Sublime Norman shuts out Foran rumours
The man with seemingly the most to lose from a potential Kieran Foran move to Parramatta in 2016 has made the perfect start to the season, as he shuts out the rumours and gets on with the job.
Eels five-eighth Corey Norman was in sublime touch in his side's big 42-12 win over Foran's Sea Eagles, a match in which the latter suffered a hamstring injury that could keep him out for up to a month.
But it was a happier night for Norman, who produced a brilliant tap-on in the lead up to winger Semi Radradra's second try, and a precision – dare we say Jarryd Hayne-like – cut-out pass to complete Radradra's hat-trick as the Eels ran amok in the second half.
After the game, Norman – who also had an outstanding pre-season, being named in the team of the tournament at the Auckland nines – told NRL.com he couldn't afford to worry about what may happen next year.
"I'm not going to worry about that until it happens, if he signs or if he doesn't sign, we're not going to worry about that yet, I've just got to worry about myself and Parramatta Eels," Norman said.
"Me and Chrissy [Sandow] are clicking, we were clicking towards the end of last year as well.
"Last year was our first time playing together so second time around will be a lot better for us, we've become a lot closer and it's working alright."
Norman also paid credit to the strong efforts of his forward pack, who played a crucial role in laying a platform with some stinging defence against the Sea Eagles.
"They really set the tone for us the forwards, they set the tone in the middle and it was good for us outside backs, it gave us plenty of room to work in so full credit to the forwards," he said.
But he agreed with his coach's post-game assessment that the Eels couldn't afford to be as profligate with the ball as they were in a first half that at one stage saw them down 12-10 and on the wrong side of a 65-35 possession ratio.
"Yeah 100 percent [we made too many mistake] and so [Arthur] shouldn't be happy, I think we had 40-odd percent [possession] so we've got a lot to work on. It's only early days and it's a long year, we're not getting ahead of ourselves."