Parramatta Eels legend Peter Sterling has called out one of the club’s biggest names for a major defensive flaw.
Sterling pointed out the defensive failings of Blake Ferguson in recent games for the Eels, where Parramatta have leaked tries.
Last week in his Wide World of Sports’ Sterlo’s Wrap, Sterling noted that in the Eels’ 24-10 loss to the Roosters that their right flank was ‘the problem side for Parramatta defensively’, and it seems that continued in round seven, with Ferguson one of the weakest links.
In reviewing the resurgent club’s gutsy 25-24 golden point victory over the Canberra Raiders, Sterling identified how Ferguson was letting down the team.
“I don’t want to be appearing to pick on Blake Ferguson but Blake needs to address where he is standing on last tackles when the opposition have the football,” he said in Sterlo’s Wrap this week.
“On two occasions on the weekend … he’s not even in shot.
“[In Elliot Whitehead’s try for Canberra] he’s standing too deep.
“He’s still going back, he’s telling the opposition to run. And by standing so deep it allows the inside support players to get in good positions, and they score there.”
In another moment right before half-time where Canberra threatened to score down that same wing, Sterling noted Ferguson once again out of shot, very deep, just out from the try line.
“Blake has got to be 10 metres closer, because if you’re 10 metres closer, you’re far enough up to get in your winger’s face if they do run the football, or if they do kick it you’re still in a good position to get back and cover that,” Sterling said.
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“If [Eels five-eighth] Dylan Brown hadn’t come from the other side of the field, they score there, it’s 18-6.
“So Blake, yes you’ve got to address last tackle plays against the opposition, but you can’t be that far back as a winger.
“Just a little thing there that defensively the Eels need to work on. “