True Blue Jamie Soward says former Warriors rake Nathaniel Roache has a similar game to injured Parramatta star Reed Mahoney and will be an asset for the Eels team this weekend.
Roache, 25, will make his NRL debut in Eels colours against Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday and will share the hooking duties with No.9 Joey Lussick.
Roache, who played 26 NRL games for the Warriors across three seasons, has been a key for the Eels surge in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup this year.
Parramatta has won four of their past five games to sit third on the ladder, but equal on points (20) with the Western Suburbs Magpies in second place.
Roache has produced six tackle breaks, two line breaks, three try assists and scored a four-pointer himself over the past five weeks.
“The addition of Nathaniel Roache to Brad Arthur’s team, with Reed Mahoney being out, just takes a little bit of the pressure away from Lussick, and doesn’t rely on him having to play 80 minutes,” Soward told the Short Side for nswrl.com.au.
“Plus, you can have those two hookers and get that one-two punch as Reed, once he’s fully fit, will be an 80-minute player.
“The thing Nathaniel understands with being in first grade with the Warriors is that pass versus running.
“He knows he’s got a big forward pack… he’s very similar to Reed in the way Reed controls the ruck and distributes the ball to the halves once they’ve got the momentum.
“I was very impressed with him in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup on the weekend – he was able to get the job done.
“If he doesn’t overplay his hand, which he won’t, he’ll be a great addition for Brad Arthur going forward.”