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Farm stays, meditation and Army camps: What you’ve missed of the NRL pre-season

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Published by Staff Writers, 12 November 2018 on foxsports.com.au

It’s only a little over a month since the grand final, but clubs are already back at work preparing for an assault on the 2019 premiership.

During the pre-season, coaches are desperate for any measure to keep players on their toes and get them back in shape after the off-season holiday period.

Avoiding monotony is imperative to keep things interesting.

Scroll down to see what your club is getting up to in the 2019 NRL preseason.

EELS

Last season’s wooden spooners are hellbent on climbing up the ladder in 2019 and have taken to extreme measures like Brad Arthur’s decision to schedule a 3am training session.

Parramatta were put through their paces at the shock early time on the last day of their training camp in Armidale, where they practised meditation and mindfulness to build better relationships.

Earlier in the camp the Eels squad spent time at various local farms around the Armidale area, assisting the homeowners with duties on the farm, while also learning a little bit about their lifestyle and way of life.

Last season’s wooden spooners are hellbent on climbing up the ladder in 2019 and have taken to extreme measures like Brad Arthur’s decision to schedule a 3am training session.

Parramatta were put through their paces at the shock early time on the last day of their training camp in Armidale, where they practised meditation and mindfulness to build better relationships.

Earlier in the camp the Eels squad spent time at various local farms around the Armidale area, assisting the homeowners with duties on the farm, while also learning a little bit about their lifestyle and way of life.

SEA EAGLES

Injured Manly duo Curtis Sironen and Api Koroisau had plenty of reasons to smile upon returning to pre-season training.

Sironen returned from a long injury lay-off after suffering an ACL injury in the Round 4 win over the Raiders.

Koroisau hasn’t played since suffering a fractured right foot in the Round 14 loss to the Warriors.

“I’ve already got Round 1 circled against my former club, Wests Tigers,” Sironen told Seaeagles.com.au.

“It’s at Leichhardt Oval and I naturally spent a lot of time there growing up through my family.”

“It is just great to be back, Koroisau said.

“You don’t look forward to being flogged at pre-season training but one of the things you do enjoy about it is being with your teammates again.

“I have a few more weeks until the stitches come out and then I will slowly get back into it. I am keen for a big year and I can’t wait to start training.”

TITANS

New Gold Coast recruit Tyrone Peachey has eased into his tenure as a Titan, attending the annual Titans Golf Day, held at Parkwood International Golf Course.

“Brenno (Coach Garth Brennan) rang me the other day and thought it’d be a great opportunity to come in and meet everyone, Peachey told Titans.com.au.

“I’m very excited. I met a few of the guys today and they seem like good fellas. I can’t wait to get into training.

“For me it didn’t really bother me. I’m keen to really rip in and try and do something special.

“We’ve got some good recruits. Hopefully we can play finals football. It’s a beautiful club.”

The Titans kicked off their first day of pre-season with a fitness session on November 5, and since, Bryce Cartwright has been slogging away trying to revive his NRL career.

“He is doing absolutely everything he can at this stage,” Brennan told Gold Coast Bulletin.

“He’s right up there with winning the tests in the fitness stuff.

“I know he worked really hard in the break — he didn’t just go away and not do anything — he trained very hard and has come back in the best shape I have ever seen him in, so that’s exciting.”

BULLDOGS

Canterbury began their pre-season with a focus on skills-based fitness training, which got the best out of the players, according to winger Marcelo Montoya.

“It’s been pretty tough to be honest, but all worth it,” Montoya told Bulldogs.com.au.

“The boys have been training really hard and we are looking to build on what we’ve done from week to week.

“We have focused on building our skill set back up and getting it back to where it was at the end of the season.

“We have been working on the little things and getting our fitness back up where it needs to be.

“Some boys come back very fit and others need to work on their fitness, but as a group we are all working really hard and looking forward to improving.”

RAIDERS

The Raiders’ squad kicked off their pre-season with an army style camp.

The camp featured a mix of physical and mental challenges over two and a half days, with the team working on resilience and focusing on team values.

It was an also an opportunity for younger squad members and some players from the clubs under-20s to get a taste of what an NRL preparation involves.

The Raiders also underwent a beep test with Aidan Sezer the best performed back ahead of Sam Williams and Paul Roache.

In the forwards Daniel Keir was the best performer ahead of Kyle Paterson and Makahesi Makatoa.

DRAGONS

Dragons coach Paul McGregor has forecast exciting times ahead for the Dragons in 2019.

“There is plenty to look forward to in 2019, and pre-season is the beginning of something better for the Dragons,” McGregor told Dragons.com.au.

“Going through the experiences of 2018 have made us far more resilient. We will be strengthened by the adversity we faced throughout the past season.

“With the young talent we have coming through, it provides an optimistic outlook for the upcoming season and beyond.”

Dragons Head of Athletic Performance Nathan Pickworth is in charge of getting the 34-man squad fit and ready for the rigours of a new season.

“I’d be lying if I said we weren’t shooting for higher honours in 2019,” Pickworth said.

“We’ve identified key areas in which we can advance in and have implemented key strategies to improve the performance of the team.

“Plenty of boys are a lot fitter, faster, stronger and powerful than they were 12 months ago which is great. But it would be naive of us to rest on our laurels so no doubt we’re looking to improve.”

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