Eels back Sandow to find form

By Ben Horne,

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    Parramatta have rallied behind under-pressure halfback Chris Sandow, backing the club’s big-money signing to lead the Eels out of their deep NRL hole.

    When Stephen Kearney was asked about Sandow’s performance in Parramatta’s ugly loss to Newcastle on Sunday, the embattled coach said: “It’s a bad time to ask me.”

    But teammates were more forthcoming at the Eels’ recovery session on Monday, arguing that Sandow doesn’t deserve to be blamed for the club’s dismal 1-5 start.

    Senior forward Reni Maitua said the high-profile South Sydney recruit was a freakish talent who would be a walk-up for State of Origin football if it wasn’t for Queensland’s depth in the No.7 position.

    Maitua said Sandow deserves to be afforded time to settle into running the show at a new club and instead called on the rest of the team to lift their game.

    “I’m not willing to write him off yet. He’s a freak talent and if he was from NSW he’d probably have a sky-blue jersey,” Maitua told AAP.

    “Chris is fine. Obviously him being the big off-season signing a lot of pressure was going to be on him and I don’t think anyone should point the finger at Chris.

    “It’s a team effort. We’re all out there. He’s doing what he can and the rest of us probably aren’t rising to the challenge.

    “I came into the team last year halfway through the year and it took me a good 10 games at least (to settle in) … so it’s going to be a tough challenge.”

    As tough as Parramatta’s predicament is, Sandow says he’s been through equally tough times at the Rabbitohs in years gone by, and come out the other side.

    Sandow, who is expected to recover from a knock to his knee in time to face Cronulla on Sunday, said he has the experience and know-how to help the Eels find their feet.

    “I’ve been at Souths, and since I started (there) we’ve been struggling there, so I think I’ve had my fair share (of challenges),” he said.

    “I know what it’s going to take to get out of it, for sure. Parra’s been in the same situation for a few years too so hopefully things will start changing soon.

    “(Kearney) didn’t have a go, he just told all the boys that we had a lot of possession down Newcastle’s half and couldn’t come up with the tries.

    “A few new players come to Parramatta, so it’s going to be a while before we start kicking in but hopefully it’s not too long.”

    Sandow and captain Nathan Hindmarsh won’t accept the excuse that Jarryd Hayne hasn’t had enough game time yet this year to gel with his halves.

    Hindmarsh said Sandow has the character to respond, but the whole team needs to be accountable.

    “I think he’ll handle it well, he’s a big boy,” he said.

    “But we’re all to blame for that effort we put up on the weekend. I think it’s fair to say less than half a dozen blokes played to their potential.”

    Maitua has minor cartilage damage in his knee, and will likely miss a week or two.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • April 10th 2012 @ 12:36pm
      oikee said | April 10th 2012 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

      My dad was sitting down complaining on the weekend, i wondered what he was whinging about, he said Chrissy was a rotund egg.
      I thought, what is he talking about, and this morning Sterling came out and complained, which he never ever does, and said Chrissy was over weight. I looked at the highlights and could not believe what i was seeing, this little guy shaped like a egg, it was Chris Sandow, what the, what has happened to him. The pressure must be getting to him i think, Gallop should send in the head doctor now, before this gets out of hand.
      When Sterlo starts to have a go, you know you have a problem. Sandow needs help now, not next week. You eat when your pressured, it is a natural reaction.

    • April 10th 2012 @ 1:19pm
      PLANKO said | April 10th 2012 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

      Oikee it is not weight I am worried about I reckon he is partially injured and he is bloody hopeless. He is not worth 250. 550 is well overs

      • April 10th 2012 @ 3:30pm
        oikee said | April 10th 2012 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

        Well he is hopeless because he is overweight because he is down on confidence.
        It effects your whole system being overweight.
        My brother-in-law has a beergut and cant even do a handstand.

        • April 10th 2012 @ 5:20pm
          mushi said | April 10th 2012 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

          I think it is that he wasn’t that good to begin with

        • April 11th 2012 @ 2:13pm
          PLANKO said | April 11th 2012 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

          I can’t stop laughing “can’t even do a handstand” !!!

    • April 10th 2012 @ 1:47pm
      steve b said | April 10th 2012 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

      Its time to bring back Burt ,and Shackelton and give Barber ago it gives the eels a more in attack and gives Sandow a few more go forward players to link with , lets face it got to try something different because what their doing at the moment is not working! !

    • Roar Guru

      April 11th 2012 @ 1:37am
      MG Burbank said | April 11th 2012 @ 1:37am | ! Report

      Whatever Reni’s smoking, it must be quality stuff- Chris Sandow would not even be mentioned in a list of possible candidates were he eligible for NSW right now. He has done nothing for this team thus far, being no more than a kicking option on the last tackle. He seems unwilling or unable to take on the line, hasn’t displayed any passing game and is out of shape. This is the worst big-money deal in the history of the NRL and the Eels, unless they’re willing to eat a large chunk of money, are stuck with him.

      • April 11th 2012 @ 10:08am
        PLANKO said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        I agree with you MG. Sandow is playing like Orford did in Canberra last year. I really believe he is playing needled up. I think he is injured and is playing cause he feels he should be because of the big bucks.

    • April 11th 2012 @ 10:31am
      mfree said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:31am | ! Report

      I cant believe the crap sandow is copping, he is a good player no matter what everyone says, it seems the only ppl saying he isnt good are the ones not playing in the nrl, just cos stirlo said his over weight doesnt mean he is saying he is no good.

      kearney is the one to blame cause he is restricting everyones game with a bellamy risk free style game and with a 7 from 30 game wins why isnt the fingers pointed at kearney. plus i noticed at the game in newcastle noone was prepared to run off sandow he was looking but there was nobody so he had to take the tackle quite a few times, you could of had andrew johns at his peak out there and still would of looked crap cause your halves are only as good as the ppl trying run through holes or chase kicks.

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