincoln?
Fine. If you think rugby league and a bit of man-grooming goes down like a lead balloon, then let us quantify this in terms you can understand.
What made 2014 so special?
For starters, no winger played more games across the regular season than this fourth-year pro in the last calendar year – and by fourth-year, we mean the amount of time he's spent learning the 13-man game.
Having made his first-grade debut in July last year and then going on to help Fiji to the semi-finals of the World Cup, Radradra backed it up by joining Corey Norman as the only Eels to appear in every single game this season.
Secondly, in just his second year in the NRL, the flying Fijian ran away with 19 tries after 26 rounds – pipped only by ubiquitous teammate Jarryd Hayne and more than established wingmen Brett Morris, Manu Vatuvei and Alex Johnston.
Add in his five meat pies in seven games from the previous year, and that's 24 in 33 games. In fact, inside the raucous confines of Pirtek Stadium, the 22-year-old is a perfect 12 tries in 12 games, rivalling the home strike rate of Brookvale prince Brett Stewart.
Thirdly, his 82 tackle breaks – many of them instantly electrifying the long-suffering Parramatta faithful out of their seats and onto their feet – was trumped only by the untouchable Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and the untackle-able Josh Mansour last season.
Fourthly, and this probably the statistic that will stump you the most, his six try saves was second only to Titans speedster David Mead among NRL wingers. Throw in his 15 line breaks, 15 offloads and 131 metres per game and, put simply, this semi-trailer was one of the league's best road-runners in 2014.
How can he be better in 2015?
Considering that four years ago he was a kava farmer in his Fijian village of Somosomo, the ceiling for this 190 centimetre, 98 kilogram rampant machine is higher than Sydney's five-floor shopping centre.
And given his stat line against any of the supermen that dwell on any of the 16 NRL flanks in this competition, he isn't too far away from reaching it.
But, as any coach worth their clipboard will tell you, there are always areas for improvement.
For example, Radradra's decision-making in defence could do with a decent rinse. A total of 26 missed tackles – fourth behind Sisa Waqa, Vatuvei and Mansour in the wingers category – would have the defensive-orientated Brad Arthur steaming up an already heated coaching box.
His hands could do with a bit of a scrub too. A total of 23 times – again, only Waqa and Mansour accounted for more – Radradra's giant mits failed him during his second season in the NRL.
Which new signing will have the greatest influence on him?
He's not so much a signing as he is a new face on those sweeping plays. Radradra was a major beneficiary of many a long ball from Parramatta's runaway marksman Jarryd Hayne, but with the job now in the hands of Will Hopoate, it will be interesting to see what kind of service the left flankman will get next season.