Tigers study up on rookie Folau
There isn't much video of the kid, but the Wests Tigers will be doing all the homework they can on boom Eels rookie John Folau.
In just his second game of NRL, the younger brother of dual international Israel showed a glimpse of his potential with a delightful two-try outing over defending premiers South Sydney last week.
But the Tigers insist they'll be prepared for the 20-year-old centre on Easter Monday.
"We haven't done too much [study] at the moment, maybe later on in the week. But we know he's a big, strong ball runner and he's going to be tough to stop," Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks said on Thursday.
Teammate Chris Lawrence said the side had to study up on Parramatta's entire in-form backline, but especially the rookie Queenslander.
"I think you're going to have to prepare for everyone, all their outside backs. They're big strong boys with plenty of pace and size and power. He's one of them, and we're definitely going to have to prepare for him on the weekend," Lawrence said.
The Tigers have shown marked improvement under new coach Jason Taylor, going down narrowly to defending premiers South Sydney and grand finalists Canterbury-Bankstown in consecutive weeks.
But Brooks said it was imperative that they remain on high alert against the Eels, who handed South Sydney their first defeat of the season last week.
"They're going well this year. They're coming off a big win against Souths. They're the first team to beat Souths so they're definitely in some form. Their forward pack's going well and off the back of that Chrissy Sandow is playing pretty well as well. So it's going to be a big challenge for us," Brooks said.
The third-year playmaker called on his forward pack to stand up against their opposition this week, in order to limit the effectiveness of his direct opposite this week in Sandow.
"He's playing well. He's looking pretty trim and looking quite kick as well. I think it's going to be a good test for us stopping him. I think if we stop the forwards, we can stop him as well," he said.
"It can be difficult, [he's] a bit unpredictable at times. So it's going to be tough, but I think if the boys are on our game, we should be right."
The Tigers will be aided by the expected return of Aaron Woods, who missed last week's defeat to the Bulldogs with a knee strain. The incumbent NSW prop averaged a competition-high 233 metres through the first three games.
"It's massive. He's been one of our best players all the three games that he's played. He's run over 200 metres [each game] so it'll be good to get his go-forward back. But in saying that, Jesse Sue stepped in for him and still went really well. It's going to be a good advantage," Brooks said.