Even for those accustomed to cryptic messages from athletes, when said athletes are not spouting platitudes about being grateful to teammates or trying to “give it 100 percent,” or taking the season “one game at a time,” Semi Radrada’s social media post ahead of the Parramatta Eels’ game with the Melbourne Storm rose to a new level of incomprehensibility.
“I can and I will. Watch me,” Radrada wrote on Instagram.
Well, he could and did, and some of us watched as the Eels made the undermanned Melbourne Storm look like weak sisters with a 22 – 6 drubbing of the No. 1 team in the 2017 Telstra NRL Premiership competition.
What Radrada could and did do was finish the game with 202 running metres.
He wasted no time in getting rolling. The Eels flyer put footwork on seemingly half the Storm side on his first carry. His next effort was highlight-reel worthy, too, as he leapt over his opposing winger and sped down to the touch line.
When he again got his hands on the ball for a third time, he produced a vintage moment. Three carries for three line breaks would certainly seem to fulfill the promise of his pre-game social media post.
The Eels were ahead 10 – 0 after 21 minutes when Radradra stormed over the top of Vunivalu for his first score.
The Storm was hampered by the absence of six Origin representatives, but to be so completely outclassed by Parramatta, a side whose claim to the finals is far from certain, would certainly seem to have been unexpected.
Maybe not unexpected by the Eels, however, as they have won their last four games. They need to do something about the negative point differential, but they now hold 22 premiership points, an advantage of four over the Penrith Panthers and the New Zealand Warriors.