Under pressure Eels stars Kane Evans and Clint Gutherson admitted their teammates got extra physical with each other at training on Thursday morning as they revved up in search of their first win of the season.
There was nothing untoward from the heated contest, according to Evans, who said it was pleasing to see the players becoming more intense in the lead-up to this Sunday’s clash at ANZ Stadium against Manly.
“We had a tough session today. It turned into a game, there were a few blow ups and a few boys got pumped. It was getting intense but if we play the way we trained today we’ll be on fire,” Evans said.
“We were doing our normal opposite it was supposed to go for 15 minutes but ended up going for 25 and people were firing up.
“To see everyone firing up and flying out of the line and hitting each other, it was good to see.”
Gutherson said “there was almost a blue this morning in the contact” while emphasising it was nothing more than evidence of the passionate nature of the team.
The fullback, who returned in round six for his first game since round 20 of the 2017 Telstra Premiership season, was happy with how he progressed over the 80 minutes.
“It’s been a while so I just wanted to get out there and get the first run out of the way and it happened to have come in the first set, after that you just forget about it and get on with the game,” Gutherson said.
“One of them jumped at my leg and I got up and sort of said, it’s still there, it’s strong so that gave me a bit of confidence.
“The first 10 minutes you’re trying to do everything and you’re trying to push on everything and you sort of blow out pretty quick but as the game rolled on I felt better and better.
“It wasn’t the result we wanted but it was good to get back out there with the boys and try help them get out of this slump, I couldn’t do it on the weekend, we lost. But we’ve looked at review and done that so we are going to go out this week and try and improve that again.”
Last week it was Gutherson and this week it is Jarryd Hayne that will return to the struggling side.
“You’ve seen him play Origin on the wing and he’s been the best player on the field so he’s still going to inject himself from the wing,” Gutherson said.
“I think it could be good for him to work his way back in there and bring the spark that he has. We all know what he can do and it’s just a matter of time for him to do it, and hopefully he does it this weekend.”