Stephen Kearney: Dead man walking
Stephen Kearney’s critics have been sharpening their knives for weeks as the Parramatta Eels continue to crumble. On Friday night, the Eels were horrendous against Canterbury, losing 46-12.
If Kearney’s head wasn’t already on the chopping block, he damn sure is in the kitchen.
Let’s get one thing straight. This is one of the worst Parramatta sides we have ever seen. The Eels are so far behind every other club in the little areas its quite scary.
At times, the players look like they don’t care.
There are a lot of things wrong with the Eels and some of them aren’t Kearney’s fault. But you get the feeling the Parramatta coach has run out of ideas.
Kearney is a dead man walking and he knows it.
“We lack toughness to be able to push through a bit of a setback” he said at the post match press conference.
“I think when teams play against us there’s a bit of carry-over from last year and they think, ‘just hang in there and we’ll get them. They’ll self-destruct’.
“For me that’s as plain as it gets, for sure. We’ve got to toughen up and get through those periods, for sure.”
Under pressure and struggling for answers, Kearney has limited legendary backrower Nathan Hindmarsh’s playing time. This is despite Hindmarsh still giving his guts for the cause.
The skipper has also announced he will be hanging up his boots at the end of the year. Wouldn’t Hindmarsh want to be out there for every last second of every last match?
With the Eels leading after 30 minutes and the Bulldogs offloading at will, Ben Barba saw a gap and hit the turbo boosters.
If it was any other Eel, Barba would have been through and off for the prize. But it wasn’t any normal Eel. It was Hindmarsh. The former International somehow scrambled across, closed the gap and dragged Barba to the ground.
Hindmarsh was then taken from the field and all hell broke lose.
It isn’t all Kearney’s fault. The players are clearly to blame too. But you can’t sack an entire roster.
Hooker Matt Keating, a possible future Parramatta captain, wasn’t happy post match either.
“I don’t know if we are trying too hard” Keating said.
“There seems to be some boys that are trying and some that aren’t. Steve talks every week about doing your job, but we don’t seem to be doing that. We look away for one moment and it burns us.”
Kearney was seen in the sheds pre-game idly doodling on a clipboard. Perhaps he was writing up his résumé.