BALL PLAYER:  Reed Mahoney of the Eels passes the ball during the round 14 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the North Queensland Cowboys at TIO Stadium in Darwin.
BALL PLAYER: Reed Mahoney of the Eels passes the ball during the round 14 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the North Queensland Cowboys at TIO Stadium in Darwin. Jason McCawley

Eels icon impressed by debutant, keen to see consistency

RUGBY LEAGUE: Parramatta legend Nathan Hindmarsh liked what he saw from Sunshine Coast product Reed Mahoney on debut and says the challenge is now there for him to become a consistent first grader.

The 20-year-old produced a promising showing in his first NRL game, notching 34 tackles and running for 26 metres in 51 minutes off the bench in the 20-14 win over the Cowboys at Darwin.

While the hooker's family and friends were watching on, so were fans and pundits.

Eels icon Hindmarsh, who played 330 games for the club, was among them.

"It reminded me of the excitement I had when I first got asked to play first grade for the Eels," he said.

"And when I saw him play, I thought he's a handy little player.

"He got some good minutes and he handled himself really well. He's got a good kicking game and he's a nuggety player," Hindmarsh said.

"I enjoyed the way he played. I thought he handled himself really well considering it was his first game and it was up against a side that's got Gavin Cooper and (Jason) Taumololo and Johnathan Thurston and those types of guys, so he did a good job."

Hindmarsh said it was important the former Kawana and Beerwah junior goes on with it.

"He's done the hard yards by getting there, and now he's got to not sit back and think 'well I've made first grade'."

"He can't have the attitude where one game is good enough.

"There are so many players fighting for that (hooker's) position, with Kingy (Cameron King) there and (Kaysa) Pritchard as well, even though he's busted at the moment (groin).

"He's got to show (coach) Brad Arthur that he deserves to be there week in and week out by not slacking off at training, looking to improve at everything, working out combinations with his halves and his forwards and all that type of stuff."

The round 14 result was just Parramatta's third win of the season.

The competition's last placed team's next test will be tougher, against South Sydney, on Thursday.

Mahoney was named in the team on Tuesday for the clash.

Eels v Rabbitohs Thursday night at 7.50pm live and ad break-free during play on Fox League.



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