Rugby league icon Peter Sterling says helium has "no doubt" Parramatta guardant Isaiah Papali'i is the bargain of the season, lauding his interaction connected the Eels pursuing their important triumph implicit the Cowboys.
Papali'i has transformed into a highly effectual second-rower since moving from the Warriors to the Eels up of this season, moving unsafe lines and crossing for 7 tries.
Reagan Campbell-Gillard's groin wounded gave Papali'i a accidental to play successful the beforehand enactment successful the Cowboys clash, and the 22-year-old besides thrived successful that role, as Parramatta clinched a 32-16 triumph implicit North Queensland connected the Gold Coast.
But Sterling saved his praise for Papali'i.
"This feline has travel successful and he's forced his mode into the run-on broadside and past he's forced the manager [Brad Arthur] to play him 80 minutes beauteous overmuch each week," Sterling said.
"Now, moving into the mediate helium hasn't done that the past mates of weeks, and that's covering for Reagan Campbell-Gillard.
"But he's forced the manager into playing him successful the presumption that helium wants to play [and for] arsenic galore minutes arsenic helium can.
"And I deliberation he's scored 7 tries this year; he's shown a existent propensity to beryllium capable to get the shot implicit the line.
"Shaun Lane was the starting [second-rower connected Papali'i's preferred side], and Papali'i – helium was the feline that was near [on the bench]. His signifier has forced the manager to play him successful the run-on broadside successful his preferred position. I reckon he's played much minutes than conscionable astir immoderate different guardant successful that Parramatta side."
Papali'i averaged 149.5 metres implicit his archetypal 21 games of this season.
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