Kenny Edwards lined up in the No.6 for Paramatta against Souths on Friday night.

Less is more for Eels' Edwards

Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur has praised makeshift five-eighth Kenny Edwards for his impressive showing against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Friday night's 30-12 Telstra Premiership win at ANZ Stadium.

Wearing the No.6 on his back for just the second time in his career, Edwards looked comfortable in what was a deliberately scaled back performance compared to last week's maiden-start in the halves. 

Edwards ran for 85 metres and made 19 tackles in a polished performance at pivot but also showed off his ability to ball play with a nice pass that helped set up winger Bevan French for his first try of the evening. 

The 26-year-old was thrust into the role last week against the Gold Coast Titans to replace Brad Takairangi, who was himself deputising for the injured Kieran Foran.

Edwards had solid numbers in Darwin for the Round 14 fixture with 65 metres, five tackle breaks and two offloads, but Arthur wanted to see him simplify his game against the Rabbitohs.  

"His first half last week he probably overplayed his hand a little bit but calmed down in the second half," Arthur said. 

"The big thing for Kenny was that he showed plenty of discipline because he didn't go away from the script. He just kept doing what worked for him."

 


It's not just Edwards who has impressed the Parramatta coach, with centre Vai Toutai switching sides with centre partner Clint Gutherson at half-time on Friday night. 

"I think it's a credit to all our boys that are stepping in out of position," he said. 

"Vai came in and got moved a couple of times tonight. I think that’s where we've grown as a team. Blokes come in and they can do a job and you need that if you want to win games of footy."

While he won't be back on the playing field in 2016, Arthur said Foran could do some coaching work for the rest of the season, similar to what injured Storm fullback Billy Slater has been doing in Melbourne. 

Foran's experience would be a huge boost for a player like Edwards who is still learning the intricacies of his new role.

"It'll be good for the boys to have him around and he might be able to take a few of the younger boys under his wing and give them a few words," Arthur said when asked about Foran. 

"I'm sure they get sick of listening to me all the time so another voice won't hurt."