There’s a new Elias waiting in the wings at Balmain.
Four weeks into the 2018 UNE Harold Matthews Cup, the Balmain Tigers look a much-improved outfit since scoring just three tries from their first two matches. They have since managed two consecutive victories, including this afternoon’s 24-12 defeat of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Among the victors was winger Jayme Elias, nephew of NSW True Blue Ben Elias, cousin of Eels halfback Mitch Moses and as of today, a try-scorer for Balmain in the under-16s competition.
“It was good to come out here at Belmore, all the boys here played well together,” Elias tells NSWRL.com.au. “We gelled as a team for the first time in a while and we just get better every week.
“Happy to get a try, first try of the season. It worked, it was a move that we were training throughout the week, we prepared it and it worked well.”
Elias is not the first UNE Harold Matthews player to boast a famous surname and endure the added attention which comes with it – but his relationship with both his Uncle Ben and cousin Mitch Moses has him in good hands for the future.
“When I see (Ben Elias), he gives me tips,” Elias says. “He’s always good if I need to talk to anyone, also my cousin Mitchell. I’ve asked him a few questions about what to do on the field and how he copes.
“I’ve been with Balmain since I was 13 in development and I don’t plan to go anywhere else at the moment.
“There’s a bit of pride in the family – in the club.”
The Holy Cross Rhinos product, like so many talented prospects in the UNE Harold Matthews Cup, is some way off thinking about playing at the elite level, but that dream motivates him to strive for improvement.
“I’m going all right, I can improve on a lot of things though,” Elias adds. “Definitely my decision-making in defence. I’d love to read plays better, not let down my centre and my half.”
Now sitting inside the top eight as the regular season reaches its midway point, Balmain will next look to make it three in a row against the Sydney Roosters. The two sides face off at Leichhardt Oval from 10am on Saturday, 10 March.