Having been a huge playmaker for the Eels, Parramatta are slowly coming to terms with losing powerhouse winger Semi Radradra to French rugby union side Toulon.
Although they have known this news since the beginning of the year, the loss will hit hard for the team at first as they have become more reliant on Radradra to help take them through to the end of the season.
But how important is the Fijian for Parramatta?
The 25-year-old has crossed for eight tries in the past three weeks, which has boosted the blue and golds into the limelight as they look to end their 31-year Premiership drought, with their hopes not dented by a narrow loss to Melbourne.
Although the Storm came at full strength, nothing got in the way of Radradra. Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy admitted defeat against the gentle giant who had already scored 11 tries prior to the game this season, as he knew the winger couldn’t be stopped.
Time running out for the ‘Semi Trailer’
With the lead up to the Grand Final fast approaching, Semi’s position on the field is as important as ever as he looks for the perfect finish to his time at the club.
Radradra’s performances, dedication and sheer physicality are going to be a huge miss for the club with the powerful winger being pivotal in extending Parramatta’s season.
Losing Semi to France next year will mean the club will have to find a way to play without him whether it be through rearranging their players or finding new tactics.
Next year will be tough without the powerhouse winger. He will be hard to replace as his playmaking skills and try saving tactics are just a few things that have stood out as the highlights of his this year.
No matter what tactics the North Queensland Cowboys use against Parramatta on Saturday, they will have a job on their hands.
It’ll be sad to see Semi go so soon as he will skip the Mad Monday celebrations and fly out to France after the Eels season comes to an end, to take a $900,000 a year deal that Parramatta could not compete against.
This is a better scenario than it could’ve been however as the Eels had to put their foot down and insist that he stayed for the duration of the 2017 campaign, something that sees him join Toulon after the resumption of their own season.
Semi has an option to stay over in France for two years however Parramatta remain hopeful that he’ll be back within the next 12 months
Radradra’s quick departure will mean playing a 15-month straight season, however his concerns lie with Parramatta itself, as he has requested the club to leave space in the salary cap for when he returns.
Do you think the Eels can replace Semi Radradra when he leaves for France? Let us know in the comments below.
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