Clint Gutherson Eels stay put


“Everyone knows what he is capable of. He’s been playing some unbelievable footy for Parra the last few years, and this year he’s taken his game to another level.

“He deserves what he can get. He’s a good bloke, he’s good for your team, he brings you a lot of qualities, not just his football.”

He’s a good bloke, he’s good for your team, he brings you a lot of qualities, not just his football.

Jake Trbojevic on Clint Gutherson

Gutherson  had hoped to have a four-year deal stitched up before Christmas but Parramatta’s offer came in well below his expectations in terms of money and duration.

The feeling is Gutherson and the Eels will eventually reach an agreement, and the player would do his cause no harm if he can inspire  an upset win over   Melbourne on Saturday.

The Sea Eagles would love Gutherson as a five-eighth to play along side Daly Cherry-Evans, and with the Trbojevic brothers, Marty Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake would suddenly have the nucleus for a premiership side.

Old boy: Clint Gutherson takes the ball up for Manly in 2014.Credit:Anthony Johnson

The loss of Fonua-Blake cannot be understated ahead of Manly’s Friday night blockbuster against Brisbane, with Trbojevic rating the Tongan wrecking ball ”one of the best front-rowers in the game”.

Fonua-Blake’s big body would have gone a long way to stopping Brisbane’s giant middle forwards Payne Haas, Tevita Pangai Junior and Matt Lodge, who are all in with a shot to join Trbojevic in the NSW Origin team later this month.

Trbojevic praised the work rate of Fonua-Blake and happily complimented Lodge.

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“Addin had a couple of suspensions and now we miss him again, which is a massive loss,” Trbojevic said.

“Those Brisbane forwards are great young players. I really like watching Matt Lodge. He’s so consistent. He’s also got a lot of skills for a big man, and it’s not all bash and barge.

“I played in the NSW under-20s with him.

“The other two, Payne Haas could be anything and already playing 80 in the middle, while Tevita is capable of destroying oppositions.”

The Sea Eagles have lost Cherry-Evans, Tom Trbojevic and, with Lachie Croker and Fonua-Blake joining them on the sidelines, Des Hasler’s men will be given little hope of springing a Suncorp surprise against the struggling locals.

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold spent time as a Manly assistant,  and Trbojevic knows  he will have his side ready to pounce.

Hasler has done a remarkable job in his Sea Eagles second coming despite little expectation and a mounting injury toll.

Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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